Seated Male Figure, Seen from Behind, early 1640s

Not on Viewexpand_more

The son of a prosperous artist, Gerard ter Borch studied in his father's studio, as did most of his 13 brothers and sisters. From his earliest known sketch, executed at the age of seven (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), Gerard favored figures viewed from behind. Perhaps it reflected his use of a mannequin rather than a live model. His father, in fact, had sent young Gerard a mannequin in a trunk full of art supplies when Gerard was studying in London, and penned a note urging its use: "Don't let it stand idle, as it has done here [Zwolle], but draw a lot: large figurative groups with movement."

In this study, ter Borch achieves a measure of movement within a decidedly static pose, portraying the seated figure with his hand raised, gesturing with a playing card. It is also an accomplished costume study. The figure's back plate has the subtle sheen of metal, while the drapery of his sleeves and jacket is rumpled and worn.

Seated Male Figure, Seen from Behind
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.