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The Weiss Gallery 59 Jermyn Street London SW1Y 6LX Tel 020 7409 0035 Fax 020 7491 9604
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I would like to thank in particular my fellow Director Florence Evans for doing the great majority of the work in producing this yearâ€™s catalogue, and to offer my gratitude to the following for their assistance too: Brian Allen, Arnout Balis, Ben van Beneden, Piero Boccardo, Christopher Brown, Sabine Craft-Giepmans, Piers Davies, Hugo Donnithorne-Tait, Blaise Ducos, Alessandro Galli, Janet Grant, Mina Gregori, Alison Harpur, Karen Hearn, Nicholas Herman, Carlos Herrero-Starkie, Paul Huvenne, Eric Inglis, Jan Kindem, Peter Klein, Dieter Koepplin, Catharine MacLeod, Angelica Poggi, Werner Schade, Amparo Serrano de Haro, Francesco Solinas, Roy Strong, Marco Tanzi, David Taylor, Letizia Treves, Ian Tyers, Mary Webster, Thomas Woodcock and my beloved wife Catherine Weiss Restoration: Katherine Ara, Henry Gentle, Fabio Mazzocchini and Debra Weiss Photography: Prudence Cuming Associates and Matthew Hollow Framing: John Davies and Rollo Whately Catalogue Design & Production: Ashted Dastor
Front cover: An Unknown Genoese Noblewoman detail (no.19) Page 2: Study (tronie) of an Old Manâ€™s Head detail(no.18)
= Contents = 1 School of Tours (c.1469 – 1470) Louis XI (1423 – 1483), King of France 2 Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515 – 1586) The Nymph of the Spring 3 Studio of William Scrots (fl.1537 – 1553) Edward VI (1537 – 1553), King of England 4 English school (c.1555) Sir Edward Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of Loughborough (c.1512/15 – 1572) 5 George Gower (1530 – 1596) Jennet Parkinson, wife of Cuthbert Hesketh of Whitehill, Lancashire 6 William Larkin (c.1580/5 – 1619) Mary, Lady Vere (1581 – 1671)
12 Frans Pourbus the Elder (1545 – 1581) Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528 – 1580) 13 Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) Caterine van Damme (b.1540) 14 Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) An Unknown Man 15 Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) An Academic, possibly Justus Lipsius (1547 – 1606) 16 Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) Archduke Albert VII of Austria (1559 – 1621) 17 Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) Louis XIII (1601 – 1643), King of France
7 William Larkin (c.1580/5 – 1619) Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset (1590 – 1676)
18 Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1594 – 1645) Study (tronie) of an Old Man’s Head
8 Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661) An Unknown Lady
19 Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641) An Unknown Genoese Noblewoman
9 Sofonisba Anguissola (c.1532 – 1625) An Unknown Spanish Noblewoman
20 John Riley (1646 – 1691) Charles II (1630 – 1685), King of England
10 Gervasio Gatti (c.1550 – 1630) Giuliano II Cesarini (1572 – 1613)
21 John Riley (1646 – 1691) Elizabeth Fox (1661 – 1702/3)
11 Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639) David contemplating the Head of Goliath
22 Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. (1723 – 1792) Study for the Uffizi Self-portrait
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Isaac Oliver, Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, 1959, 4 1⁄2 × 6 1⁄4 in. (11.5 × 15.7 cm.) Actual size
= Introduction = by
his catalogue, produced in my 60th year, includes – in what has truly been an annus mirabilis for me – some of the greatest and most exciting acquisitions of my career including newly
discovered works by Orazio Gentileschi, Pourbus the Younger, Rubens and – not one, but two – portraits by William Larkin. It also includes two ravishingly beautiful works by Cranach the Younger and Van Dyck. That this follows on from the extraordinarily successful Tudor and Stuart Portraits exhibition at TEFAF in 2012, for which we produced yet another very beautiful catalogue, is even more gratifying. For TEFAF 2013, we continued with another remarkable thematic exhibition with an unprecedented display of seven works by three generations of the Pourbus family, six of which are published here.
