For a recent translation of Huygens’s account, see Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., ed., Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered (Exh. cat. Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art; Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum; Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis) (New Haven, 2008), 286–87.
See, for example, St. Paul, St. Peter, and The Four Evangelists from ca. 1624–47, illustrated in Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., ed., Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered (Exh. cat. Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art; Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum; Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis) (New Haven, 2008), nos. 4, 5, 8–10.
B. A. Yamey, “Account Book Covers in Some Vanitas Still-Life Paintings,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 47 (1984): 229–31; also in Art and Accounting (New Haven and London, 1989), 108–9. One of the more common marks in the Low Countries incorporated the numeral 4 with the merchant’s initials. Although speculative, the merchant’s mark may have referenced the accounting ledger of Lievens’s father, who earned his livelihood as a cloth merchant and embroiderer.
The interpretation of The Goldweigher has ranged from the portrayal of Avarice to the illustration of a biblical parable; see Bob van den Boogart, “An Old Usurer Examining a Coin,” in The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt, ed. Bernhard Schnackenburgand and Ernst van de Wetering (Exh. cat. Kassel, Staatliche Museen Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister; Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis) (Wolfratshausen, 2001), 210–13, no. 29.
Not surprisingly, Bookkeeper at His Desk was once thought to be by Rembrandt. It was first attributed to Lievens by Hans Schneider, Jan Lievens, sein Leben und seine Werke (Haarlem, 1932; repr. with a supplement by R. E. O Ekkart, Amsterdam, 1973), 110, 325, no. 74. Nevertheless, the painting continued to be attributed to Rembrandt throughout the twentieth century, until a distinctive Lievens monogram “L” at the lower left was uncovered when the painting was restored in Paris in 2003 by Pierre Bucat.
Bookkeeper at His Desk consists of three oak boards, the youngest heartwood of which was formed in 1592. With the requisite years of seasoning, Peter Klein calculates the earliest possible painting date as 1603, with a more likely plausibility from 1609 onward.
E. Melanie Gifford, “Lievens’ Technique: ‘Wonders in Smeared Paint, Varnishes, and Oils,’” in Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered, ed. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. (Exh. cat. Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art; Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum; Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis) (New Haven, 2008), 42–43.
The characterization of the wood is based on Peter Klein’s 2008 dendrochronology report.
According to email correspondence with Dominique Surh, Leiden Collection curator, “The man in the ruff is unlike any portrait type Lievens had/or was doing at the time, suggesting that the panel was previously used by an artist other than Lievens himself.”
According to Dominique Surh, Leiden Collection curator.