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Bust of Jacob van Reygersberg
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Rombout Verhulst
Dutch, 1671
Marble
H: 24 3/4 in.
84.SA.743

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Although represented in the artificial format of a bust, cut off at mid-chest, the marble statue of Jacob van Reygersberg nevertheless strikes the viewer with its extraordinary realism. The sculptor Rombout Verhulst conveyed the figure's motion and spontaneity through the twisted head, furrowed brow, and pursed lips. Verhulst's facility in differentiating textures--Van Reygersberg's shield has a smooth hardness, his cravat a lacy delicacy, and his skin an unusual, satiny texture-heightens the realism. Decorative scrolls, which also lead the viewer's gaze up toward the subject's face, is soften the figure's sudden truncation at mid-chest.

Jacob van Reygersberg was a wealthy provincial politician who had recently been sent to the States General, the national governing body of the Netherlands, to represent the Dutch province of Zeeland. His armor identifies him as a member of the noble class.

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Socle of the base
Socle of the base