This portrait of a young woman, painted by André Romijn after Willem Drost, is a captivating re-interpretation of the 17th-century master’s work. Romijn honours the legacy of Drost, a former student of Rembrandt, with a sensitive and nuanced portrayal that seems to capture not just the appearance but the very essence of the sitter.
The use of oil in Romijn’s work allows for a rich depth of color and a luxurious texture. The warm, earthy tones of the woman’s attire and the subtle interplay of light on her hair are rendered with meticulous care. There’s a certain softness in the brushwork, especially noticeable in the delicate rendering of the skin and the gentle shadows that define the woman’s facial features.
Romijn’s subject looks out with a contemplative gaze, suggesting an inner life and a story untold. The eyes, set beneath softly arched brows, hold a quiet confidence, while the lips are poised between a knowing smile and a moment of thought. This duality gives the portrait a compelling presence; it is as if she is on the cusp of speaking.
The inclusion of the pearl hair adornments adds both opulence and a sense of the period. They catch the light and draw attention to the subject’s expression, framing her face within the historical context.
Romijn’s technique shows a deft handling of light, with a golden hue that suggests the glow of candlelight—a nod to the luminosity often found in Drost’s work. Yet, despite the historical references, there is a timelessness to the painting, a quality that transcends the specific period it evokes.
In sum, Romijn’s portrait is a beautiful homage to Willem Drost, demonstrating how contemporary artists can both celebrate and contribute to the enduring dialogue of classical art.
SPRING Exhibition 2024
This painting – when it is finished – will be part of a new series, celebrating the Old Masters. On view Spring 2024 at KUNSTHUIS André.