Cornelis van der Voort & anynomous: Portrait of Laurens Reael and Suzanna Moor (1620-1629)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch portrait painter Cornelis van der Voort (1576 – 1624) and an unknown artist. Depicted here is Laurens Reael (1583 – 1637) and his wife Suzanna Moor (1608-1657). Laurens Reael was an employee of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) who eventually became the 3rd Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. As Governor-General he came into conflict with the V.O.C.'s leadership (the Lords XVII): the Lords XVII preferred a more aggressive type of policy against the local natives and the English while Laurens Reael was of the opinion that the V.O.C.'s goals should be achieved solely via commercial and diplomatic routes and that he would only take action against the English if international law would allow it (Laurens had studied Law at the university of Leiden and was a jurist). A disagreement between Laurens and the Lords XVII regarding a raise between was used by the Lords XVII as an excuse to dismiss Laurens. Although Laurens was fired on 31 October 1617 but it would take until 21 March 1619 for his successor, the more aggressive Jan Pietersz. Coen, to arrive. Upon his return Laurens he became a poet, a member of the Amsterdam Chamber of the V.O.C., Vice-Admiral of Holland and West-Friesland with the Amsterdam Admiralty, member of the city council of Amsterdam and diplomat. Laurens Reael married with Suzanna Moor (Laurens was her second husband) in 1629, the reason why her portrait was added by an unknown Dutch artist (hence the lower quality of her portrait) to that of her husband. The portrait of Laurens Reael was made in 1620 when he received a golden necklace (the one he is wearing on this painting) from the Dutch government for his service in Asia. Painting from Laurens of from 1620, that of his wife Suzanna is from 1629.

Comments