This impressive portrait depicts the Dutch sculptor Johan Stracke standing beside one of his most important works, the marble bust of the poet Hendrik Tollens. The son of Ignatus Stracke, also a sculptor, as were his brothers Frans and Leo, Johan became Professor at the Rotterdam Academy and director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Herzogenbusch. Hendrik Tollens (1780-1856) was a Dutch poet born in Rotterdam and best known for Wien Neêrlands Bloed, the national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932.
The painter and engraver Sybrand Altmann was by 1880 Professor of drawing at the Amsterdam Academy. As well as portraits he also copied the Old Masters. His most famous work is the portrait presented here which is a hitherto unknown version to that in the Rijksmuseum given by the son of the sitter in 1894.
Literature: All the paintings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam : a complete illustrated catalogue; Dept. of Paintings of the Rijksmuseum, Ed. Pieter J. J. van Thiel, 1976, (SK-A-1620).