Martin van Meytens the Younger
(Stockholm, Sweden, 1695 - 1770, Vienna, Austria)
26.63 x 20.5 in. (67.63 x 52.07 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation via The Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT, 2002
Bellarmine Hall Galleries
This painting of a young man in a fanciful turban was previously attributed to the Italian painter Fra Vittore Ghislandi, but has since been identified as a self-portrait of the Dutch-Swedish artist Martin van Meytens II. The son of a painter, Meytens traveled through Europe and spent several years in Italy before moving to Vienna in 1730, where he enjoyed great popularity and later became the de facto court painter to the Hapsburgs.
Meytens painted numerous self-portraits over the course of his long career, and his distinctive features – the round face with its protruding brow line and slightly bulbous nose – are identifiable in each. Many of these self-portraits exist in multiple versions. Another version of Fairfield’s painting can be found in the Uffizi, where it was formerly part of the Vasarian Corridor of self-portraits.
This painting was part of the group of works donated by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to the Museum of Art, Science and Industry in Bridgeport, CT in 1962. When that museum became the Discovery Museum in the early 1990's, the Kress paintings were transferred to Fairfield University, where they formed the core of what would become the Fairfield University Art Museum.