OIL PAINTING: Jan Six, 1654
Jan Six, the subject of this remarkable portrait painting which is among the greatest painted by Rembrandt, was a friend and patron of the artist. Six (1618-1700) came from a noble Huguenot family which had fled to Amsterdam from Saint Omer in France at the end of the sixteenth century and amassed a fortune in the textile trade and from silk dyeing.Jan Six was involved in the family business until he entered civic politics in Amsterdam, serving as burgomaster of the city in 1691. Passionately interested in the arts, particularly poetry,Jan Six was a member of the so-called Muiderkring (Muiden circle) which gathered around Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft, and he published volumes of poetry and plays. He was an avid collector of works of art - Dutch and Italian masters, antique sculpture, engraved gems - and travelled widely, including an extended trip to Italy in 1640.