Photo credit: Museums Sheffield
This portrait looks 18th Century and has stylistically nothing in common with the works of Domenicus van Tol, the 17th Century artist from Leiden. One can even wonder if it is Dutch. What have been the arguments in favour of this attribution?
Dr Marion Richards, Art Detective Manager, Art UK has commented: 'Typically, the NICE Paintings record - the outcome of the UK's National Inventory Research Project - recorded traditional attributions and I suspect that the attribution to Van Tol [see https://bit.ly/3oK1FLj] pre-dates its entry to the collection as a gift in 1935.’ Furthermore, the Collection has commented: 'Unfortunately we have no further information prior to it being given by J G Graves in 1935. We would welcome any further information about this work.'
It reminds me a bit of Richard Cosway's self portraits, two of which are on Art UK here:
I like the picture and I will go through some of my portrait archives because it does remind me of a portrait we had some 30 years ago.
I do hope someone figures it out.
I would not exclude the possibility of this being (or being a copy of) a 17th century picture.
Based on what I can see of van Tol's work online, what could be considered portraits are unlike this one; they are basically weaker and more diffident, certainly in effect or presence. True, artists tend to "outdo" themselves on self-portraits, but unless there is more supporting evidence unknown to us for the attribution, it seems less than fully convincing.
It seems to me that a van Tol self-portrait should be along the lines of one by his uncle, Gerrit Dou, whose work van Tol's work resembles. There are several Dou self-portraits at the following link, and they are of a different character:
Van Tol, like Dou, was one of the Fijnschilders, whose work is relatively delicate and small-scale. This portrait is rather more forceful and forward, somewhat reminiscent in feel of the Rubens self-portrait in the Royal Collection (though I am not trying to connect Rubens to this picture):
The costume says that its about 1750-1780. I think that the artist is more likely to be French than Dutch. I agree with the suggestion that Rubens has been an influence on the artist. It is like the work of Sebastien Bourdon 1616-1671, who went to work for the Swedish Royal Family, but it is not him, as there are self portraits of him. There is an influence of Charles le Brun in the intense gaze of the dark eyes.
If this is 1750-1780, the hair is wrong. It should be a wig or something less natural. The clothes look rather non-specific to me, meaning I do not think they are necessarily 18th century and could be earlier.
I have a feeling this is a copy, in which case it could have been made in the 19th century.