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facing the past A catalogue of E A R LY P O R T R A I T U R E
15 3 0 ~ 17 8 0
The Weiss Gallery 59 Jermyn Street London SW1 6LX Tel 020 7409 0035 Fax 020 7491 9604
Contents D34 43D
Studio of Hans Holbein the Younger (c.1497/98 – 1543)
Lady Alice More (c.1474 – 1551)
Nicolas Tournier (1590 – 1639) Christ Carrying the Cross
Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523/4 – 1584) The Last Supper
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641) Man of Sorrows (or Ecce Homo): An unfinished study
Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523/4 – 1584) An Unknown Lady
Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)
Queen Henrietta Maria (1609 – 1669)
Attributed to François Quesnel (c.1543 – 1619)
Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661)
An Unknown Noblewoman and her Daughter
Sir Robert Heath (1575 – 1649), Lord Chief Justice of England
Hieronimo Custodis (before 1589 – 1593) Edward Talbot, 8th Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford (1561 – 1617)
Margaret Miller, Lady Heath (1578 – 1647), wife of Sir Robert Heath
Edward Heath (1612 – 1669)
John Heath (1614 – 1672)
Circle of Sir William Segar (c.1565 – 1633)
William Fitzwilliam of Milton and Gainspark, later 1st Baron Fitzwilliam of Lifford (c.1570 –1644)
18 Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661) Robert, Lord Bruce, later 2nd Earl of Elgin and
1st Earl of Ailesbury (1626 – 1685)
7 John de Critz (c.1552 – 1642) Anne of Denmark (1574 – 1619)
19 English School 1638 Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, 2nd Bt. (1612 – 1673) with his cousin and tutor, Nathaniel Wasteneys
Studio of Robert Peake (c.1551 – c.1619)
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594 – 1612)
Frans Hals (c.1589 – 1660) An Unknown Gentleman
Pietro de Pomis (c.1569/70 – 1633) Ferdinand II (1578 – 1637), King of Bohemia and later Hungary, Holy Roman Emperor
21 Sir Peter Lely (1618 – 1680) Samuel Crew (? – 1660)
10 Circle of Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld (1567 – 1641)
Ambrogio Spinola, 1st Marquis of Los Balbases (1569 – 1630)
Sir Peter Lely (c.1618 – 1680) An Unknown Young Gentleman
Circle of Jan Claesz (before 1570 – after 1618)
Thomas van der Wilt (1659 – 1733) An Unknown Young Girl
An eight-year-old boy, possibly of the Blauhulck family, with his horse
24 12 An Unknown Gentleman
Antonio David (1684 – 1750) Prince James Edward Stuart, The Old Pretender (1688 – 1766)
Jan Daemen Cool (c.1589 – 1660) An Unknown Lady
Philip Reinagle (1749 – 1833) John Windham Dalling (1769 – 1786)
Attributed to Paulus Moreelse (1571 – 1638)
Front cover: An Unknown Gentleman by Frans Hals (no.20) 4
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Introduction 43D D34 by
Though it is four years since we last published a general catalogue, during the intervening time we have produced two notable publications; the first a monograph dedicated to a remarkable portrait of Nicholas Lanier, and the second last year commemorated The Weiss Galleryâ€™s 25th anniversary, and included a personal selection of the many wonderful paintings that I have been privileged to handle since 1985. The publication of this 25th anniversary catalogue coincided with an exceptional exhibition in our Jermyn Street gallery of some of the highlights of my career, with significant loans from British institutions including English Heritage, Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and Historic Scotland as well as from other private clients.
This new catalogue of current stock is the twelfth in this series and it includes as its undoubted highlight the greatest painting of my career which now stretches back nearly forty years. The portrait by Frans Hals, a detail of which graces the front cover, is one of the most significant re-discoveries in recent times by an artist who is considered, along with Rembrandt and Vermeer, as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age in the seventeenth century. Of outstanding quality, and in virtually pristine condition, its discovery has amazed and excited scholars and colleagues alike. It therefore gives me great pride to publish and present this magnificent work publicly for the first time here.
like to take this opportunity to thank my Associate Director
Florence Evans for virtually single-handedly overseeing the production of this catalogue and to offer my gratitude to the following for their assistance: Research Dr. Pieter Biesber, Tobias Capwell, Sabine Craft-Giepmans, Blaise Ducos, Diana Dethloff, Rudi Ekkart, David Fuller, David Taylor, Paul Huvenne, Malcolm Rogers, CĂŠcile Scaillierez, Roy Strong, Ian Tyers, Moana Weil-Curiel and my team, Florence Evans, Nadine Kendall and my beloved wife Catherine Weiss. Restoration Katherine Ara, Fabio Mazzochini, Henry Gentle and Debra Weiss Mark and Catherine on the opening night of the exhibition celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The Weiss Gallery in June 2010.
Framing Rollo Whately and John Davies Framing Photography Prudence Cuming Associates and Matthew Hollow Catalogue Design & Production Ashted Dastor
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Hans Holbein the Younger (c.1497/98 – 1543)
Lady Alice More (c.1474 – c.1551) Oil on panel: 14 ½ x 10 ½ in. (36.9 x 26.7 cm.) Painted c.1530 Provenance Frederick, 2nd Baron Methuen (1818–1891), Corsham Court, Wiltshire; Thence by descent to Paul, 4th Baron Methuen (1886–1974); Sold August 1958 to Dr Hans Schaeffer, Schaeffer Gallery, New York for £27,000; Acquired (via Paul Herzogenrath) by Rudolf August Oetker (1916–2007), Bielefeld, Germany. Literature Dr Paul Ganz, ‘Zwei Werke Hans Holbeins d. j. aus der Fruhzeit des ersten englischen Aufenthalts’, Festschrift des Kunstmuseums, Basel, 1936. Tancred Borenius, ‘Catalogue of the Pictures at Corsham Court’, 1939, no.147. ‘Two Little-Known Pictures by Holbein in England’, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, vol.83, no.488, (Nov.1943), pp.285–288. Professor Elizabeth Rogers, The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More, Princeton, 1947, p.422. Dr Paul Ganz, The Paintings of Hans Holbein, Oxford, 1950, cat.42, pl.76. R. Salvini, Holbein il Giovane, Mailand 1971, no.48. Ruth Norrington, In the Shadow of a Saint: Lady Alice More, 1983, p.49 & pp.57–58. Kathleen Wells, ‘The Iconography of Thomas More’, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, vol.70, no.277 (Spring, 1981), pp.55–71. John Rowlands, Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein, Oxford, 1985, p.70 & p.231, no.227. Exhibited London, Royal Academy, Burlington House, 1877 (no.146). London, Royal Academy, Burlington House, 1910 (no.106). London, Royal Academy, Burlington House ‘Holbein and other masters of the 16th and 17th Centuries’, 1950, no.11. Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, ‘L’Europe Humaniste’, 1954/5, no.39, pl.25.
1. Apart from our portrait, the only other surviving images of Alice More are to be found in Holbein’s preliminary sketch for the More family group (Basel Museum), and the late sixteenth century copy at Nostell Priory by Rowland Lockey after Holbein’s original. Holbein’s great painting which had passed into the collection of the Bishop of Olmütz hung in his Summer Palace at Kremsier where it was destroyed by fire in 1752. 2. The portrait of Erasmus revealed by the infrared reflectograms relates to a group of portraits of the scholar painted by Holbein and his studio in the early years of the 1530s, before the artist’s return to England. In these, Erasmus is shown in three-quarter profile to the left, his hands either on a closed or open book, a design not dissimilar to that of Alice More. For a discussion of the Basel portraits of Erasmus, see P. Ganz, The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger, First Complete Edition, London, 1950, p.235. 3. Allen VII, nos. 2211, 2212 (see R. Norrington, op. cit., p.58). 4. See S. Foister, op. cit., pp.35–38.
his intimate portrait is the only surviving independent and contemporary likeness of Alice, the second wife of Sir Thomas More.1 Sir Thomas was one of Hans Holbein’s greatest and most famous patrons and this portrait, which was once considered to be by Holbein himself, was most likely produced under his supervision by his studio in Basel. Intriguingly, infrared examination shows it to have been painted over an unfinished portrait of the Dutchborn scholar and Humanist philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus, Sir Thomas More’s great intellectual rival and friend, and the person responsible for Holbein’s introduction to More in 1526.2 (see illustrations overleaf)
To mark their friendship, as a gift for Erasmus, More commissioned from Holbein a life-size group portrait of his family. Erasmus wrote of his delight at receiving it in a letter of 1529 to More’s eldest daughter, Margaret Roper – ‘I cannot find words to express the delight I felt when Holbein’s picture showed me your whole family almost as faithfully as if I had been among you… The gifted hand of the painter has given me no small portion of my wish. I recognise you all... Convey my respectful salutations to the honoured Lady Alice…since I cannot kiss her, I kiss her portrait.’3 Holbein, as was custom, prepared for this monumental painting by making individual, ad vivum portrait studies in crayon. Of the eleven figures to be included in the composition, the drawings of seven survive today in the Royal Collection at Windsor.4 These drawings are all of a similar scale, varying from approximately 35 - 40 cm. in height by 26 - 30 cm. in width – dimensions that are comparable to our panel portrait of Alice. These drawings provided the source for subsequent portraits in oil by Holbein, as in the drawing of Thomas More, whose outlines were pricked for transfer, and whose head is on the same scale as his oil portrait in the Frick Collection, New York. Though the crayon study of Alice More no longer survives, our portrait may well have derived from it. Although Holbein’s famous group portrait of the More family was destroyed by fire in the eighteenth century, a preparatory drawing for it, which is now in the Kunstmuseum in Basel, provides us with further insight into the artist’s methods and his relationship with More as patron. The drawing, executed in pen and brush with black ink
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over chalk, has additional inscriptions and motifs in brown ink that document the changes More wished Holbein to incorporate. They show for example that Sir Thomas preferred for Alice, on the far right of the group, to sit reading a book rather than kneeling in prayer, with her pet monkey scrabbling at her skirt.5 Given that our portrait is painted over an unfinished Erasmus, and from a pattern type that is dateable to c.1530 and since it is painted on a linden panel (a distinctive European native hardwood), rather than on Baltic oak which was predominantly used in England, it seems certain that our portrait was painted in Basel, with Holbein’s return to London in 1532 giving us a terminus ante quem for the portrait. It is also worth noting the double layer of azurite, the highly expensive blue pigment used for the background. Often found in Holbein’s portraits and those of his contemporaries, its cost meant that it was only used for significant commissions whereas in copies or lesser works, it invariably was replaced with cheaper, less stable alternatives.
5. Susan Foister has commented that Holbein’s compositional arrangement of the figures mirrors traditional groupings of the Holy Family (S. Foister, ibid., p.34). 6. Harpsfield, pp.93-94 (R. Norrington, ibid., p.45). 7. Allen IV, no.999 (R. Norrington, ibid., p.37). 8. Letters and Papers. Henry VIII, 2. Part I, no.2726 (R. Norrington, ibid., p.31). 9. Retha M. Warnicke, ‘More, Alice, Lady More (b. in or after 1474, d. in or before 1551)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Alice More (née Harpur) was the wealthy widow of a prominent Mercer, John Middleton, at the time of her marriage to Sir Thomas More in the summer of 1511. Sir Thomas’s first Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1530 Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8 –1543) wife, Jane Colt, had been dead and buried Oil on panel: 13 x 10 in. (33 x 25.5 cm.) but three weeks. There is no explanation for Galleria Nazionale, Parma, Italy the speed with which they married, but this © Mondadori Electa / The Bridgeman Art Library did not compromise what proved to be a very successful union that lasted nearly twenty-five years until More’s execution in 1535. Alice became surrogate mother to More’s four children (as well as her own by her first marriage), mistress of the house, and his most faithful companion. Erasmus noted Sir Thomas’s devotion to her, describing how ‘He lives on such sweet and pleasant terms with her, as if she was as young and lovely as anyone can desire, and scarcely anyone obtains from his wife by masterfulness and severity, what More does from his blandishments and jests’.6 For her part, her determination to please her husband and win his respect is revealed in another observation by Erasmus, who was impressed that More convinced Alice to take up music despite her middle age, ‘It was a striking achievment...to persuade a woman, middle-aged and set in her ways, and much occupied with her home, to learn and sing to the cithern and lute, the monochord, or the recorder, and to do a daily exercise set by her husband’.7 It can be no coincidence that it was during their marriage that Sir Thomas More achieved greatness, and within a few years of it he wrote his theological masterpiece, Utopia (1516). In his own words and personal utopia – ‘I come home, and commune with my wife, chat with my children and talk with my servants. All these things I reckon and account as business, for as much as they must be done, and done must they need be, unless a man will be a stranger in his own house. And every man must do his utmost to be civil and obliging to those whom nature had provided to be companions of his life, or chance, or choice...’8 As his career advanced, More frequently left Alice alone to supervise the household; his only extant letter to her concerns their barn that burned down in 1529. Around the end of 1534, although she did not understand the reasons for his imprisonment, she petitioned the government for his release. After his execution the crown voided the trust he had belatedly established for her but granted her an annuity of £20 in 1537. She became entangled in lawsuits, one of them initiated by William Roper, her stepson-in-law, who depicted her as an interfering busybody in his account of Thomas’s life. She died on or before 25 April 1551 and was probably buried at Chelsea.9
Infrared reflectograms revealing the portrait of Erasmus beneath that of Alice
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Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523/4 – 1584)
The Last Supper Oil on panel: 63 13⁄16 x 77 3⁄16 in.(162.1 x 195.2 cm.) Painted c.1562 – 1565 Provenance David Reder, Antwerp, c.1935; Confiscated by the Einsatzstab Reichstleiter; Rosenberg (after May 1940) and transferred to Germany; Returned to Belgium, 25 August 1949 (ORE No.A395) and restituted to David (and Jacob Reder), 16 December 1 1949; Sotheby’s sale, Amsterdam, 26 November 1984, lot 56, as ‘Adam van Noort’; With Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam; Sotheby’s sale, Amsterdam, 14 November 1990, lot 48, as ‘Adam van Noort’; Private collection, Belgium. Exhibited Antwerp, Tentoonstelling van kunstwerken uit Antwerpsche Verzamelingen, Antwerpsche Propagandawerken, 20 April – 16 June 1935, no.168, as ‘Adam van Noort’. Literature Leo van Puyvelde, ‘Nouvelles œuvres d’Adam van Noort, maître de Rubens’, Annuaire des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, vol.I, 1938, fig.4, p.146 & 149. Office de Récupération Economique, Royaume de Belgique, ‘Répertoire d’œuvres d’art dont la Belgique a été spoliée durant la guerre 1939 –1945’, no.186, pl.XIII, fig.74. Pierre Bautier et al., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Brussels, 1951, p.460, as ‘van Noort’.
his magnificent and monumental depiction of the The Last Supper is a significant addition to the oeuvre of Pieter Pourbus, the most prominent painter to work in Bruges in the second half of the sixteenth century. Until recently, the painting had been incorrectly attributed to the Antwerp painter Adam van Noort (1561–1641), partly due to the art historian Leo van Puyvelde, who published the picture in 1938, alongside other depictions of The Last Supper by that artist. However, as confirmed by Dr. Paul Huvenne, on stylistic grounds the painting is archetypal of the work of Pieter Pourbus and compares well with his Last Supper in Bruges Cathedral (1562).1 In terms of composition, the closest comparative is the central panel of the Triptych of the Brotherhood of the Sacrament of Saint Saviour’s Church, Bruges (1559), which still retains its original double-sided wings.2
The composition of our painting, representing the Last Supper of Christ amongst his disciples, adopts the visual vocabulary of the Italian Renaissance and combines this with the Netherlandish tradition of portraiture, a genre in which Pourbus was gifted. In the late middle ages, religious paintings often contained portraits of living people performing a religious function. In this instance it may well be that the benefactor who commissioned the work is included seated at The Last Supper in company of the apostles and Christ. Certainly the life-like features of the figure seated second from the left are modelled with a realism somewhat removed from the other more stylized faces. Taking into account the considerable size of the panel, it is not inconceivable that the benefactor may have intended to mount it as an altarpiece in his private dwelling or a future funeral chapel, to commemorate his devotional life.
