Carel de Moor Portrait of a Gentleman, Probably a Self-Portrait
Portrait of a Gentleman, Probably a Self-Portrait
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Carel de Moor ( Leiden 1656 - Warmond 1738 )

Carel de Moor was a Dutch painter and printmaker, who is considered one of the most important Dutch portrait painters of the late 17th century and the early 18th. He studied in Leiden with Gerrit Dou, Abraham van den Tempel, Frans van Mieris and Godfried Schalcken. In 1683 he became a member of the Leiden Guild of St Luke, of which he later occupied numerous administrative posts. In 1694, or shortly before, he founded the Leidse Tekenacademie together with Willem van Mieris and Jacob van Toorenvliet (c. 1635–1719) and, with van Mieris, was director until 1736. During his early career de Moor not only was active as a portrait painter but also produced genre and narrative pictures; in these latter he conformed closely to the Leiden ‘fine’ painters of the preceding generation. The city governors of Leiden commissioned an overmantel (destr. by fire, 1929) from him for the Stadhuis. Despite his success as a genre and narrative painter, he gradually devoted more and more of his output to portraiture, for which he acquired a considerable reputation during his lifetime. The influence of his teachers, particularly van den Tempel and Schalcken, can be seen in his portraits, but his best works show considerable originality, as can be seen from the group portrait of the Governors of the Leiden Cloth Hall (1692; Leiden, Stedel. Mus. Lakenhal). De Moor’s reputation extended far beyond the borders of his native country; in 1714 he was knighted by Emperor Charles VI (reg 1711–40), and Peter the Great of Russia is also believed to have sat to him for a portrait. De Moor also produced a number of engravings and mezzotints (e.g. the Self-portrait, 1690). His students included his son Karel Isaac de Moor (1696–1751), who was also active as a portrait painter.

Carel de Moor is represented in the following collections: Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; amongst others.