Monthly Masterpiece March 2015
Gillis van Tilborgh
Brussels c. 1625 - 1678 Brussels
Canvas, 61 x 78 cm
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
Latest fashion shown in Flemish Old Master
This interior scene by Gillis van Tilborgh shows a lady wearing a truly state-of-the-art fashion accessory.
This butterfly-shaped broche was a highly rare and costly jewel, with which its wearer could show off her wealth and sense of style.
The broche is a design by Gilles Légaré – the court designer of Louis XIV.
Today only a few are left: one is kept in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and another in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Its design was released in 1663, and this paiting must have been made not much after.
This is one of the few pictures by Van Tilborgh to show a group of well-to-do figures, as the majority of his works are peasant interiors.
Other pieces with such a theme are in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
The physical condition is all one would wish for. Even after 350 years, all the fine details so carefully painted by Van Tilborgh are still visible today.