Two European men in Middle Eastern dress pose in front of a parapet. The bearded man on the left gestures to the right, while the other man looks in the same direction and holds a cryptic message in Italian: Sig:r mio videte la strade di sa lute per la mano di sweerts (My Lord, see the way to salvation by the hand of Sweerts). The note's meaning and the identity of the two gentlemen have eluded scholars. The two men appear to be individualized portraits, recalling the tradition of friendship portraits so popular in Northern Europe. The refined execution of this painting is typical of Flemish artist Michael Sweert's late style, practiced when he traveled in India as a missionary. "My Lord," then, may be addressed to the viewer, encouraging him to listen to Sweerts's preaching. With this double portrait, the artist may be urging the observer to find redemption through his belief in God, just as Sweerts did.


  • Title: Double Portrait (Front)
  • Creator: Michael Sweerts
  • Date Created: about 1660–1662
  • Physical Dimensions: 21.7 × 17.8 cm (8 9/16 × 7 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.PB.348
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Michael Sweerts (Flemish, 1618 - 1664)
  • Classification: Paintings (Visual Works)

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