This cropped portrait in oil by André Romijn, inspired by Willem Drost’s portrayal of “Cimon and Pero” or “Roman Charity,” captures the tender essence of the subject, Pero. The artist has rendered the features with a gentle touch, imbuing the character with a sense of warmth and compassion that is central to the story’s theme of filial piety and mercy.
Romijn’s use of light subtly models the face, highlighting the softness of Pero’s cheeks and the contemplative gaze, which reflects the emotional depth of the narrative. The tonal variations in the skin and the textural contrast against the dark background showcase the artist’s skill in creating a focal point that draws the viewer into a moment of intimate connection with the subject.
17th-century Dutch painting style
The execution of the hair and the simple attire, although restrained, are indicative of the period in which Drost painted the original work, aligning with the 17th-century Dutch painting style. Romijn’s interpretation respects the historical context while allowing the expressiveness and humanity of Pero to resonate in this detail.
This work, while a fragment of a larger narrative, stands on its own as a compelling study of character and emotion. It is a fine example of how contemporary artists can honor classic works of art, not just by replicating them, but by reinterpreting them in a way that pays homage to their timeless themes and enduring beauty.
SPRING Exhibition 2024
This painting will be part of a new series, celebrating the Old Masters. On view Spring 2024 at KUNSTHUIS André in Middelburg.