Smits planned to make a career as a portrait painter. After settling in Kempen in 1888, he painted powerful portraits of people he knew, as well as labourers and passersby. Although the date of this painting is unknown, the power of the “old man’s” expression suggests it is one of the portraits from this period. The sitter is also unnamed, relating to Smits’ own unheard- of status. As Job, who selected this painting for Chamber, explains: “Jakob Smits is an important Flemish painter, with his own museum in Flanders, Belgium. Although he is quite famous in our part of Europe, he never went intercontinental. So, I feel truly honoured to bring his expressionistic and pasty painting to New York, postmortem.”

Medium:

Oil on Panel, Rosewood, Smurray

Dimensions:

133/4 × 10 IN

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