1. Paul Huvenne, Pierre Pourbus. Peintre Bourgeois 1524–1584, exh. cat., Bruges, 1984, no.7, pp.167-169. 2. When open, the left wing panel shows Melchisedech’s Offering and the right wing Elijah Fed by the Angel. See Paul Huvenne, ibid, no.6, pp.160-166; Maximiliaan P. J. Martens ed., Bruges and the Renaissance. Memling to Pourbus, exh. cat., Bruges, 1998, no.105, pp.204-205. 3. Mark (14:12-16) 4. John (13: 1-15)
On the upper left is a view of the city of Jerusalem where Christ instructs his apostles how to find their way to the room where the Last Supper will take place, ‘Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.’3 The scene on the upper right shows Christ washing the feet of the apostles, ‘He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.’4 An important feature of this painting is the extensive presence of under-drawing, much of which is visible to the naked eye. Further analysis using infrared reflectography reveals that Pourbus loosely sketched the essentials of his composition using a dry, carbon-based material. He drew free-hand, except for some parts of the architecture, such as the pillars, where he employed a ruler. While the artist used extensive under-drawings he did not strictly follow them: for example, under the main plate at the front of the table one can see an outline under-drawing of a knife which has not been included in the finished version of the painting. The supper itself has been carefully chosen by the artist for its symbolism. There is bread for the body of Christ, wine for his blood in a goblet and centrally placed amphora, and a rack of lamb to indicate his ultimate sacrifice for mankind as the ‘lamb of God’
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Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523/4 – 1584)
An Unknown Lady Oil on panel: 16 ¼ x 12 ¼ in. (41.3 x 31.2 cm.)
Painted c.1565 – 1570 P rov e n a n c e Private collection, France.
his delightful small-scale portrait, the second of our two works by Pieter Pourbus, is in marked contrast to the monumental ‘Last Supper’ (no. 2) and is testament to the artist’s great versatility. Its unusual full-frontal design was a format that Pourbus used to great effect in his portraits of single figures. Unfortunately, there are no clues to indicate our lady’s identity, though she must have been in her twenties at the most. From the costume, we can date the painting to circa 1565 – 1570. The large jewelled crucifix reflects her pious beliefs, and the lack of rings on her fingers suggests she is unmarried, so it is likely that this portrait was painted to show her eligibility for marriage to a prospective suitor. Her sumptuously embroidered sleeves are a fine example of the painter’s exquisite skill while the richly jewelled costume and head-dress emphasise our sitter’s high social status in the burgeoning wealthy merchant class in Bruges. Pieter Pourbus was the most important painter to work in Bruges in the second half of the sixteenth century and the father of a famous dynasty of artists spanning three generations which included his son, Frans Pourbus the Elder (1545/6 – 1581) and his grandson Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622), both of whom studied under Pieter. Frans the Younger in particular went on to become the most renowned court portraitist of his day, working notably under the patronage of the Duke of Mantua and Marie de Medici. As a result, today the name of Pourbus is synonymous with Flemish portraiture. For his part, Pieter was a polymath, for not only was he a painter and fine draughtsman, but also a cartographer, surveyor and civil engineer. He was born in 1523 or 1524, possibly in Gouda in Southern Holland. According to the contemporary art historian Karel van Mander, who was apparently a good friend of his, Pieter Pourbus settled in Bruges early on and took an active part in civic life. Notably, he was recorded as a master in the Bruges Guild of St. Luke in 1543. However, it is not clear with whom he trained, even if his early style is reminiscent of Jan van Scorel (1495 – 1562). Pourbus’s first major commission was to design decorations for the Bruges magistrates celebrating the triumphal entry into Bruges of Crown Prince Philip of Spain with his father Charles V.
At first, the artist remained indebted to the aesthetics of the Bruges School of painting, known for its bright colours. The best example of this, and perhaps his masterpiece, is his Allegory of True Love, c.1547, (The Wallace Collection, London). Gradually, however, his style evolved, becoming more sober and restrained, though his outstanding technique with its minute attention to detail, particularly in costume, remained ever constant in his portraiture. Pourbus was clearly a fastidious artist; in 1582 he purchased a house and set up a studio that caused van Mander’s admiration: ‘Never have I seen such an efficient painter’s shop as he had’
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François Quesnel (c.1543 – 1619)
An Unknown Noblewoman and her Daughter Oil on canvas: 50 ½ x 38 in. (128.5 x 96.5 cm.) Painted c.1585 Provenance Private collection, Dordogne, France.
his remarkable painting is compositionally unique within the context of late sixteenth century French portraiture. Though simply executed, with a chic monochromatic palette, the painting nonetheless has a complexity that belies its ostensible minimalism, for the viewer is presented with an intriguing and perplexing interplay of identities and relationships between the four currently unidentified portraits. The dominant figure of the mother is dressed in a black silk dress, possibly widow’s weeds, and she is adorned in costly jewels. From her ear hangs an indistinct cameo, maybe heraldic, from which drops a large pearl, while her necklace is made of a gold chain with enamelled flowers, also suspended with pearls. The flowers in the necklace form a triumvirate: black enamelled pansies – pensées (thoughts) – to symbolise remembrance; white marguerites are symbols of purity, but perhaps couls also refer to the mother’s name; and finally, a single white rose. Conspicuous in its singularity, it is possibly a specific heraldic reference.
Her daughter clasps an exquisitely bejewelled miniature portrait of a man who is almost certainly her father.1 The inherent intimacy of the miniature is heightened by its juxtaposition between the mother and child. It hangs from the mother’s waist on a golden chain, and is grasped by the daughter, who in turn is held at the arm by her mother – an uninterrupted sequence that mirrors the familial bonds. But is the nobleman deceased or absent, and is she perhaps more intriguingly his lover and mistress? The clue could lie in the mother’s exposed left aureole. Although a symbolic extension of her role as a mother, it nonetheless is also a sexually provocative statement which brings to mind the famous double portrait by an artist of the Fontainbleau School, c.1595, of the mistress of Henri IV of France, Gabrielle d’Estrées, depicted in a bath with her sister who pinches her nipple, a reference to her status as the King’s concubine, and indicating that she is pregnant with his child (The Louvre, Paris). If this hypothesis is correct, this could help explain the equally fascinating question of identity of the portrait that hangs on the wall. With only slight facial differences discernable, there is clearly a likeness to the mother; however the lady in the framed portrait is dressed more demurely – her simple starched collar is not trimmed with lace, and her jewellery is minimal – small gold hoops in her ears and a single black chord around her neck. Whilst an argument could be made for the sitter being a close female relation, such as a sister or deceased mother, the portrait may be intended as a ricordo of the woman’s former life in a lower level of society before she became elevated to court through her relationship with the nobleman.
1. The elaborate gold filigree frame on his miniature is decorated with scarlet and black enamel and lavishly set with fine-cut lozenge-shaped rubies and seeded with pearls. It is completed by a single large hanging pearl that echoes the mother’s earring and necklace. 2. The Courtly Image: early portraiture 1550–1680, 2002, no.6.
A likely painter for our portrait could be François Quesnel. He was born in Edinburgh in 1543, the son of Pierre Quesnel (d. c.1574), a French artist then in the service of James V of Scotland. François and his two brothers Nicolas and Jacques were all to follow their father’s profession. By 1572, François must have left Scotland and settled in Paris, for he is then recorded designing the medals to commemorate the entry of Charles IX and Elizabeth of Austria into Paris. In 1609 he drew a map of Paris which was engraved by Pierre Vallet in twelve plates and dedicated to Henry IV. However, it was as a portraitist in crayon that Quesnel established his reputation. In contrast to Elizabethan England, where the tradition in portraiture was dominated by three-quarter-length portraits painted in oils, the predominant fashion in France was for head-and-shoulder portraits drawn in crayon on paper. Though Quesnel rarely signed his work, some two hundred drawings have been attributed to his hand consisting of portrait figures from the courts of Henry III and Henry IV. Of the small number of portraits in oils attributable to the artist, only one is signed. It is a half-length portrait painted on panel, which reputedly depicts Mary Ann Waltham, one of the attendants of Mary Queen of Scots, monogrammed ‘FQ’ and dated 1572 (Althorp). Three other portraits are also attributed, those of Madame de Cheverny (Versailles), Madame de Laval (Le Mans Museum) and another portrait on canvas of an Unknown French Noblewoman, formerly with the Weiss Gallery in 2002.2 The latter work shares a similar palette and execution, as well the usual truncated, off-centre positioning of the sitter
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Hieronimo Custodis (before 1589 – 1593)
Edward Talbot, 8th Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford (1561 – 1617) Oil on panel: 16 x 12 in. (42.5 x 32.5 cm.) Inscribed upper left ‘Ao No DNI. 1586’ and upper right ‘AETATIS SVAE 25’ Painted 1586 Provenance The Talbot and Savile families, Rufford Abbey, Nottingham; The Rufford Abbey Sale, Christie’s, 18 November 1938, lot 156 (as by ‘Zuccaro’), bought by Francis Howard (d.1955), thence by descent to Benjamin Guinness, 11 Carlton House Terrace, London; Sotheby’s, London, 8 November 1995, lot 21 (incorrectly identified as ‘Sir Henry Bromley’); Private collection, England. Exhibited Leeds, National Exhibition of Works of Art, 1868.
ith its vibrant palette and delicate detailed brushwork, painted on an unusually small-scale format, this extremely fine jewel-like Elizabethan panel portrait is comparable in its detail to a Hilliard or Oliver miniature. The painting is notable for having survived in a fine state of preservation – in particular the detailing of the costume and the head and hair where much of the original brushwork and subtle glazes remain intact. The sitter’s vivid pea green doublet is contrasted with the costly blue pigment of the background and the penetrating stare of Sir Edward’s arresting blue eyes. It can be attributed with some confidence to Hieronimo Custodis, and is an interesting addition to this rare artist’s oeuvre.1 Custodis was a protestant émigré from Antwerp who had fled to England after the capture of the city by the Duke of Parma in 1585. His dated works are from 1589 until his death in 1593 and include the ravishingly beautiful portrait of Elizabeth Brydges at Woburn Abbey.2 1. The attribution has recently been confirmed by Sir Roy Strong. 2. See Strong, The English Icon, Elizabethan & Jacobean Portraiture, London, 1969. p.197, no.149. 3. See Strong, The English Icon, ibid., p.198.
Edward Talbot was born at Sheffield Castle and baptised on 25 February 1561, the son of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, and his first wife Lady Gertrude Manners (daughter of the 1st Earl of Rutland). He attended Magdalen College in Oxford, where he matriculated in June 1579, aged eighteen. He then travelled abroad before his marriage to Jane, daughter and co-heir of Cuthbert, 7th Baron Ogle. At the date of this portrait, Talbot was a Member of Parliament for Northumberland, serving from 1584 – 1587, and also a member of the Council of Wales. In 1616, a year before his own death, he succeeded his brother Gilbert as the 8th Earl of Shrewsbury. He is buried in St. Edmund’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where his wife Jane erected a large alabaster and marble monument to him by the sculptor William Wright. When Edward Talbot died in 1617, childless and without an heir, the title passed to his nearest male relative, George Talbot of Grafton. However, the family estates were divided, some passing to the daughters of Edward’s brother Gilbert. In 1626, the Rufford estate, including the contents of the house, was sold to Sir George Savile, whose first wife, Lady Mary, was the younger sister of Gilbert and Edward. Rufford Abbey became the main Savile family seat after the Civil War, until its sale in the 1930s. By the time of the Sotheby’s sale in 1995, the sitter was erroneously identified as Sir Henry Bromley, based on a tenuous resemblance to a portrait by Custodis dated 1587.3 The correct identification is further supported by comparison to another portrait of Edward that also descended at Rufford Abbey
Isaac Oliver, Self-portrait, c.1590 © National Portrait Gallery, London 20
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Sir William Segar (c.1565 –1633)
William Fitzwilliam of Milton and Gainspark, later 1st Baron Fitzwilliam of Lifford (c.1570 – 1644) Oil on panel: 72 x 49 ½ in. (183 x 125 cm.) Painted c.1595 Provenance By descent to his 2nd daughter Catherine who married Sir John Lee of St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk; Baptist Lee (1690 –1768), Livermere Park, Suffolk; Nathaniel Acton Lee (? – 1836); thence to his sister Harriet who married in 1774 Sir William Fowle Middleton, Bt, of Shrubland Hall, Suffolk; Sarah Fowle Middleton, who m. in 1802 Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke (1776 –1841); whose grand- daughter Jane Anne m. in 1882, the 4th Lord de Saumarez of Guernsey; thence by descent at Shrubland Park, Suffolk. Literature Christopher Hussey, ‘Shrubland Park, Suffolk’, Country Life, 26 November 1953, p.137, pl.10 (as hanging in the library).
his is a rare surviving example of a late Elizabethan full-length portrait on oak panel, for by the end of the sixteenth century canvas had usurped wood as the support of choice for painters working on such a scale.1 The portrait can be dated on fashion to c.1595 and depicts the youthful William Fitzwilliam, the fifth in line of eldest sons all called William, dressed in the most extravagant and expensive of costumes.2 His great great grand-father, Sir William Fitzwilliam (d.1534), made his fortune in London as a merchant tailor, alderman and sheriff of London. He was also treasurer and chamberlain to Cardinal Wolseley and, with the great wealth he amassed through trade, purchased vast acreage and many manors primarily in Northamptonshire and Essex. The fortunes of the family were to be further increased by Sir William Fitzwilliam (1526 –1599), who served Elizabeth I as Lord Deputy and Lord Justice of Ireland.
