Justus Sustermans bigraphy, stories - painter

Justus Sustermans : biography

28 September 1597 - 23 April 1681

Sustermans' portrait of [[Galileo Galilei]]

Justus Sustermans (28 September 1597 – 23 April 1681), also known as Giusto Sustermans, was a Flemish painter in the Baroque style. He was born in Antwerp and died in Florence.

Sustermans is chiefly notable for his portraits of members of the Medici family as he was their court painter. His work can be found in both the Palatina Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in many other galleries around the globe. During his lifetime he was fêted as the finest portrait painter in Italy.

He first studied in Antwerp under Willem de Vos (a nephew of the painter Marten de Vos), becoming his assistant in 1609. He then spent three and a half years in Paris, where he studied and collaborated with Frans Pourbus the younger. He was eventually invited to Florence under the patronage of the Medici Family where he studied Italian portraitists such as Il Guercino, the Spanish Diego Velázquez and France’s Pierre Mignard. While in Italy he also became influenced by the Venetian artists.

Paintings

Medici Family

In 1620, Sustermans went to Florence to serve as the court painter to Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.Justus Sustermans. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Print. He first became associated with the Medici family the year Grand Duke Cosimo II died. He spent the remainder of his career in the service of the Medici, painting various Italian cities as well as in Innsbruck and Vienna. Susterman's portraits document three generations of the Medici family.

It is believed that the first work he completed for the Medici was the 1622 portrait of Cosimo's widow, Maria Maddalena, which is now in the collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.Justus Sustermans. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Print. As a result, Maria Maddalena became Susterman's first patron. The following year, Susterman completed Maria Maddalena of Austria, Wife of the Grand Duke Cosimo II de' Medici and Sister of the Emperor Ferdinand, with her son, the Future Ferdinand II, a double portrait of Maria Maddalena and her son, Ferdinand, the future Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Completed around 1623, after the death of Ferdinand's father Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the painting shows Maria Maddalena in the center, with her right hand next to Cosimo II's crown and her left hand resting on her young son's shoulder.. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Web. June 1, 2012 By showing the Grand Duke's crown, Sustermans symbolically included Cosimo II in the portrait of his wife and son, and by standing in between the two, Maria Maddalena is the link between Ferdinand and the rule of Tuscany. Ferdinand would have been thirteen at the time of the painting's completion, but looks to be about 4 or 5 years old in the portrait.. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Web. June 1, 2012 In addition, his mother looks much younger in this portrait than in a portrait Sustermans did of her in 1622.Justus Sustermans. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Print. Sustermans was known for painting children accurately, so it is unlikely that the artist didn't know how to make Ferdinand look his age.Justus Sustermans. Flint: Flint Institute of Arts, 2012. Print. Since the portrait was delivered with a posthumous portrait of Ferdinand's father, Cosimo II, it is quite possible that this painting is meant to look to the past, just as the posthumous portrait of Cosmio II looked back to the time when he was alive.

Selected Works

  • Portrait of a Lady, Oil on canvas, (Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena)
  • Portrait of a Lady Wearing Pearls , Oil on Canvas, (Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Ukraine)
  • The Senators of Florence swearing Allegiance to Ferdinando II de’Medici, Oil on Canvas, (Ashmolean, Oxford)
  • Portrait of Galileo Galilei, (Shown right) Oil on canvas, (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich)
  • Portrait of Galileo, Oil on canvas, (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)
  • Portrait of Woman, Oil on canvas (National Museum of Serbia), Belgrade
  • Portrait of the Grand Duke Ferdinando II of Tuscany and his Wife Vittoria della Rovere, Oil on Canvas, (National Gallery, London)
  • Vincenzo II Gonzaga, Ruler of Mantua from 1587–1612, Wearing the Order of the Redemeer, Oil on canvas,
  • Portrait of Cardinale Carlo de' Medici, Oil on canvas, (Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan)
  • Maria Maddalena of Austria, Wife of the Grand Duke Cosimo II de' Medici and Sister of the Emperor Ferdinand, with her son, the Future Ferdinand II, Oil on canvas, (Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy)
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine