Master of the Good Samaritan: Portrait of Ivo van Fritema and his family (1530)

(Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands)


One of the earliest Dutch death portraits by an unknown artist with the notname "Master of the Good Samaritan" who was active in the Dutch town of Utrecht in the period 1530-1550. The family depicted here probably is Ivo van Fritema (1500-1540), his wife Tjaerteke van Donia (1490-1566) and 4 of their children and 1 deceased child against a the romanized background. Ivo van Fritema was a local ruler in the Dutch province of Friesland - he was 'grietman' (a 'grietman' was a medieval local ruler in Friesland who was a combination of a town mayor and a judge) of Humsterland (in 1516), Menaldumadeel (in 1524 and 1528) and Wymbritseradeel (in 1532-1538). He also served as 'olderman' (local town official) of the town of Sneek. Ivo van Fritema and Tjaerteke van Donia got 9 children in total - 4 of them (3 boys and 1 girl) are shown here. The identity of the children, including the deceased one is not known. Ivo is also pointing to a book, which probably is a bible, and to the deceased child - this is a reference to the transience of human life. Painting from 1530.

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