1. Dendrochronology by Ian Tyers has established that the five plank oak panel is from wood sourced from the eastern Baltic and that the average last tree ring dating of c.1570 suggests usage from between 1580 – 1610. 2. Without doubt the riches so ostentatiously displayed here would considerably have outweighed the cost of the painting. Very often, lands or estates were sold in order to finance a young nobleman’s attire when being presented at court for the first time. 3. Mary E. Finch, The Wealth of Five Northamptonshire Families 1540 – 1640, 1956, p.124. 4. T.P. Camerer Cuss, The Story of Watches, 1952. 5. A similar drum-shaped German watch from c.1575 was formerly in the Atwood Collection and sold at Sotheby’s, New York, Fine Watches from the Atwood Collection, 11 December 1986, lot 7.
His father Sir William, who had married in 1569, spent thirty years at Elizabeth I’s court, but with the accession of James I retired to the country to manage his estates. His eldest son, our sitter, was probably born in the early 1570s not long after his father’s marriage. By 1593 he was studying in Cambridge at Emmanuel College, and in 1594 he was admitted to Gray’s Inn in London to study law. As befitted a wealthy courtier’s son, he also took lessons in singing and dancing, as well as attending a fencing school, all at his father’s expense.3 William married Katherine, daughter of William Hyde of South Dunworth, Berkshire in 1603. After his father’s death in 1618, he inherited the family estates and in 1620 was subsequently given the Irish peerage of 1st Baron Fitzwilliam of Lifford. However, the loss of court grants and sinecures after his father’s retirement resulted in a substantial reduction in the family income from the State. Since Lord Fitzwilliam now lived a similarly secluded life on his country estate, and without the benefit of any official office, he gradually drifted into ever increasing debt. By 1642 he owed £20,450 with much if his estate mortgaged or sold. It was only through the judicious marriage of his eldest son to a wealthy mercantile heiress that, after his death in 1644, the fortune of the Fitzwilliam estates eventually recovered. In our portrait, the young Fitzwilliam proudly displays his great wealth and status by the gilded finery he wears. The whole costume is an elaborate construction of interlocking gold braid which has been plaited and sewn onto an underlying layer of slashed silk, a wildly expensive and laborious technique. The long-sleeved doublet is further embellished with a row of gold buttons and complimented by cuffs made of the finest lace. His costume continues with the matching paned trunk hose and knee-length canions (or breeches), below which his stockings are fastened with tied silk sashes. The multi-layered lace ruff is worn over an additional lace collar and over his shoulders is draped a velvet-lined cloak. Whilst only the elaborately decorated hilts of his dagger and sword are visible, the artist has taken great care to capture in excellent detail the belt and sword hanger, which again is embroidered with an ornate gold design. The gold watch prominently placed on the table beside him is of comparable expense to his costume. A mechanical marvel of the time, this portable timepiece was small enough to be worn around the neck or attached to the costume, and in many ways was a precursor of the modern watch.4 This example was probably made in France or Germany specifically for the English market.5
facing the past
John de Critz (c.1552 – 1642)
Anne of Denmark (1574 – 1619) Oil on canvas: 23 x 20 in. (60.5 x 50.8 cm.) Painted c.1605 Provenance Anonymous sale, Christie’s, New York, 11 January 1979, lot 242, as ‘Circle of van Somer’; Private collection, New York, USA.
f impeccable royal lineage, Anne of Denmark, Queen consort to James I of England was the daughter, sister and wife respectively of three powerful northern European kings. Her father was King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway, her brother was Christian IV of Denmark, and in 1589 at the age of fifteen she was married by proxy to James VI of Scotland, then aged twenty-three, at Kronborg Castle in Oslo. She was crowned Queen the following year in the abbey church at Holyrood, Scotland. Although much criticised for her extravagant spending she was nonetheless an innovative and influential force in the cultural politics of the early Jacobean England.1
1. Traditionally, historians have tended to dismiss Anne as a lightweight queen, who was selfindulgent, frivolous and trivial. Recent appraisals, however, have acknowledged her significance as a patron of the arts, as well as her assertive sense of independence as a woman. See: L. Barroll, Anna of Denmark, Queen of England: A Cultural Biography, Philadelphia, 2001, p.226. 2. See L. Barroll, op cit., p161. 3. P. Ackroyd, Shakespeare: The Biography, London, 2006, p.411. 4. D. Scarisbrick, Jewellery in Britain 1066 – 1837: A Documentary, Social, Literary and Artistic Survey, Norwich, 1994, p.118. 5. R. Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, London, 1969, vol.I, pp.7-10. 6. L. Wood, The Portraits of Anne of Denmark, MA thesis, 1981, Courtauld Institute. 7. Among the first portraits to be painted of Anne as Queen, the three finest are the pendant to the full-length of James at Loseley Park, the three-quarterlength formerly at Tyninghame, and the three-quarter-length at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (formerly with The Weiss Gallery). 8. See Mrs Rachael Lane Poole, ‘An Outline of the History of the de Critz Family of Painters’, Walpole Society, cited in K. Hearn, Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630, no.125. 9. Some of De Critz’s work at court can be traced through his bills, which involved the restoration of decorative details, the painting and guilding of royal coaches and barges, and individual tasks such as painting the signs and letters on a royal sun-dial. See: W. Gaunt, Court Painting in England from Tudor to Victorian Times, London, 1980, p.53. He was also known to paint the scenery for court masques and dramatic spectaculars.
Anne possessed a sophisticated understanding of court culture and was enthusiastic about music, architecture and the arts. When James I appointed Inigo Jones as ‘Surveyor of the King’s Works’ in 1615, she commissioned him to build the Queen’s House at Greenwich in 1616. She was an avid collector of paintings, commissioning artists such as John de Critz, Paul van Somer, Isaac Oliver and Daniel Mytens to paint portraits of members of the royal family. Under Anne, the Royal Collection began once more to expand, a policy continued by her son Charles I. Her enthusiastic patronage created a rich and hospitable cultural climate at the royal court.2 She was also an enthusiastic playgoer, so much so that when Sir Walter Cope was asked by Robert Cecil to select a play for the Queen he wrote,‘Burbage is come and says there is no new play the Queen has not seen but they have revived an old one called Love’s Labour’s Lost which for wit and mirth he says will please her exceedingly.’3 Our painting is a smaller replica of the three-quarter-length portrait of the Queen painted by John de Critz now hanging in the National Maritime Museum, London (formerly with The Weiss Gallery). In both portraits the hairstyle and costume details are virtually identical. Queen Anne wears a tightly boned low-neck bodice made of fine Italian silk brocade, embroidered with carnations and forget-me-nots, and trimmed with Italian reticella lace. Numerous pearshaped pearls are set into her tall padded hair as well as worn as pendant earrings, and an abundant string of pearls is looped around her neck. Diamonds can also be seen on her head and set into the ribbons decorating her sleeves. Anne wore pearls more than any other jewellery – Scarisbrick describes how on the occasion of the wedding of the Princess Royal to the Elector Palatine, Queen Anne pinned some of her best pear-pearls in her hair and so impressed the Venetian ambassador, that he wrote they were the ‘largest and most beautiful...in the world.’4 The National Maritime Museum’s portrait is perhaps the finest of all the portraits of Anne to be painted in oils during the first half of her reign. Possibly painted ad vivum, it supersedes in quality all her other portraits hitherto attributed to John de Critz, as set out in the iconography of the Queen in 1969 by Sir Roy Strong,5 and in 1981 by Lucy Wood.6 Images of Anne of Denmark before 1603 are rare and attribution often obscure, however subsequent to 1603, following James’s assent to the English throne and the establishment of their courts in London, Anne was able to commission portraits from de Critz. This important early portrait, coupled with the discovery of our painting and affirmed by an identical version at Blickling Hall, Norfolk (National Trust), adds to the recorded oeuvre of de Critz’s work and helps to elucidate our knowledge of early Jacobean court portraiture.7 It is possible to date all of these portraits to c.1605, since by 1609 the Queen had changed her hairstyle from the high piled-up hair we see here to a more bouffant style. John de Critz was born in Antwerp and brought by his parents to England as an infant during the Habsburg persecution of Dutch Protestants. By 1567 he was apprenticed to the Flemish Mannerist painter Lucas de Heere, who was then residing in England. It was probably de Heere who introduced de Critz to the statesman Sir Francis Walsingham, for whom he worked in Paris and perhaps in Italy. He was well aware of European Mannerism and of the school of Fontainebleau. In 1605, de Critz was granted the office of Sergeant Painter to James I for life, a post he was to share jointly with the obscure figure of Leonard Fryer, and then with Robert Peake from 1607 onwards. No signed works by de Critz are known, however certain paintings are documented; in 1606 he was paid for a full-length of the King, with two others of Anne and of ‘the Prince’ to be sent to the Archduke of Austria.8 Thus, he is generally accepted as the painter of the first of the portrait types in oil of the new King and Queen, and the de Critz face pattern provided the prototype for further studio reproductions and other versions.9
facing the past
Robert Peake (c.1551 – c.1619) Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594 – 1612) Oil on Canvas: 79 ¾ x 56 7⁄8 in. (202.5 x 144.5 cm.) Painted c.1610 – 1612 Provenance Fernando Gutiérrez de Calderón, Marqués de Mozobamba del Pozo, Toledo, Spain. Private collection, Spain.
his rare and imposing portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594 – 1612), portrays the heir to the throne as a young man of about eighteen years, in his prime and dressed as the warrior prince that he fervently aspired to be. He is shown in a superb armour from the Royal workshops at Greenwich,1 and wearing the blue mantle of the Order of the Garter draped over his left shoulder and with the badge of the Lesser George attached.2 His left hand rests on a swept-hilt rapier 3 and in his right he holds acommander’s baton. At his feet rests his close-helmet, decorated with the blue and white ostrich plumes of the office of the Prince of Wales.
1. The suit of armour was made at Greenwich under the mastership of Jacob Halder (d.1608). The armour still exists, most of which is at Windsor Castle, England. 2. Henry Frederick was awarded this order in 1603, at the time his father came to the throne. 3. The gilded hilt is most likely from the workshop of Robert South. See: P. Finer, Catalogue of Arms and Armour, 2003, no.6, entry 29. 4. J. Nicholls, The progresses, processions and magnificent festivities of King James the First, his royal consort, family and court, London 1828, vol.II, p.33.
Henry Frederick was born in Stirling Castle, Scotland on 19 February 1594, and was nine years old when his father James VI of Scotland succeeded to the throne of England as James I in 1603. Upon the accession, Henry Frederick was regarded as the long-awaited Protestant prince of the English Renaissance. A distinct court culture rapidly developed around him, projecting a chivalric yet erudite image to which Henry was willing to conform. By 1606, at the age of twelve, he made a brilliant first public appearance on the occasion of the visit of his uncle, Christian IV, King of Denmark. Profoundly and passionately interested in the arts, he formed the first royal collection in this country, and was the first to bring Renaissance bronzes into England including works by Giambologna. He also employed major artists such as Isaac Oliver and Inigo Jones. Had he lived, it is likely his court would have culturally been one of the most spectacular in Europe. Tragically however, in 1612 aged but eighteen, he died of typhoid fever. Such was the general and widespread grief at this untimely death of the heir to the throne that the funeral procession was made up of two thousand mourners, and the funeral – which was a cultural event in itself – was attended by many of the great and the good in Europe. In a long letter of eulogy written by Sir John Holles following the prince’s death, his virtues of character, as well as sporting and martial accomplishments, were extolled: ‘...in all things he affected regularity in his chapel, chamber, and household, was seldom angry, never gave foul word nor oath in his life…This excellently composed inside was accompanied with as well a built outside, an able, graceful body never wearied with labour, eminent in all princely exercises on horseback and on foot…’4 The loss of the heir to the Stuart throne was felt so greatly by the family, and indeed the country at large, that four years were to pass before his younger brother Charles was created the new Prince of Wales, a ceremony which his mother and Queen, Anne of Denmark, could not bring herself to attend. Our portrait is likely to be one of the last painted of Henry Frederick in his lifetime and could conceivably have been painted for export to a foreign court. The face pattern and the use of armour for the costume almost certainly derive from Isaac Oliver’s famous large-scale miniature of the Prince from c.1610 – 1612 which is in the Royal Collection at Windsor, versions of which were widely disseminated. These would appear to be the inspiration for not only our full-length, but also a three-quarter-length portrait of a closely comparable design with hangs at Dunster Castle in the collection of the National Trust, though neither are by the same hand. Given the very close links that Robert Peake and his studio had with Henry Fredrick, Peake being a member of his royal household as principal ‘Picturemaker’, it may well be that our portrait is a product of that studio, and certainly a great majority of the oil portraits of the Prince emanated from there
facing the past
Pietro de Pomis (c.1569/70 – 1633)
Ferdinand II (1578 – 1637), King of Bohemia and later Hungary, Holy Roman Emperor Oil on canvas: 39 x 28 ¾ in. (100 x 73 cm.) Painted c.1596 – 1600 Provenance Private collection, Germany.
erdinand II, whose rule coincided with the Thirty Years’ War, was the son of Charles II, Archduke of Austria (1540 – 1590), and Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551 – 1608). After completing his studies at the University of Ingolstadt in 1595, he acceded to his hereditary lands (where his older cousin, Archduke Maximilian III of Austria, had acted as regent between 1593 and 1595) and made a pilgrimage to Loreto and Rome. It was around this time that he began to supress non-Catholic faith in his territories, and that the present portrait was likely to have been painted. This newly rediscovered portrait, whose identity had hitherto been lost, is an important addition to the iconography of the Habsburg Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors. Its design and technique is very closely comparable with another full-length portrait of the Archduke, which has as its pendant a portrait of Maria Anna von Bayern, Ferdinand’s wife (Ebental Castle, Klagenfurt, Austria), also by the Italian artist Pietro de Pomis.
1. Kurt Woisetschläger, Der innerösterreichische Hofkünstler: Giovanni Pietro de Pomis: 1569 –1633, Verlag, 1974, p.152. 2. Ingoda Hannesschläger, ‘Austrian Branch – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor [King of Bohemia; King of Hungary]’, The Grove Dictionary of Art, online version. 3. Ibid. 4. The Order of the Golden Fleece was an important order of knights founded in 1430 by Duke Philip the Good and Princess Isabella of Portugal that by the end of the 16th century had become an exclusively Catholic honour.
As Ferdinand’s court painter, de Pomis was given the responsibility for promulgating the image and supremacy of the Archduke as a powerful and religious monarch. Another pair of full-lengths dated 1614, which depict our sitter somewhat older, are preserved at Herberstein Castle, Austria where, by tradition, they were said to be a gift from the Archduke. Though these paintings have a long held attribution to Pietro de Pomis, their rather coarse execution would suggest that they are from the studio rather than the artist himself.1 Pomis trained as a painter in Venice, probably in the workshop of Tintoretto (1518 –1594), but was most famous for his activity in Austria. No doubt impressed by the effective role that Baroque art played in the service of Catholicism in Italy, Ferdinand was eager to reinforce the Italian influence in Austrian art by engaging Italian artists like de Pomis.2 As a painter, architect, engineer and medallist, de Pomis worked on a range of different commissions for Ferdinand before being appointed official court painter in 1597. During his time at the court in Graz, de Pomis gave the Archduke’s Counter-Reformation endeavours a lasting pictorial expression. The design for a ceiling painting (1614; Graz, Steiermark. Landesmuseum) portrays Ferdinand as a Counter-Reformer; many of the medals buried on the sites of the new Capuchin monasteries were struck with the Archduke’s effigy; and the mausoleum built on the south side of the cathedral of Graz was erected for the Archduke during his lifetime (construction began in 1614). Pomis was extremely active in Graz where he designed the façade for Maria-Hilf-Kirche in the style of Palladio, as well as various religious paintings for this and other churches in Graz.3 In most known portraits of Ferdinand, he is portrayed wearing the insignia of the prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece, a Catholic honour bestowed by Philip II, King of Spain (1527–1598) in 1596.4 In 1617 Ferdinand was elected King of Bohemia, the following year he became King of Hungary and finally in 1619 he succeeded the childless Emperor Matthias, inheriting various lands from the Spanish Habsburgs. However, his reign was to be overshadowed by the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648), during which Ferdinand ruled with an iron fist. After a brief loss of control as a result of the Bohemian Revolt of 1618 , which saw the Protestant Elector Frederick V of Palatine take over as King of Bohemia, Ferdinand soon re-established his absolute rule after the Catholic forces quickly quashed the rebellion. At his death in 1637, his sons Ferdinand III and Leopold William inherited an embattled empire within a war-torn Europe. Leopold, perhaps more than his father, became one of the most active royal patrons in Europe, leaving behind a magnificent art collection much of which survives today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
facing the past
Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld (1567 – 1641)
Ambrogio Spinola, 1st Marquis of Los Balbases (1569 – 1630) Oil on canvas: 42 ¾ x 34 in. (108.6 x 84.5 cm.) With the coat-of-arms of Alessandro Farnese, III Duke of Parma (1545 – 1590), surmounted by the crown pertaining to a Grandeza de España Painted c.1611 Provenance Private collection, The Netherlands.
mbrogio Spinola1 was the greatest general of his time and, as Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish army in the southern Netherlands, he was responsible for repeatedly beating the Northern rebel forces of the United Provinces led by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange (1567–1625). This portrait is by an unknown hand and derives from Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld’s portrait of Spinola painted circa 1608 –1609, on the occasion of his visit to The Hague for the peace negotiations which resulted in the Twelve Years’ Truce with the Netherlands.2 However, rather than being depicted in full and elaborate armour, he is shown with a plain breast-plate and a richly embroidered costume. In both portraits, the sitter wears the same mill-stone ruff of very fine lace, and the badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece which he received in 1605 from Philip III of Spain (1578 –1621), in tribute for his victory in the siege and capture of Ostend the preceding year. The design of the portrait, with Ambrogio placed at a slight angle with his commander’s baton in his right hand, and the hilt of his sword in his left, is a standard format for military figures that derives ultimately from the three-quarter-length portrait pattern established by the sixteenth century masters Titian and Antonio Moro. The inclusion in our portrait of a crown surmounting the armorial of the Duke of Parma, which is again reiterated as an integral motif in Spinola’s embroidered pantaloons, is emblematic of his being made a Grandeza de España (Grandee of Spain),3 an honour which Spinola had long desired but did not acquire until 1611, and which provides a terminus post quem for the portrait. The inclusion of this coronet is unique to our portrait, for in Miereveld’s portrait there is no such reference. The ‘S’ shaped foliate motif in the gold embroidery upon which the crown is superimposed is also likely to be a reference to the sitter’s name. One can perhaps conjecture that Spinola may have commissioned the painting on the occasion of receiving the grandeeship.
1. Spinola was born into an old and powerful aristocratic family from the Italian city state of Genoa, that was during this time a close ally of Spain, and home to many very wealthy banking families. 2. Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld, Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola, 1609, oil on canvas, 119 x 87.5 cm., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Inv. SK-A-3953. 3. The Spanish variant of the Iberic high aristocratic title Grande, used by the Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian peerage. 4. Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum.
However, by this time Spinola’s finances were in a dire state. Following the siege of Ostend, he had been forced to pledge the whole of his fortune as security for the expenses of the war before the Genoese bankers would advance further funds to the Spanish government, but was never repaid. Despite this he continued to fight for Spain, and he would go on to earn further acclaim as a master of siege warfare, renowned for the capture of Breda in 1625. This followed the renewal of the war with Holland in 1621, twelve years after the signing of the peace treaty in The Hague. The surrender of Breda, at the peak of Spinola’s career as a military commander, is famously depicted in the great picture by Diego Velázquez (1599 –1660), known as Las Lanzas, painted ten years after the event. The illustrious commander was also portrayed following the capture of Breda by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), in a portrait dating from 1625 –1628,4 in which he is represented in the same format as the Miereveld type, although facing the other way. In 1628 Spinola returned to Spain, and his career and power began a steady decline. The following year he was sent to Italy as a governor of the Duchy of Milan where, plotted against by his by enemies at the Spanish court, he was stripped of his powers and disgraced. Bereft of his personal fortune, his claims ignominiously denied for the compensation he requested for his children, his health rapidly declined and he died at the siege of Casale on 25 September 1630. The title of Marquis de los Balbases, still borne by Spinola’s descendants, was all the compensation the family was ever to receive for the vast fortune they parted with in the service of Philip III and IV
facing the past
Jan Claesz. (before 1570 – after 1618)
An eight-year-old boy, possibly of the Blauhulck family, with his horse Oil on panel: 44 x 32 ½ in. (111.8 x 82.5 cm.) Dated upper centre: ‘Anno Domini. / 1618’ Inscribed upper right ‘Aetatis Sua. 8.’ Painted 1618 Provenance Private collection, France.
his portrait of an eight-year-old boy with his horse recently came to light in a French private collection. The painting’s technique and the coat-of-arms depicted in the upper right corner indicate that it must have originated in West Friesland, the most northerly part of Holland. Portraits of young boys standing next to miniature horses are extremely rare and were only painted in this area, particularly in the town of Enkhuizen. At the beginning of the seventeenth century this little port was the fifth most important town in Holland, greater even than Dordrecht and Rotterdam. As a wealthy town, Enkhuizen had its own artists, although until recently they had all been entirely forgotten. However, careful research has rescued some of these from oblivion.1 The oldest Enkhuizen painter known to us is Jan Claesz., whose work we can trace from 1593 to 1618.2 About thirty of his paintings have been identified, many of them portraits of children. His 1609 life-size painting of A five-year-old boy, possibly Sieuwert Heinsius (Collectie Portret van Enkhuizen, Stichting Verzameling Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh, inv.14),3 depicted standing with a miniature horse, is the earliest example of a portrait of a young boy with a horse. In the first half of the seventeenth century this new form of picture was repeated many times by other painters in Enkhuizen and nearby towns such as Hoorn; they include, inter alia, the painters Jacob Wabe (1626) and Herman Meindertsz Doncker (1646).4
Our painting, dated 1618, is the oldest of the portraits of young boys that we now know to have been inspired by Jan Claesz. Minor differences in its handling and the entirely different signature from the authenticated inscriptions indicate that it was not painted by Jan Claesz. himself, but by an as yet unidentified artist, who was doubtless trained by him and whose work displays the same qualities as that of his teacher. 1. See R.E.O. Ekkart, Portret van Enkhuizen in de Gouden Eeuw (Portrait of Enkhuizen in the Golden Age), Waanders Publishers, Zwolle/Zuider Zee Museum, Enkhuizen, 1990. 2. See R.E.O. Ekkart, ‘De Enkhuizer schilder Jan Claesz’ (‘The Enkhuizen painter Jan Claesz’), Oud Holland (Old Holland), vol.104 (1990), pp.180 -218. 3. Oil on panel: 391⁄4 x 271⁄2 in. (100.5 x 70 cm.) 4. See F. Laarmann, ‘Herman Meidertsz. Doncker - Ein origineller Künstler zweiten Ranges’ (‘Herrman Meidertsz. Doncker – An original second-rank artist’), Oud Holland, vol.114 (2000), pp.7–52.
To date, it has not been possible to identify the young boy depicted, although various clues can be found in the painting. In the top right corner is the coat-of-arms of his family, showing a ship at sea, and below it is the statement that he was eight years old at the time the portrait was painted. Various families in the ports of West Friesland used coats-of-arms with ships, and these included the Blauhulck family. In view of the wealth and standing of this family, it is possible that the boy was a member of this leading Enkhuizen governing family. Unfortunately, there has been no full reconstruction of the genealogy of the Blauhulcks that would make this certain and enable one to recover personal information about the boy. Although there has been no formal identification of the artist or his sitter, this portrait can be considered a very characteristic and extremely charming example of the West Friesland school of painting in the first quarter of the seventeenth century
facing the past
Paulus Moreelse (1571 – 1638)
An Unknown Gentleman Oil on panel: 27 ½ x 20 ¾ in. (70 x 53 cm.) Painted c.1620s Provenance Mrs Alexander, Somerset, by the 1950s. Private collection, England.
nly recently discovered, this arresting ad vivum portrait of a characterful unidentified gentleman, was repainted in the eighteenth century very likely by an unscrupulous antiquarian dealer or owner, to represent Sir Francis Bacon. They adapted the hair and beard, and added a black cap and scroll, so that the picture resembled Abraham van Blyenbergh’s portrait of Bacon, which was well known through later engravings. The result was a convincing likeness of the famed empiricist and Lord Chancellor of England, as seen below. However, recent careful removal of this over-paint has revealed a sensitive portrait of an unknown gentleman, who no slave to vanity, is honestly depicted with his prominent sebaceous cyst on the top of his balding head. Paulus Moreelse was an eminent portraitist in the city of Utrecht, receiving commissions from the great and the good across the Dutch Republic. He was a pupil of the Delft portrait painter Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld, whose influence can be seen in Moreelse’s keen attention to detail and realist approach to the portrayal of his sitters, quite literally ‘warts and all’. Early in his career he also travelled to Italy, where he would have been exposed to and copied the Italian greats. Back in Utrecht by 1596 he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke, and in 1611, along with Abraham Bloemaert was a founder member of a new artists’ guild, the ‘St. Lucas-gilde’. Moreelse was also accomplished as an architect, responsible for the design of several prominent buildings in his native Utrecht, including the Cathatijnepoort (1626, demolished c.1850) and the Vleeshuis on Voorstraat from 1637 (still extant)
The portrait repainted as ‘Sir Francis Bacon’ prior to cleaning 34
facing the past
Jan Daemen Cool (c. 1589 – 1660)
An Unknown Lady Oil on panel: 41 x 30 in. (104.1 x 76.2 cm.) Inscribed and dated lower left ‘Ætatis. 26. / ANº. 1634.’ Provenance William Elkins Collection, Philadelphia (catalogue 1900, vol. II, no.118, as A. van Ravesteyn); H. Blank Collection, Newark, N.Y.; Blank Collection Sale, Parke-Bernet, 16 November 1949, Lot 43 (as ‘Nicholaes Eliasz. Pickenoy’); Fernando Gutiérrez de Calderón, Marqués de Mozobamba del Pozo, Toledo, Spain. Private collection, Spain. Literature Rudolf Ekkart, ‘Rotterdamse portrettist Jan Daemon Cool (c.1589–1660) Catalogus van schilderijen van Jan Daemen Cool’, Oud Holland, vol.III, no.4, 1997, no.15, p.229.
he oeuvre of Jan Daemon Cool, now identifiable as the leading portrait painter working in Rotterdam during the second quarter of the seventeenth century, has only recently been established by Dr. Rudolf Ekkart.1 Until his research was published in 1997, this Rotterdam portraitist, who never signed his paintings, was only known definitively by two portraits: the now lost portrait of Pieter Pietersz. Hein from 1629, and the group portrait depicting The Regents and Steward of The Holy Ghost Hospital in Rotterdam from 1653.2 The latter provided a crucial starting point in the reconstruction of the artist’s oeuvre, as its authorship was confirmed by archival records. Following Ekkart’s study of Rotterdam portraits dating from 1620 and 1660, and using The Regents and Steward of The Holy Ghost Hospital in Rotterdam as a reference point, he was able to assemble a closely related group of portraits which were clearly executed by the same hand, that of Cool, dated in the years from 1629 to 1654. Of particular significance, and key to the attribution of the present portrait, is a group of four superb and innovative family portraits painted in a six year period between 1631 and 1637, which sit astride year the of our portrait (1634). Cool may well have studied in Delft with the leading portraitist of the day, Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt, when he married Agniesje Jaspersdr. in 1613, and in the following year he was admitted to that city’s Guild of St. Luke. He probably returned very soon after that to Rotterdam, where he was to spend the rest of his life. After the death of his wife in 1622, he re-married Lijsbeth Cornelisdr. the following year. Archive records suggest that the artist became a very wealthy man; following the death of his second wife in 1652, after nearly thirty years of marriage, he bought himself a place in the Rotterdam almshouse, and pledged to paint a group portrait of the governors, which as mentioned above, was to become the key portrait in establishing his oeuvre. He died eight years later in 1660. Our beautiful and striking three-quarter-length portrait of a young woman aged twenty-six is an archetypal example of the genre of Dutch 17th century portraiture that most often were commissioned to commemorate a betrothal or marriage. The sitter is painted life-size, strongly lit from the left, a characteristic feature of paired marriage portraits of this period in Holland. Unfortunately there is no known pendant to this painting, coat-of-arms or other inscription that could assist in the identification of our sitter.
1. For his full article on Jan Daemen Cool, see R. Ekkart, op cit, pp.201-240. 2. Ekkart, op cit, cf. no.1 and no.29 respectively. 3. Now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille (inv. no.211).
As befits a woman of the Rotterdam merchant class, she is dressed in a typical three-piece vlieger costume, a Dutch variant of the Spanish ropa, and the trademark for prosperous burgher women. An exquisite mill-stone ruff edged with fine lace frames the young woman’s superbly modelled head, turned towards the light, while shadow falls upon the left side of her face and thickly wound strands of pearls that encircle her neck. Her right hand loosely holds the golden chain attached to a fan of ostrich feathers, while her left, bearing a diamond ring, appears to play with the material of her gown. Glowing pearls, traditionally associated with purity as well as displaying the lady’s wealth, encircle her wrists
facing the past
Nicolas Tournier (1590 – 1639)
The Carrying of the Cross Oil on canvas: 86 ½ x 47 ½ in. (220 x 121 cm.) Painted c.1632 – 1635 Provenance Chapel of the Black Penitents, Toulouse, until the 1830s; Salvatore Romano (1875–1955), Palazzo Magnani Feroni, Florence; Thence by descent; Sold Sotheby’s, Florence, 12 October 2009, lot 362 (as Maestro Caravaggesco) with Didier Aaron et Cie, Paris. Literature Axel Hémery [et al.], Nicolas Tournier (1590 – 1639): Un Peintre Caravagesque, exh. cat., Paris, 2001, (as lost). S. Trouvé, ‘Nicolas Tournier et le décor de la chapelle de la confrérie des Pénitents noirs de Toulouse’, Colloquium Nicolas Tournier et la peinture caravagesque en Italie, en France et en Espagne , Toulouse, 2003, pp.173 -186 (as lost).
nly recently rediscovered, this monumental painting of Christ carrying the Cross completes a pivotal series of paintings commissioned by the Black Penitents for the decoration of their chapel in Toulouse in the first half of the 17th century. It is one of three works painted for the chapel’s main altar by the French Caravaggist, Nicolas Tournier, with the resulting effect that a visitor in the 1640s described the chapel as ‘the most beautiful…in all of France’. The rediscovery of Christ carrying the Cross, whose whereabouts has been unknown since the Revolutionary period, is pivotal to the understanding and reconstitution of Tournier’s œuvre, and is germane to a reappraisal of the artist within the historic canon of great French painters. Nicolas Tournier was born in Montbeliard, in the duchy of Württemberg, in July 1590. His father, André, and his uncle, Claude, were both protestant painters who had fled their native city of Besançon, then a possession of Spain, because of their religion. Whilst they probably gave Nicolas his basic training, his real apprenticeship was very likely completed in Rome, where we can trace him, through the archives, between 1619 and 1626. There, Tournier received the strong, indeed decisive, influence of Caravaggio (1571 – 1610). Although he was living with Gerard Douffet (1594 – 1660) in 1619, his exposure to Caravaggio was not through these Fiamminghi followers but more significantly through Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582 – 1622) and also Valentin de Boulogne (1591 – 1632), his close French contemporary, being but six months his junior. Many of Tournier’s Italian works have historically been frequently confused with Manfredi’s own paintings. Among the best examples of such works, are the two Drinkers from the Galleria Estense in Modena, inventoried as Manfredi as early as 1624, which still divide the historians’ opinions between the two artists; and the Concert in Le Mans, inventoried as a Manfredi from 1683 until 1974. Tournier’s technique, often and erroneously considered as ‘flat’ and ‘quite dull’ due to the poor state of preservation of many of his surviving paintings has added to the confusion, as some of his works may also be considered to look like copies after Valentin. However, no actual trace of Tournier’s professional activity appears in the Italian sources and, unlike his contemporaries, Nicolas Régnier (1591 – 1667), Simon Vouet (1590 – 1649) or Valentin, his works are notably absent from the collections of the most prominent collectors who then favoured Caravagesque painters (Giustiniani, Ludovisi, Dal Monte, Borghese, etc.). Hence, because of his religious beliefs, we can assume that these paintings ‘in the manner of’ might have been his main occupation during the years he spent in Rome. Tournier was back in France by 1627, working for prominent patrons such as Bernard de Reich, Treasurer to the Languedoc provinces. He worked in Carcassonne, in Narbonne, where he painted one of his rare historical paintings, an Arrival of Louis XIII in Carcassonne, destroyed in 1793, then in Toulouse. Tournier was highly sought after by many clerics and congregations, and even by the cathedral chapter. However his premature death in April 1639 led to his being historically overlooked, and it was not until 1934 that his reputation would be resuscitated, first by Charles Sterling, in the famous exhibition Peintres de la Réalité, then by Roberto Longhi. His religious paintings of the French period, such as the present work, come close to abstraction in their setting, and undoubtedly form the most original and important part of Tournier’s oeuvre. After the political and religious turmoil of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the efforts of the French Catholic Church were strengthened by the existence of lay brotherhoods, who were very active in the Protestant regions of the southwest. In Toulouse, there were four of these confréries de Pénitents established between 1571 and 1576.
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Among them, the Pénitents Noirs were especially famous for their zeal and for the care they took in the decoration of their places of worship. Hence, their chapel was progressively embellished through the first half of the seventeenth century, first with gilded panels and sculptures, then by paintings (excluding the politically troubled years between 1641 and 1656). The result quite precisely echoed the desire of one of their most prominent preachers, Etienne de Molinier, who, as early as 1611, wrote that ‘La Magnificence des Temples, et ce qu’on emploie pour leur ornement et décoration, est une oeuvre fort sainte. [La] raison nous montre qu’il est bienséant que la Magnificence réponde à la Majesté de celui qui l’habite ; la maison d’un Roi doit être royale, et la maison de Dieu doit être pompeuse, auguste & majestueuse’.1 The Pénitents Noirs, mainly composed of lawyers, parliamentary counsellors or registrars, were affluent enough to achieve this goal and, in the early 1640s, an Alsatian traveller, Elie Brackenhofer, even considered this place to be ‘the most beautiful chapel not only in the city but in all of France’. Among the thirteen large paintings adorning the chapel, all celebrating the worship of the Cross, which the Pénitents revered, the three most prominent embellished the main altar, and were all done by Tournier: a Crucifixion (now lost), was set in the centre, with The Descent from the Cross 2 (Toulouse, Musée des Augustins, fig.1), on the left, and the present painting on the other side. This group certainly would have offered an amazing panorama, as these works shared a composition based on three figures, quite different from the usual rendering of The Descent or Christ Carrying of the Cross, and even from Tournier’s other works. Two oval Anges ‘thuriféraires’, also lost but ascribed to Tournier by Dupuy du Grez in his Traité sur la peinture (Toulouse, 1699), completed the altar cycle illustrating the Passion.3 In the nave, eight large paintings hung on the walls at a height close to four meters: two referred to the Legend of the Cross (The Battle of Constantine and The Invention of the Cross), and six represented the Passion and the Resurrection, through episodes of the Old Testament. Among these, Tournier’s only contribution was The Battle of Constantine against Maxence (today in the Musée des Augustins), which he left unfinished at his death. Unfortunately, the archives do not provide many details on the circumstances of the artist’s commission. One is a mere mention, in his will, that a sieur ‘Darche’ paid 360 livres as a deposit for a work (‘besogne’) undertaken for the church of the Pénitents noirs. Another is the coat-of-arms, which can be seen on The Entombment, but it only implies that between 1628 and 1638 (the ten years Tournier spent in Toulouse), a member of the Courtois family paid an unknown amount for this painting. Stéphanie Trouvé, who has thoroughly researched this décor considers that the comissioner might either have been Jean-Louis Courtois, Trésorier de France between 1608 and 1620, and capitoul (town counsellor) in 1615, or, more likely, his son Marie (d. 1653), who was a lawyer, and himself a capitoul in 1641.
1. ‘The splendour of the temples and the hard work brought to decorate them is a very holy duty. Reason shows us that it is a propriety for this magnificence to match the one who lives in it: a king’s house should be royal, the House of God should be august and majestic’. 2. The Descent of the Cross or Entombment is 314 cm. high by 166 cm. wide. But, as opposed to our painting, it has suffered from several campaigns of restoration, and today is in poor condition. 3. ‘On voit à deux ovales de l’Autel des mêmes Penitens, du Tafetas changeant, tirant fur la couleur Izabele, qu’il a peint fort naturel & vague, & avec tant de relief, qu’il y a peu de personnes qui n’y soient trompées’. (‘[One can see] on two oval figures of the Penitents’ altar, some pieces of taffeta which he has painted so perfectly, especially the contours of the drapery, that it has fooled many’).
fig.1 The Descent from the Cross Oil on canvas: 133 7⁄8 x 65 3⁄8 in. (314 x 166 cm.) © Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France
The unexpected death of Tournier in 1639 prompted three other Penitents to encourage Aubin Vouet (the younger brother of the more famous Simon) to paint five canvases (for which they paid 800 livres apiece), of which Aubin completed only two (The Brazen Serpent and The Invention of the Cross, Musée des Augustins) before his own death in 1641. Subsequently, two other paintings were commissioned from Hilaire Pader in 1656 by the recteur and the syndic of the Pénitents, but for only 550 livres each. As the usual fee in Toulouse for a large canvas was at the time only 300 livres, these generous payments are further proof that the Penitents sought works of only the highest artistic quality. This standard of excellence is particularly evident in Christ Carrying the Cross, so subtle in its colouring and wonderful use of subdued tonality, characteristic of Tournier’s late works; his masterly rendering of the drapery has already been highlighted by Dupuy du Grez. In this work Tournier has been particularly attentive to the setting of the painting and the position of the viewer. No longer a part of the chapel’s décor, our painting, trimmed by one meter in height and roughly forty centimetres to its width, but otherwise well preserved, masterfully demonstrates how in his latter years Tournier had thoroughly absorbed his Roman influences, and those of the numerous Medieval sculptures adorning the churches of Narbonne or Toulouse. It offers a powerful and intense image of meditation, which today stands for itself. Christ Carrying the Cross is typically depicted as a fairly crowded exterior scene, where Christ, surrounded by his Mother, soldiers and spectators, is shown either leaving the city of Jerusalem or already on the Golgotha. In many engravings or paintings Christ is shown, as here, exhausted and trying to support himself with one hand, but Tournier, brilliantly taking advantage of the Penitents’ desire to have a condensed and powerful image in each painting around the altar, has highlighted the very moment, when a passer-by named Simon de Cyrène, has been summoned to help Jesus. Tournier’s particular choice of an interior, almost intimate setting, and his use of strong shafts of light directed not only on the faces but also on the gestures of the soldier or the bending Simon, emphasise the deeply moving significance of this moment. Hence, in its sophisticated simplicity and the sharp details sometimes found in Velasquez or Zurbaran masterpieces, this painting reaches universally towards our inner soul
facing the past
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)
Man of Sorrows (or Ecce Homo): An unfinished study Oil on canvas: 44 ½ x 32 in. (113 x 81 cm.) Painted c.1622 – 1625 Provenance Private collection, Scotland; Sold Christie’s, 20 July 1990, lot 176, (as ‘Follower of Sir Anthony van Dyck’); Dr. Malcolm Rogers, Boston, USA; Malcolm Rogers Charitable Trust.
his hitherto unpublished painting represents a major and fascinating new addition to Van Dyck’s oeuvre. A beautiful and moving work, it was unknown until it first appeared at auction at Christie’s in 1990, catalogued as ‘follower of Van Dyck’. Its significance was recognized at the time by Dr Malcolm Rogers, now the Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and an eminent Van Dyck scholar in his own right, who acquired the painting for his personal collection. Subsequent cleaning and conservation has confirmed the unfinished state of the work, which can be considered in effect as a large scale study. Van Dyck’s development of the Man of Sorrows (or Ecce Homo) theme, which culminates in the painting in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham1 (fig.1) springs above all from his exploration of Titian, arguably the artist whom he most admired, and who had the greatest influence on his work.2
The first stage of this development is seen in the Italian Sketchbook (British Museum), used by Van Dyck during his first three years in Italy (1622–1624), where there are numerous vivid sketches of paintings by other artists that he saw on his travels. Notably, five consecutive pages are devoted to the intimately related subjects of the The Man of Sorrows, The Mocking of Christ and The Carrying of the Cross. On folio 20 verso is a small sketch after Titian of The Man of Sorrows. This thumb-nail sketch was the catalyst for Van Dyck’s own exploration of the theme, which he developed first in a mediumsized oil sketch on paper in The Courtauld Institute, London (formerly in the Seilern Collection, Prince’s Gate, London), which is likely to date from the artist’s first years in Italy c.1622 (fig.2).3
1. S. J. Barnes, N. de Poorter, O. Millar & H. Vey, Van Dyck, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven & London, 2004, II, p.146, no.10. This painting which was painted for the Balbi family, one of Van Dyck’s greatest patrons, remained in Genoa until 1810. 2. Van Dyck himself owned an Ecce Homo by Titian ( J. MuellerRostock, ‘Ein Verzeichnis von Bildern aus dem Besitze des Van Dyck’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, 1922, pp.22-24. 3. Ibid, II, p.156, no. 9. Oil on paper: 28 x 21 1⁄4 in. (71 x 54 cm.).
Between the pen and ink sketch after Titian and Van Dyck’s initial response, there are numerous larger and smaller changes. Firstly, in the Courtauld sketch Christ’s downcast head, much less heavily bearded and younger, is now turned to the left rather than the right and is also slightly raised; next, the draperies on his right shoulder in the drawing have been
Fig.1 Man of Sorrows c.1625 – 1628 Oil on canvas: 39 3⁄4 x 29 3⁄4 in. (101.5 x 78.5 cm.) © Barber Institute, Birmingham
fig.2 Man of Sorrows c.1622 –1623 Oil on paper: 28 x 21 ¼ in. (71 x 54 cm.) © Courtauld Institute of Art, London
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eliminated, and the draperies which cover his midriff are lowered to below his crossed wrists, whilst those over his left hip are transferred to the right; finally, the reed (sceptre) which he holds has been transferred to his right hand. Most radically, Van Dyck adds to the right of Christ the figure of a dark-skinned old man who holds the cloak around his shoulders (Comparative A). Significantly, this figure also appears to the right of St. Sebastian in two large canvases by Van Dyck, also from this period, St. Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom (formerly with The Weiss Gallery and recently acquired for The Escorial, Spain)(fig.3)4 and a more elaborate painting of the same subject in the Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, Munich.5 It is also noteworthy that on the verso of the Courtauld sketch there is a black chalk drawing that is a study for the kneeling figure in the foreground of both the St. Sebastian paintings(Comparative B). Our painting would naturally appear to be next in the sequence, since the design of the torso in particular follows the Courtauld sketch very closely. There are however important differences. Firstly, it is considerably larger in size (indeed, slightly bigger than The Barber Institute canvas), and although it initially may have been an attempt at a fully realised painting, the artist clearly decided to leave it in an unresolved state – as indicated by the sketchily drawn white drapery, whose brushwork is incompatible with a finished work. The head of Christ is clearly taken from a different, older, more heavily-bearded model (as such it is closer to the Titian drawing), very similar to the central figure in Van Dyck’s own The Ages of Man (Museo Civico d’Arte e Storia, Vicenza) of the same period.6 The position of Christ’s right hand is changed, and the reed transferred to his left; his wrists are also bound in a more complex ligature. The blue-grey draperies (in which several pentimenti are visible) are raised again to cover the midriff, as in the Titian. Most significantly, the figure that holds the cloak is moved to the left of Christ, and though it is largely unresolved, the head is clearly not that of the old man in the St. Sebastian, or the black figure seen in the Barber Institute’s version. Rather, it appears to be a schematic rendition of the open-mouthed, upward-tilted head of the much younger, pale-skinned youth, found in both St Sebastian paintings (Comparative C). Perhaps the reason why this canvas was abandoned unfinished, was that the artist realised the open-mouthed, pale-skinned mocking head to the left – if it were fully rendered – was in so close a juxtaposition to the head of Christ, that it would unbalance the composition and detract from the intense spirituality of the central figure.
4. Ibid, II, p.163, no.17. Oil on canvas: 76 3⁄8 x 55 7⁄8 in. (194 x 142 cm.) 5. Ibid, II, p. 163, no.18. Oil on canvas: 90 x 62 1⁄2 in. (199 x 150.6 cm.) 6. Ibid, II, p.169, no.25. 7. Recent research confirms that the fifteen-year-old Willeboirts did not return to Antwerp until 1628, at which time he entered the studio of Gerard. Seghers with whom he then served an eight year apprenticeship. See Axel Heinrich, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (1613/14 –1654). Ein Flamischer Nachfolger Van Dycks, Pictura Nova, 9, 2 vols., 2003. 8. Confirmed in an email dated 1 March 2011 by Maria Galen, whose catalogue raisonné on the artist will be published later this year by Baar Verlag, Hamburg. Also confirmed verbally by Dr. Schollmeier, Director of the Münster Museum, Germany.
Bearded Man in St. Sebastian
Bearded Man in Courtauld sketch
This issue is emphatically resolved in the finished Barber Institute painting, which had been commissioned by one of Van Dyck’s greatest patrons, the Balbi family, and which remained in Genoa until 1810. In this thinly and smoothly painted work, the mocking figure is not pale-skinned, but black, with a far less animated head, and his hand discreetly recedes so that nothing distracts from the central figure. We also see that Christ’s head is lowered compared with the Courtauld sketch and our painting, and more spiritualised, with eyes closed. The torso is also presented more frontally than in either of the earlier paintings. Whilst Christ’s right hand is clearly developed from the hand in our painting, the left hand is no longer the long-fingered, ethereal hand of the Seilern sketch, but is treated with far greater naturalism. The ligature is again adjusted, as are the draperies, though still covering the midriff. The draperies over Christ’s right shoulder clearly echo their form in our painting, while those over the right hip are now fully resolved for the first time. Kneeling Man in Courtauld sketch
It is clear from this sequence and the complex interrelationship between the three paintings, that our painting must have been second in the series, and is inextricable in the process that led to the Barber Institute painting, one of Van Dyck’s most profound and deeply moving works. Attempts to link our painting to close followers of Van Dyck seem highly improbable. For example, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (1613/14 – 1654), though once mistakenly thought to have been an apprenctice in Van Dyck’s studio, is now known never to have been his apprentice.7 Another, Jan Boeckhorst (1604 –1668), a rather pedestrian painter, is easily dismissed on stylistic grounds.8 Any hypothesis involving a follower would necessitate the painter enjoying not only close access to the Courtauld sketch, but also in all likelihood the Italian Sketchbook in the light of the heavier beard and raised draperies over the midriff in our painting, and certainly knowledge of the St. Sebastian composition. This scenario simply does not make sense, especially given the unfinished nature of the painting. This also explains the lack of the ‘signature’ final top glazes and brushwork that would more easily help define it as autograph. Close parallels in the work of less accomplished followers are hard to find, and, in the final analysis, the striving for artistic perfection, the supremely sensitive painting of the torso and, above all, the expressive hands, combined with a pervasive and passionate spirituality, emphatically point to Van Dyck’s authorship of our painting
Kneeling Man in St. Sebastian
Malcolm Rogers fig.3 St. Sebastian bound for Martyrdom c.1622 –1623 Oil on canvas: 76 3⁄8 x 55 7⁄8 in. (194 x 142 cm.) © The Escorial, Spain (formerly with The Weiss Gallery)
Unresolved Head in Rogers’ Ecce Homo 46
Youth in St. Sebastian
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Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)
Queen Henrietta Maria (1609 – 1669) Oil on canvas: 50 x 41 in. (129 x 104 cm.) Painted c.1638 Provenance Private collection, Italy.
his elegant portrait of the Queen, painted during the height of her influence at court, portrays her serenely composed and seated beside the imperial crown, with her left hand cradling a rose, an emblem of the pleasures and pain of love, beauty and mortality.1 The composition creates a majestic image which aptly illustrates the subject’s royalty and symbolically represents her desirable attributes of modesty and fertility. Ultimately the artist has created an image which advertises the Queen as she would have wished to be perceived by her admirers. Our painting is a contemporary studio version of one of Sir Anthony van Dyck’s most important and beautiful images of the Queen, produced by his studio, most probably in 1636. Barnes et al (2004, p.635) record that ‘payment was due to Van Dyck from the Crown [for] Une Reyne vestu en blu at £60 and given to the Earl of Holland’. Another copy of the Queen’s picture in blue was also recorded as being given by the King to the Lord Chamberlain and a further copy ‘My Wives Picture in blew, sitting in a Chair’ hanging at Hampton court, was instructed by the King to be given to a Mrs Kirk. This particular composition of c.1636 survives in two other known versions, one in the San Diego Museum of Art, California and another is in the Bomann-Museum at Celle.2 The portrait is unusual in showing the Queen in the imaginary informal costume of ‘careless romance’ which Van Dyck invented for his female sitters in England, yet wholly appropriate to the seventeenth century romantic view of the Caroline court. The Queen is dressed in heavenly blue, and this image, whilst still alluding to her majesty, is clearly in keeping with Van Dyck’s much-admired conception of female portraiture, where the Queen appears beautiful but modest, reserved and yet engagingly confident. The mastery of the blue silk dress imparts an opulence to the whole composition. Henrietta Maria and Charles I of England were married on 13 June 1625, during a brief period in which England’s pro-Spanish policy was replaced by a pro-French policy. As a devout French Catholic in a Protestant English court, the Queen’s first years in England were not happy ones due to her continuing devotion to her religious beliefs which created conflict.3 In addition, during her initial years at the English court, emissaries from Rome and English Catholics formed a large segment of her court circle and this marked her out as different and potentially dangerous in the religiously intolerant English society of the time. It led to her becoming an unpopular queen with the general public, and her behaviour was openly resented by the more conservative courtiers and nonconformists.4
1. S. Barnes, S. de Poorter, O. Millar, and H. Vey, Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Yale, 2004, p.635, IV.A19. 2. Barnes et al, op cit., p.635, list a number of copies of these versions which can be found, for example, in the Wallace Collection, London, the Staten Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, and also Kingston Lacy, Hawarden Castle and Charlecote Park. 3. M. White, Henrietta Maria and the English Civil Wars, Aldershot, 2006, p.21. 4. E. Griffey, Henrietta Maria: piety, politics and patronage, 2008, Aldershot.
Her religious convictions and the Duke of Buckingham’s attempts to turn Charles against her provoked antagonisms which were resolved only after the Duke’s murder in 1628. After this initial difficult period, she and Charles formed an extremely close partnership and the birth of Charles, Prince of Wales followed soon after in May 1630. But despite the closeness of their now loving relationship, the Queen’s role in her husband’s court proved complicated: the combination of her perceived frivolity and her emotional influence over the King still caused concern among courtier-politicians such as the Earl of Strafford. Nonetheless, Henrietta Maria remained staunchly supportive, becoming actively involved in raising funds and troops in support of the King. In arranging marriages for her children, pawning the crown jewels, attempting landings in munitions ships and flying to her husband’s side at the Battle of Edgehill, the events of her life during this war-torn period demonstrate the strength of her character and her courage at their very best. While fleeing the approach of the Parliamentary Army, the Queen stopped to give birth to her youngest child, before escaping to the safety of France in July 1644. Living under the protection of her mother Marie de Medici, the Queen Regent of France, at St. Germain, Paris, she was later joined by her children shortly before the execution of Charles I. After 1648, Henrietta became solely dependent upon the good will of others for her livelihood. Impoverished and forced to leave France she was not to return again to England until 1660. Amidst failing health and what she considered to be English indifference to her sufferings she returned to France in 1665, where she died four years later
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Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661) (i)
Sir Robert Heath (1575 – 1649), Lord Chief Justice of England
Oil on panel: 31 x 24 ¼ in. (78.8 x 62.2 cm.) Indistinctly signed and dated lower right ‘C.J.fecit/ 1630 ’, and inscribed upper left ‘Ld: Cf: Justice Heath ’ (ii)
Margaret Miller, Lady Heath (1578 – 1647), wife of Sir Robert Heath
Oil on panel: 29 ½ x 24 in. (75 x 61 cm.) Inscribed upper left ‘Lady Heath ’ (iii)
Edward Heath (1612 – 1669)
Oil on panel: 29 ½ x 24 in. (75 x 61 cm.) Signed and dated lower right ‘C.J. fecit/ 1629 ’, and inscribed upper left ‘Son of Ld: Chf: Justice Heath ’ (iv)
John Heath (1614 – 1672)
Oil on panel: 29 ½ x 24 ½ in. (75 x 62 cm.) Inscribed upper left ‘Son of Ld: Chf: Justice Heath ’ Painted 1629 – 1630 Provenance By descent to George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Brooke (1659 – 1728); Thence by descent, the Lords Willoughby de Brooke, Kineton, Warwickshire until 2010. Literature C. Baker, Lely and the Stuart Portrait Painters; A Study of English Portraiture before and after van Dyck, London 1912, pp.80 - 81, illus. A. J. Finberg, ‘A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson’, Walpole Society, vol.X, Oxford 1922, pp.18-19.
his very rare and elegant set of family portraits was painted at the apogee of Johnson’s career, before van Dyck’s final return to England in 1632 turned portrait taste in a more flamboyant and sophisticated direction. Here Johnson’s restrained and astute characterisation of his sitters is presented in a poignant monochrome palette. The plain, dark backgrounds create a dramatic backdrop to enhance the Heath family’s pearlescent skin and stylish, matching black and white costumes with full sleeves cut into strips or ‘panes’ over white silk padded undersleeves, tied with black and white bows. Lady Heath’s costume is further adorned with fine creamy lace and ropes of costly pearls. Such a sustained contrast brings to mind the contemporary romantic conceit of ‘Night and Day’, or ‘Melancholy and Joy’. An identical concept may also be seen in Johnson’s portrait of the debonaire young courtier Sir Thomas Hanmer of 1631 in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
1. Although Heath owned the land, he never actually went there himself, and with the expense of colonisation too much for one man to bear, compounded by the subsequent upheavals of the Civil War, he was forced to divide it up amongst people he either owed money to or wished to gain political favour from. At the Restoration, and long after Heath’s death, Charles II revoked the original charter and granted the land to eight of his most faithful supporters, who hence were known as the Lords Proprietors.
Sir Robert Heath was a distinguished constitutional lawyer and, as successor to the Lord Keeper Coventry as AttorneyGeneral (see The Weiss Gallery, The Courtly Image; Early Portraiture 1550 –1680, 2002, no.18), a staunch supporter of the Crown and the Royalist cause. The present portrait of Sir Robert Heath depicts the sitter at the height of his career and his King’s favour. In 1629, Charles I granted his Attorney-General a charter for all the land south of Virginia. The boundaries of this vast new colony, named Carolona after the King, encompassed present day North and South Carolina, much of Georgia as well as the Bahama Islands.1 Heath was born in 1575 at Brasted in Kent, the son of a lawyer called Robert Heath. In 1600, he married Margaret Miller (1578 –1647) daughter and heir of John Miller of Tunbridge, and in 1603 was called to the Bar. Heath’s fortunes quickly rose and by 1621 he had become Solicitor-General, as well as a Knight. He was elected to Parliament, first for the City of London, then, in 1623 becoming MP for East Grinstead. Once in the House of Commons, he was one of the strongest supporters of the Royal Prerogative. Following the accession of Charles I in 1625, he succeeded Coventry as Attorney-General. The King was so pleased with Heath’s zealous advocacy on behalf of the Crown,
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including a more stringent enforcement of the laws against recusants, that in 1631 he was raised to the bench as Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. However, Heath’s career suffered a dramatic setback when in 1634 he was accused of taking bribes and quickly removed from his office as a judge. The charges would appear to have been politically motivated by the King’s opponents. Heath nonetheless continued to be an ardent supporter of Charles I, who began his reinstatement by appointing him King’s Serjeant in 1636. He was restored as a judge to the King’s Bench in 1641 and in 1643, and his final appointment was to the office of Chief Justice. As a symbol of the Crown’s authority, and with the outbreak of the Civil War, Heath needless to say became a prime target for Parliament. He was tried in absentia and found guilty of high treason. With the Royalist position in Oxford becoming ever more untenable, he fled to France in 1646, dying there in 1649. Sir Robert and Lady Heath’s eldest son was Sir Edward Heath, who was born on 2 September 1612, and died at Brasted in Kent on 3 November 1691. Both he and his younger brother John were educated at Cambridge and admitted to the Inner Temple on the same day, 11 June 1626, when their father was Treasurer of the Inn. Sir Edward married Lucy (1617 – 1645), daughter and heir of Paul Ambrose Croke of Cotesmore, Rutland on 26 February 1630/1. He was made a Knight of the Bath on 23 April 1661. Their second son Sir John Heath was born on 2 May 1614 and died on 3 November 1691 at Brasted. He was Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster, and was M.P. for Clitheroe in 1661. He was knighted at Whitehall on 27 May 1664. That year at St. Olave, London, he married a widow, Margaret Prettiman (1635 – 1666), only child of Sir Matthew Mennes and Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Charles, Earl of Nottingham
(i) Sir Robert Heath (1575 – 1649) Lord Chief Justice of England
(ii) Margaret Miller, Lady Heath (1578 – 1647) wife of Sir Robert Heath
(iii) Edward Heath (1612 – 1669) 54
(iv) John Heath (1614 – 1672)
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Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661)
Robert, Lord Bruce, later 2nd Earl of Elgin and 1st Earl of Ailesbury (1626 – 1685) Oil on canvas: 29 x 24 ½ in. (73.5 x 62 cm.) Signed lower right: ‘C.J. fecit/ 1635’ and inscribed on a cartellino lower left: ‘Robert Lord Bruce afterwards Earl of Ailesbury & Elgin drawne at the age of 7 years. C. Johnson Pt ’ Painted 1635 Provenance By descent through the Earls and Marquesses of Ailesbury, Tottenham Park, Savernake, Wiltshire, to David Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan, Savernake Lodge, Wiltshire.
his sensitive portrait of the young Robert, Lord Bruce captures him as a young boy, at the age of seven. Depicted here in a delicate pink silk doublet adorned with precious silver thread and blue ribbons, this enchanting portrait shows the young child within a feigned marbled oval, caught in a space that reveals his innocent vulnerability. Johnson was one of the most gifted and prolific artists working in England in the 1620s and 1630s. Born in London but of Flemish and German extraction, he is thought to have trained as an artist in the northern Netherlands before establishing himself in England around 1618. Our portrait was painted in 1635, at the height of his popularity, and three years after he was appointed as ‘his Majesty’s servant in ye quality of Picture drawer’ to Charles I. It is a compelling example of Johnson’s restrained, intimate portrayals for which he was renowned, and shows characteristic attention to detail in a style and pattern that Johnson had perfected by the 1630s for his half-length portraits where the figures were placed unusually low within the composition and the sitter portrayed in a gentle, almost wistful manner.
Robert, Lord Bruce was the elder son of Thomas, Lord Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Chichester. Despite receiving little formal education, he was known in later years for his intellectual curiosity, amassing a collection of antiquities and historical manuscripts, as well as becoming a fellow of the Royal Society. Styled Lord Kinloss during his father’s lifetime, he travelled extensively in Europe between 1642 – 1646. In 1646 he returned to England to marry Lady Diana Grey, daughter of the 1st Earl of Stamford, with whom he had seventeen children of whom nine survived to adulthood. By 1659 he was an active royalist conspirator, becoming deeply involved in plans for a royalist uprising. This stood him in good stead after the Restoration. In 1663 he succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Elgin and the following year he was given the additional English title of Earl of Ailesbury by Charles II. In 1685 he bore St Edward’s staff at James II’s coronation, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and appointed Lord Chamberlain, only to die later that year
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English School, 1638
Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, 2nd Bt. (1612 – 1673) with his tutor and cousin, Nathaniel Wasteneys Oil on canvas: 56 ½ x 72 in. (143.5 x 183 cm.) In a 17th century painted oak frame, inscribed in English and Latin, from the top right: ‘Studying Goode books is a Noble profession. Fear God. Honor the King. Bee loath to offend. Tam Marti, quam Mercurio [Be as much devoted to Mars as to Mercury]. Nec temer, nec timide sed fortiter [Neither rashly nor timidly but with strength]. Sustine et abstine [Sustain and abstain]. 1638. These are Manlye Exercifes. Attempt nothinge but thinke on the end, least you doe euill. Qui licite uivit libere vivuit, certitude in coelo. [Live life freely forsaking sin to be sure of heaven]. Honestas cum Piete est optima et tutissima politia [Honesty and piety are the best and safest policies].’ Painted 1638 Provenance Presumably commissioned by Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, 1st Bt. (d.1649), Headon Hall, Nottinghamshire, Thence by descent to Anthony Eyre, Grove Hall, Nottinghamshire; Sold Spencers, Retford, 27 September 1946, lot 526, (as ‘attributed to Cornelius Neve’); Dr. C. Witterridge, Inverlael Estate Lodge, Ullapool; Thence by descent. Exhibited Nottingham, Nottingham Castle Museum (on loan 13 January 1999 – 2003). Kentucky, Kentucky Horse Museum, (on loan in 2003). Newmarket, The British Sporting Art Trust, Newmarket Horseracing Museum, ‘All the Queen’s Horses: The Role of the Horse in British History’ (on loan from 2004).1
1. For this exhibition, David Fuller suggested that the artist for the present work could perhaps be the elusively named ‘Monogrammist JH’, who painted a group of paintings of grooms with horses for the Legh family of Lyme Hall, Cheshire. The niece of the wife of the sitter in our portrait, Sir Hardolph Wasteneys - Elizabeth Chicheley - was married to Richard Legh of Lyme. 2. Two other English equestrian portraits are known to pre-date ours: Robert Peake’s portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1603, (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), and Paul van Somer’s portrait of Anne of Denmark, 1617, (The Royal Collection, Windsor). 3. We are grateful to Dr. Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection, London, for identifying the weaponry in this portrait. 4. The hawthorn has been a symbol of the House of Tudor since the Battle of Bosworth Field, 22 August, 1485, when King Richard III was defeated and slain by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. Richard’s crown was lost or stolen during the battle, and later found hidden in a hawthorn bush on the battlefield. Henry VII was crowned King of England on 30 October 1485, and was the first Tudor King.
his extraordinary, indeed unique painting, is one of the first known examples of equestrian portraiture in Britain, and may be seen as a prescient precursor to the great tradition of British sporting art that later blossomed in the eighteenth century. 2 A notable feature of this remarkable work is the manner with which the unknown provincial artist has taken great care to carefully capture small, but significant details, such as the hobnails in the horses’ shoes, and even the animals’ eyelashes. The whole is imbued with realistic touches that belie its naivety. Set in an Arcadian clearing, with what is likely to be Sherwood Forest beyond, it depicts Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, later Sheriff of Nottingham, and his cousin and tutor Nathaniel Wasteneys either side of two horses with their respective grooms, and an array of arms in the foreground between them. Sir Hardolph is shown in a vivid and elaborately embroidered red costume, whilst his elder cousin Nathaniel, though dapper, is more soberly dressed in black. His status as a tutor is alluded to by the book that he holds, with the didactic maxims inscribed on the frame further emphasising the nature of the cousins’ relationship, and Sir Hardolph’s character as learned, wise and loyal. The two horses are clearly portraits in themselves. The chestnut bears a racing saddle for hunting, whilst the black horse in the centre bears what is likely to be a military saddle, used to support an armed knight. Both horses are shod with calkins, a type of shoe designed for use on slippery surfaces, and are accompanied by groomsmen in identical blue livery. In the foreground an impressive range of weapons are carefully laid out. They include a hunting spear, a long-gun fitted with a snaphance lock, and a yew-wood longbow with two arrows, a symbol of chivalric aspiration.3 Whilst Sir Hardolph holds his rapier by his side, Nathaniel’s sword lies on the ground emphasising his scholarly, rather than military bent. The flowering plants depicted in the background have symbolic significance. Nearest Nathaniel the honeysuckle represents family ties and the hawthorn blossom, allegiance to the House of Tudor.4 Beside Sir Hardolph again we find the honeysuckle and white dog rose, which represents the dichotomy of pleasure and pain. The choice of such flowers, considered in relation to the 1638 date of the painting and to the adage ‘Honor the King’ on the frame, both affirm the Wasteneys strong royalist loyalty to Charles I in the years of unrest prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. Sir Hardolph Wasteneys (1612–1673) was the eldest son of Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, 1st Bt. (d.1649) and Jane, daughter of Gervaise Eyre (c.1547–1626) of Newbold, Derbyshire. The Wasteneys were barons of Norman descent who arrived in England with William the Conqueror. Sir Hardolph matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1633, having been admitted to the Middle Temple in 1632. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1649, and was elected Sheriff of Nottingham in 1653, a post his father had likewise held in 1635. He married Anne Chicheley of Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, and died without issue, the title passing to his nephew, Edward (d.1679). The Wasteneys line became extinct on the death of the 4th and last baronet, Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, in 1742. The Headon estate, together with property in Lincolnshire brought by the 4th baronet’s wife Judith Johnson, passed to his great-niece Judith Laetitia Bury, and thence to her husband Anthony Eyre of Grove Hall
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Frans Hals (1582/3 – 1666)
An Unknown Man Oil on panel: 13 ½ x 10 9⁄16 in. (34.2 x 26.8 cm.) Signed with monogram lower right: FH Painted c.1660 – 1665 P rov e n a n c e José Ruiz de Arana y Bauer (1893 –1985), 4th Viscount Mamblas, 16th Duke of Baena, and Grandee of Spain, thence to Private collection, Biarritz, France; Private collection, Paris, France.
his compelling and masterful painting is a great new discovery and addition to the oeuvre of Frans Hals, who is acknowledged, along with Rembrandt and Vermeer, as one of the most important of all Dutch seventeenth century artists of the Golden Age. Only recently discovered in France, in October 2008 the portrait was designated by the French Government as trésor national. In the interim, The Louvre have been unsuccessful in their attempt to raise the funds to acquire the work, which their curator of seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish paintings, Blaise Ducos, has described as ‘a true masterpiece’ and ‘a perfect illustration of the reason why artists such as Van Gogh and Manet have seen Frans Hals as a model’.
1. Apart from one Rembrandt, many great names are missing from the Prado’s collection including Hals. For a recent interesting article on this subject, see Teresa Posada Kubisso, ‘Dutch painting in the Spanish royal collections’, CODART courant 21, Spring 2011, pp.14-15. 2. Hals is thought to have bought his panels ready made from a specialist panel maker. See Karen Groen and Ella Hendriks, ‘Frans Hals: A Technical Examination’ in exhibition cat. Frans Hals, ed. Seymour Slive, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Royal Academy, London; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, 1989 – 1990, pp.109-111. 3. I was able to study the painting in 2009 at the request of Christie’s in Paris in order to confirm an attribution to Frans Hals. 4. Portrait of a Man, panel, 31.5 x 25.5 cm., Mauritshuis, The Hague. See S. Slive, Frans Hals, III vols., New York & London, 1970 – 1974, cat. no. 210; Portrait of a Man, panel, 36 x 30 cm., Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Slive, cat. no.208; Portrait of a Preacher, panel, 36 x 30 cm., van Otterloo collection, USA; Slive, cat. no.209. See also exhibition cat. Frans Hals, no.78. 5. Slive, ibid., no.81. 6. Slive, ibid., nos.85 & 86.
The painting has survived in almost pristine condition having descended, untouched and unrestored, for several centuries within one of Spain’s most noble families. Its fomer owner José Ruiz de Arana y Bauer, or Pepe Mamblas as he was known in the 1930s, was a career diplomat who fled to France after the Republicans took power in Spain. He later served under Franco as Ambassador to the Court of St James’s in London and at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague until 1963 when he retired. One of his ancestors was Diego Felipez de Guzmán, 1st Marques de Leganés (1580 –1655), the great seventeenth century Spanish collector who amassed a collection of over one thousand three hundred paintings from predominantly the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools. That the painting has remained hitherto unknown and unrecorded is explicable when placed in the context of the lacuna and seeming disinterest in collecting Dutch seventeenth century art within Spain, which is perhaps only too understandable since the two counties were at war for so long.1 Whilst it is not impossible that this painting could have been acquired by Mamblas whilst on his travels as an ambassador, it is difficult to believe that the painting would have remained unnoticed if it had been in a collection elsewhere in Northern Europe. The panel has recently been studied by Ian Tyers and his dendrochronology test has revealed that the wood is not the commonly found Baltic oak, but has been sourced from elsewhere, possibly in Holland itself, or along the north-west German coast. The last tree ring dates to 1580, but since there is no sapwood it may well have been trimmed down from a wider board, and thus a more likely date for the wood would be 1640, giving a usage of c.1650 – 1660s.2
We are grateful to Dr. Pieter Biesboer, who recently retired as the chief curator of the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, for the following entry:
Painted on one piece of oak, this impressive work, which belies its small size and simple presentation, depicts a man set against a plain background.3 He wears a black cloak over a black doublet of modest cut and a simple white starched linen collar tied close by two cords ending in small linen tassels. In his left hand he holds the edge of the cloak, which is draped over his right shoulder and arm. One can immediately recognise the fluent brushwork and the freedom of handling of Frans Hals, so characteristic of his late works. At the end of his life Hals painted several small size portraits very similar in style to the present, until now unknown, unpublished work. One is in the Mauritshuis (see fig. iv), another at the Rijksmuseum (see fig. iii), and yet another in the van Otterloo collection (see fig. ii).4 All the sitters in these portraits are half figures and have a similar pose to the present work, their body turned towards the left and their face and gaze directed straight towards the viewer. There is not a single documented picture by Hals from the 1660s. However, it is known that the portrait of the preacher Herman Langelius should date to just before 1660 5 and the group portraits of the Regents and Regentesses of the Old Men’s Almshouse should date from circa 1664, since they served from 1662 – 1665.6 These two paintings
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form the framework on the basis of which twelve other late paintings by Hals have been dated on stylistic grounds. The present painting fits perfectly in this group and represents a superb addition. As in the other late works, the form of the face is built up with light and dark touches melting ‘wet in wet’ into the middle tone. A typical characteristic of Hals’s paintings are the double ridges in the impasto brushstrokes, which can be found in the lead white of the collar and some of the highlights in the hair. 7 Also, the use of ivory black as a pigment for the deep black shadows is typical of original Hals paintings.8 They can be found in the deep folds of the cloak, the pupils of the eyes, in the shading to the the locks of hair, the contours of the chin, and some in the shading around the eye sockets. These ivory black brushstrokes were added to the painting as the finishing touches on top of the other paint layers in the last phase. Thus, Hals created a greater plasticity. 7. Usually a right-handed artist would leave an upstanding ridge of impasto paint on the right side; a left-handed artist would do the same on the left side. Frans Hals is the only artist in Haarlem who leaves double ridges. The renowned conservator Martin Bijl, was the first who found this unique characteristic in Hals’s brushwork at his technical examinations of paintings by Frans Hals and his followers. The result of his examinations will be published more extensively. 8. Martin Bijl also found ivory black or bone black in many of Frans Hals’s paintings.
Other more generally found characteristics are the colour of the reddish yellow preparatory ground consisting of a mixture of lead white, yellow ochre and some red ochre pigments. In the present painting Hals left an area almost uncovered in the upper right background to suggest the light coming in from the left. In the lower right, he painted the figure’s strong shadow falling on the wall with a few bold rapid brushstrokes. The rendering of the hair in deft, flowing brushstrokes compares with the hair in the small Rijksmuseum portrait, though there it is cut shorter. As in the face, the light and dark brushstrokes in the hair melt ‘wet in wet’ in the middle ground tone, creating a maximum of expressive details. Most eloquent, however, is the facial expression of the man, accentuated by the frown lines above his strong nose which, so characteristically for this man, give a particular shape to his eyebrows. Also, the intense expression in his eyes contributes to the extremely lively, direct characterisation that Hals achieved so masterfully. Hals already in his time was admired for the ‘after life’ likeness of his portraits. No other artist was able to emulate Hals with his keen eye for the individual expression in the faces of his sitters. Even in a small portrait like this he presents us with the best of his unusual, unique talents
Frans Post, c.1655 Oil on panel, 27.5 x 23 cm. Worcester Art Museum, USA. This Frans Hals was sold by The Weiss Gallery in 1994. 64
(i) Unknown Man, c.1660 - 1665 Oil on panel: 34.2 x 26.8 cm. The Weiss Gallery, London
(ii) Unknown Man, c.1660 Oil on panel, 35.5 x 29.5 cm. van Otterloo collection, USA
(iii) Unknown Man, 1656 –1658 Oil on panel, 37 x 29.8 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
(iv) Unknown Man, c.1660 Oil on panel, 31.6 x 25.5 cm. Mauritahuis, The Hague
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Sir Peter Lely (1618 – 1680)
Samuel Crew (? – 1660) Oil on canvas: 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.) Signed with monogram ‘PL’ (lower left) Painted c.1650 – 1652 Provenance Presumably Jemima Crew, the sitter’s sister, who married Sir Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich (1625 – 1672), of Hinchingbrooke Castle; Thence by descent until, Hinchingbrooke Castle sale, 5th June 1957, where purchased by Roger Warner (1913 – 2008), Burford, Oxfordshire. Literature R. Beckett, Lely, London, 1951, p.42, no.142, fig.16, as of c.1647. To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonée of the work of Sir Peter Lely by Diana Dethloff and Catharine MacLeod. Exhibited London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1923. Bath, British Fine Arts Club, Art Treasures Exhibition, 29 May – 7 June 1958, no.340, lent by the Earl of Sandwich
his superb and noble portrait is one of the finest examples of Sir Peter Lely’s artistry at the outset of his career in England. The haunting beauty of the young man is captured with a seemingly effortless simplicity that belies the technique required to achieve it. By the date of this portrait, Lely had only been in England for a few years after his arrival from his native Holland where he had worked as a landscape painter, as well as a portraitist.
