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Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts
A lively upper torso rendering of Gustaaf Willem. His expression is animated by the clarity and brightness of his eyes and by the honesty to his mole and double chin. His powdered wig, simple white blouse and darker vest with its velvet jacket are fine and at the same time subdued. Gustaaf's right arm is extended or cocked on his hip, but because the portrait is cut off above his waist, the arm's extension seems odd. Around the portrait's slightly oval frame are all the trappings of Gustaaf's position and accomplishments--scales of justice, a Medusa head shield, a Roman lamp (of wisdom) on top of a book (Biblia), a Medieval helmet with feathered cockade, a scepter and laurel wreath, a figure of a young Hercules stands with one foot on a cannon barrel and next to an anchor. Hercules points with a snake-wrapped mirror to the portrait of Gustaaf. In bas relief below the portrait is a naval scene and a heron clasping a round object with one of its claws. Above the portrait is a heraldic shield. To its right are two standards, one with symbols of Gustaaf's affiliations.