back to hidden portraits

Hidden Santvoort I.1

Based on the Portrait of a Lady by Dirck van Santvoort from 1637

Currently housed at Aukland Art Gallery, New Zealand

purchase on

OpenSea Rarible
Hidden Santvoort I.1 by Volker Hermes
Original work by Dirck van Santvoort, owned by Aukland Art Gallery, New Zealand (public domain)

The sitters in historical portraits had to look serious. Laughter was forbidden, as were gestures that could be interpreted lightly.

This unwavering requirement explains why these portraits sometimes look very stiff. It is also important to note that the sitter had to stand still for hours on end so that the artist could paint them.

Holding a smile for hours would have been impossible, even if it were allowed. In this work, I extended the precious golden braid of her dress, so that it floats around her in dynamic loops giving movement to her serious expression.

Every detail in these portraits (including a small bit of golden braid) was deliberately chosen to represent the social position of the sitter.

NFT Contract

The contract for this NFT is Hidden Portraits by Volker Hermes (HPBVH) and was minted using Manifold Studio . The contract is an ERC-1155 standard on the Ethereum blockchain. All images and metadata are stored on the blockchain using Arweave.

Original Image Sources

Hermes sources his original images from museums, and autction houses. All images are within the public domain.


Hermes digitally alters each image ONLY using elements that already exist in the original painting. He finds it important that his painterly modifications credibly blend with the original artwork. This way, the originals’ aura is preserved as they are turned into a newer and more contemporary version.