Lely places young Master Crew slightly off-centre in the canvas, a characteristic feature of his other early portraits. He gazes directly and intently at the viewer; his seriousness in contrast to his youthful looks. The plain, warm brown background contains no distracting detail, and this, together with the young boy’s simple pose – no hands visible to suggest distracting movement – convey a sense of quietness and calm dignity. The boy’s features, with his rather high forehead and distinctive hairline, are subtly individualised, although the highlights on his nose, in the corner of his left eye, and the rather limpid way the whites of the eyes are painted, are all typical features of Lely’s work. The crisp whites of the thinly painted collar, and the thick impasto of his undershirt (again features found in other early Lelys), stand out in contrast to the rich velvety blacks of his costume, decorated with what appears to be a ruffled ribbon sash across his chest. Technically and psychologically – one wonders if Lely stayed with the Crew family and got to know his young sitter reasonably well – this is a beautiful portrait, a superb example from what is still, and undeservedly, a relatively unknown period in Lely’s career. The sitter is an adolescent Samuel Crew, a member of a Northamptonshire family, who were to commission a number of family portraits from Lely during the 1650s. His parents were John Crew of Stene (1598 –1670), MP and Speaker of the House of Commons (1623 –1625) and Jemima Waldegrave (1602–1675), the daughter and co-heir of Edward Waldegrave, of Lawford Hall, Essex. Little is known about his life except that, as with his elder brother Nathaniel (1633 –1721), Samuel chose an ecclesiastical life, becoming a reverend of the Protestant clergy. Peter Lely, the son of a Dutch military officer, was born in Germany at Soest in Westphalia in 1618. Though his family name was van der Faes, he assumed the name Lely after the lily that was carved on the gable of his father’s home in The Hague. He studied in Haarlem before moving to London in 1641 and in 1647 he became a freeman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company. Initially, Lely painted a variety of subject matter including landscape, religious, and mythological scenes, however, he quickly recognized the strength of the English market for portraiture. By working for many of the patrons of the late van Dyck, Lely rapidly established himself as one of the country’s most important portrait painters, including Charles I as patron. 1. We are grateful to Diana Dethloff, who is currently compiling with Catharine MacLeod, a catalogue raisonée of the work of Sir Peter Lely, for her assistance with this entry.
Greatly influenced by the work of Anthony Van Dyck, Lely’s paintings reflect his sense of scale and shimmering handling of paint. However, Lely marries this with his own impeccable drawing and Dutch qualities of rich colour, exquisite draperies, dramatic lighting, and romantic landscape. For years Lely had no serious rivals, and was enormously influential.1
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Sir Peter Lely (c.1618 –1680)
An Unknown Young Gentleman Oil on canvas: 49 x 40 in. (126 x 102 cm.) Painted c.1670s Provenance By descent to George Eardley-Twistleton-Fiennes (1769 –1844), 14th Lord Saye & Sele, Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire; Sold at Enoch & Redfern, July 4th 1837, lot 16 (as ‘Sir Peter Lely, Portrait of a Gentleman’) to Thomas Prothero (1780–1853); Thence by descent with the Prothero and Wiseman Clarke family (old labels on verso); Private collection, England. Literature To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonée of the work of Sir Peter Lely by Diana Dethloff and Catharine MacLeod.
he extravagant swagger and vibrant colours of this sumptuous costume piece painted by Sir Peter Lely at the end of his career are in dramatic contrast to the quiet restraint and sombre palette of his portrait of Samuel Crew (see no.21), painted at the beginning of his career. As the leading portrait painter of aristocracy and society during the Restoration court of Charles II (1630 –1685), demand for his portraiture was so overwhelming, both for ad vivum and copies, that from the 1670s onwards it became common practice that Lely’s actual participation in his highly organised studio was often restricted to painting just the sitter’s head and hands, with the remainder of the painting completed by his assistants.1
Whilst our portrait dates from the latter part of Lely’s career, a period when his portrait production was dominated by repeated types and works largely finished by his assistants, this does not appear to be the case in this painting. Indeed, the quality of finish is very high; the rendering is crisp and fluent, the impasto vigorous and free and the landscape is richly atmospheric, with a suggestion of the Dutch Italianate landscape painters whose work he would have known in Holland. In our painting, Lely’s ability as a colourist is displayed to the full with remarkable contrast of the rich browns and reds of the clothing with the fresh skin tones of the sitter. In short, these are techniques which no studio assistant could emulate.
1. By 1670, he had numbered his poses and postures from which patrons were able to select their choice.
The sitter’s identity remains to be determined, but the provenance of the painting would suggest that he is one of the family members of the Lords Saye and Sele of Broughton Castle from whence the portrait descended. The purchaser at the Broughton Castle sale of 1837 was Thomas Prothero, a wealthy Monmouthshire landowner and subsequently High Sheriff of Monmouth (1846). He lived at Malpas Court, Monmouthsire, Wales. By the early twentieth century the Prothero family name had changed to Wiseman Clarke, within whose family the portrait remained until recently
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Thomas van der Wilt (1659 – 1733)
An Unknown Young Girl Oil on canvas: 21 ½ x 17 ¼ in. (54.6 x 43.8 cm.) Signed and dated lower left ‘TVander: Wilt 1704’ Painted 1704 Provenance Private collection, USA.
he young girl in this exquisite little portrait is whimsically presented by the artist in classical costume, adorned with pearls, symbols of her purity. She holds a rose from an urn of flowers, their fresh blooms symbolic of her ‘coming-of-age’, while a statue of the goddess Diana by a fountain in a capriccio landscape beyond alludes to her chastity. Such small-scale ‘presentation’ portraits set in imaginary, aspirational landscapes with virtuosic perspective, were a specialism of van der Wilt, of which ours is a beautiful example and in particularly well-preserved condition. A Delft artist, Thomas van der Wilt was a pupil of Jan Verkolje, who pioneered the mezzotint engraving technique, of which van der Wilt became famously adept. His attention to fine detail, a result of this training, led him to paint wonderfully precise portraits and genre scenes. He entered the guild of St. Luke some time after 1677, and was several times appointed headman between 1690 – 1714. Van der Wilt lived on the east side of the Koornmarkt, where he received commissions from the well-heeled of Delft. In the contemporary author Boitet’s History of Delft, published in 1729, many works by Thomas van der Wilt were listed in prominent Delft collections, including an Anatomy Lesson for the Guild. Examples of his work can be seen in the collections of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, and the Provincial Museum of Linz
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Antonio David (1684 – 1750)
Prince James Edward Stuart, The Old Pretender (1688 – 1766) Oil on canvas: 17 ¼ x 13 in. (44 x 33 cm.) Painted c.1720 Provenance By descent at Cullen House Banffshire, presumably from James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater and 1st Earl of Seafield (1663 –1730), the noted statesman and Secretary of State for Scotland; to John Charles Ogilvy -Grant, 7th Earl of Seafield; by whom bequeathed to Major William Baird of Lennoxlove; thence by descent. Exhibited Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The Palace of History: Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry, 1911.
s an icon of the Jacobite cause, James Francis Edward Stuart was the subject of numerous works of art during his lifetime. Few however, stand as singularly vibrant as the outstandingly accomplished portrait by Antonio David. Our small-scale portrait is a riduzione or ricordo of that picture, which was previously with The Weiss Gallery in 1998.1 As an official portrait painter of the exiled Jacobite court in Rome, David formed a close acquaintance with the Stuarts after they decamped to Rome in early 1717. Pre-eminent amongst Italian portraitists, David worked almost exclusively for the House of Stuart for nearly twenty years, also painting the Old Pretender’s two children Prince Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender (1720 – 1788) and Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal York (1725 – 1807), both painted circa 1732 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh). This half-length portrait, painted at the inauguration of David’s association with the Pretender, features him in a fashionably high-peaked wig and donning a lacy cravat above a highly sheened ceremonial breast-plate. An appearance of splendour is increased by the red velvet and fur cloak on which are incorporated the sitter’s distinctions: the blue of the Garter and the rich greens and gold of the Thistle. With David’s emphasis on texture, opulence and colour he achieves a representation which epitomises kingly magnificence and rivals the portraiture of James’s French contemporary, Louis XV; more pertinently, it would have also successfully eclipsed the comparatively lack-luster likenesses of Queen Anne and George I across the channel. The incorporation of James’s Orders would seem to facilitate the dating of this portrait to post c.1717. Having returned from his unsuccessful campaign in Scotland in 1716, and wishing to recognise the efforts of his Jacobite supporters, James for the first time chose to display the Order of the Thistle as well as the Order of the Garter on his chest. Where previously these Orders were incompatible if worn together, new regulations issued from Avignon in April 1716 decreed that the Thistle could now be worn with the Sash. 1. Illustrious Company: Early Portraits (1545 – 1720), 1998. no.25. This portrait may well be the same painting that was sent to John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar in early 1718, as described in a letter written by David to the Earl dated 9 February. See W.G.Blaikie, ‘Antonio David: A Contribution to Stuart Iconography’, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, vol.56, no.325, April 1930, pp.202-204. 2. P. Monod, Jacobitism and the English people 1688 –1788, 1989, p.70.
After secretly arriving in France with his mother, Mary of Modena in 1688, James Edward, who was the only son of James II (1633 –1701), spent his earliest years under the protection of Louis XIV. After his father’s death in 1701 James Edward was declared King by Stuart supporters and later attempted officially to claim his title by landing in Scotland in 1715. On his failure, he was offered refuge in Rome by Pope Clement XI, and given the Palazzo Muti as his residence. Continuing their legacy of artistic patronage the Stuarts made their court in Rome an important centre for painting, employing the greatest and most fashionable portraitists, not only including David, but also Francesco Trevisani, Louis-Gabriel Blanchet and Rosalba Carriera. Portraits were a central ingredient of the long campaign of political propaganda to win support for the Jacobite cause, and were disseminated throughout Europe to James’s supporters. Written by an anyonymous poet, whilst alluding to a portrait of James Edward Stuart, the following panegyric leaves no doubt as to the devotional function of these portraits, underlying the Jacobite claim:2
What Briton can survey that heavenly Face, And doubt his being of the Martyrs Race, Ev’ry fine feature does his birth declare, The Monarch and Saint are shining there
facing the past
Philip Reinagle (1749 – 1833)
John Windham Dalling (1769 – 1786) Oil on canvas, 28 1⁄8 x 20 7⁄8 in. (71.4 x 53 cm.) Signed lower right ‘Php Reinagle’ In its original French Louis XV carved and gilded frame Painted c.1776 – 1777 Provenance By descent through the Windham, Dalling and Meade families of Earsham Hall, Bungay, Suffolk.
his enchanting portrait depicts a young boy at the very start of a military career that within ten or so years was to be tragically ended by malaria. The painting therefore stands testament to not only the aspirations of his proud parents, but also an endearingly intimate memento of a life cut short. Likely commissioned to mark John Windham’s military coming of age, though no older than six or seven years of age, he is shown wearing the uniform of a militiaman of the third battalion of the 60th Regiment of Foot, made apparent by the medallion pinned to his bandolier, surmounted with a coronet and inscribed ‘LX 3 ’. He wears the regiment’s uniform of a jaunty red coat and plumed cocked hat, and casually holds a rifle in his right hand, while pointing to a military exercise between fellow redcoats in the distance. This gestural pose echoes that of the famous ancient Greek statue Apollo Belvedere, and was made popular by Allan Ramsay, then the leading painter in London, and in whose studio Reinagle was working in the 1770s. Our portrait, with its fluid and dexterous handling, is a fine example of not only Reinagle’s skill as a portrait painter, but also as an observer of the natural world. This portrait, in which John Windham is clearly still an adored little boy, not long out of the nursery, dates to circa 1776 – 1777. This coincides with when his father, Sir John Dalling, 1st Bt. (c.1731–1798), was made Colonel of the 60th Foot, a post he held for little over a year, before being promoted in August 1777 to the rank of Major-General, and then on 1st September appointed Governor of Jamaica. By 1786 Sir John and his family were in India, where he was Commander-in-chief in Madras, and a member of the ruling council. It was here and in that year that his son now aged seventeen, like so many British and other Europeans, contracted malaria and died of the fever. Upon his recall to England his father was granted an annuity of £1,000 for life, and in 1796 was promoted to the rank of General. The untimely death of John Windham led to his parents subsequently having another child and identically naming him John Windham (1789 – 1853), clearly in remembrance of their lost son. This second John Windham Dalling went on to have a distinguished career as a Captain in the Royal Navy, having served as a midshipman on the Defence at Trafalgar in 1805, while his elder surviving brother, William Windham (1775 – 1864), succeeded to the baronetcy that would have been the deceased little John Windham’s title. Reinagle’s touching, and by then poignant portrait, would have stayed in the family seat at Earsham House, Bungay. Sir William died without issue, so the Hall passed to his nephew, John Meade (1812 – 1886), and from thence down the Meade line. Earsham Hall was finally sold in the 1970s. Philip Reinagle, originally of Hungarian descent, was born in 1749 in Scotland where his family, believed to be supporters of James Stuart, the Young Pretender, had settled five years earlier. In 1769, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in London and by the 1770s he was first the pupil of and main studio assistant for Sir Allan Ramsay. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1773, sending portraits almost exclusively until 1785. Although by this time Reinagle had become very successful as a portraitist in his own right, when Ramsay left for Italy, he delegated to Reinagle the stultifyingly boring task of completing fifty replicas of state portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte. This monotonous work supposedly put Reinagle off portraiture for the rest of his career. Thereafter he turned to sporting art, and he popularly became known for his depictions of dogs, birds and dead game, as well as landscapes. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1787, but did not become an academician until 1812, when he presented as his diploma picture An Eagle and a Vulture disputing with a Hyaena. He likewise exhibited frequently at the British Institution. During his lifetime he was to show more than two hundred and fifty paintings. He died at 5 York Place, Chelsea, London, on 27 November 1833, aged 84
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Published on Mar 12, 2014