Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel

Sir William Davidson of Curriehill, 1615 / 1616 - 1689. Conservator of the Staple at Veere (with his son Charles) (About 1664)

About this artwork

William Davidson was a Dundee cloth merchant who settled in Amsterdam and married a Dutch woman. A wealthy merchant, he actively supported the exiled Charles II, supplying him with money, equipment and information obtained through espionage. Soon after Charles was restored to the throne in 1660, he made Davidson Conservator of the Staple at Veere – a Dutch town with a large Scottish population – his function being to protect Scottish trading privileges. This portrait, painted about 1664, shows Davidson with his third son, Charles, who was the king’s godson. However, cleaning revealed that the child was a later addition to the painting. Charles was probably added after his death in 1666, aged only five. In his hand he holds a miniature of the king, emphasising his father’s allegiance.

Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel

Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel

The son of the Dutch painter Lambert Jacobszoon, Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel was born in Leeuwarden, in the Dutch province of Friesland. After training as an artist in Amsterdam he worked in the town of Leiden, marrying there in 1648. In 1660 he moved back to Amsterdam, where he stayed until his death. Although his early works include biblical and allegorical scenes, he soon became primarily a portrait painter. After the darker and naturalistic, or ‘Rembrandtesque’, style of painting had gone somewhat out of fashion, there was a demand for smooth portraits with subtle colouring and a great amount of detail and realism. Lambertsz’s characteristically sober yet detailed style of painting was therefore very popular with the regent class in Amsterdam in the mid-seventeenth century.