The last twelve months has also seen my great regard for one of our finest institutions, the National Portrait Gallery, marked by my support for two important exhibitions within the period for which I am synonymous. The first was a particularly fascinating and acclaimed show, The Lost Prince, curated by Catharine MacLeod, on the life and times of Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales, which ran from October 2012 to January 2013. The second, Elizabeth and her People, curated by Tarnya Cooper, will run for the same period opening this coming October and which I am certain will be equally successful. I am also very proud that in the summer of last year, The National Portrait Gallery acquired with my assistance a newly discovered and highly important miniature by Isaac Oliver of Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses (shown left), which will go on display publically for the first time in the exhibition. I encourage everyone to go and see it, and also the veritable jewel-like masterpiece by Gentileschi which, having been sold privately earlier this year, is being generously loaned to our National Gallery.
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School of Tours circa 1469
Louis XI (1423 – 1483), King of France Oil on panel: 14 ¾ × 8 ¾ in. (36.5 × 22.2 cm.) Painted circa 1469 Inscribed on an old hand-written label on the reverse: ‘Portrait original de Louis onze/ donné par le roi à rigauld/ d’aurel seigneur et Baron/ de Villeneuve du che[r] et/ de Villefranche, qui servit/ ce prince et ses trois successeurs,/ comme chambellan ou maître/ d’hotel, ambassadeur et/ homme de guerre distingué./ Ce portrait fut placé dans le [the latter two words crossed out] par rigauld d’aurel/ dans le château qu’il fit construire/ à Villeneuve-lembron lieu de sa naissance et y/ a toujours été conservé jusqu’a/ ce jour./ Il appartient à M. de féligonde/ conseiller à riom, propriétaire/ du susdit château de Villeneuve’. Provenance 1 Said to have been presented by Louis XI (the sitter) to his maître d’hôtel, Rigauld d’Aureille Seigneur and Baron de Villeneuve (1455 – 1517), Château de Villeneuvre-Lembron (Puy de-Dôme), Auvergne; and by descent to his son, Maximilien d’Aureille (d.1572); and by descent to Jacques-Michel Pellissier de Féligonde (1800 – 1871), advisor to the Court at Riom; The Passion collection; with Wildenstein, from circa 1935 until 2012. Exhibited New York, World’s Fair (Pavillon de la France), Five Centuries of History Mirrored in Five Centuries of French Art, 1939, no.36 (as Jean Fouquet); New York, Wildenstein, The Great Tradition of French Painting, June – October 1939, no.4; New York, Wildenstein, Fashion in Headdress, 27 April – 27 May 1943, no.4; New York, Wildenstein, French Art Benefit for American Aid to France, December 1946; Denver, The Denver Art Museum, Art of the Middle Ages, 10 December 1950 –11 February 1951; São Paulo, Museo de Arte, O retrato na França, January 1952, no.1; Dallas, Museum of Fine Arts, Six Centuries of Headdress, 3 April –1 May 1955, no.1; New York, Wildenstein, The Painter as Historian, 15 November – 31 December 1962, no.22.
1. The inscription, which is presumed to date from the late nineteenth century, suggests that this portrait was painted originally for the king himself, and then given to Rigaud d’Aureille, Baron de Villeneuve (1455 – 1517), his chamberlain and ambassador, to whom he also bestowed the Order of SaintMichel. D’Aureille would also serve under Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I. He built the great Château de VilleneuveLembron (1488 – 1515) to the south-east of Clermont-Ferrand. The painting remained at the Château into the nineteenth century.
Literature G. Ruprich-Robert, “Rigault d’Oureille, Sénéchal de Gascogne et de l’Agenais, et son château de Villeneuve-Lembron,” in L’Auvergne Littéraire, Artistique et Historique, 2ème cahier, 1935; F. Mercier, Le Portrait de Louis XI de Villeneuve-Lembron, Paris, n.d., pp.3-6; A. Frankfurter, “The French Tradition: Festival Show,” in Art News, vol. XXXVII, 10 June 1939, p.14; M. Vaughan, “Eight Exhibitions: Wildenstein & Company,” in Parnassus, XI, no.6, October 1939, p.21, reproduced pp.16 and 20 (as Jean Fouquet); R. Frost, “Fashion in Headdress,” in Art News, XLII, 15-31 May, 1943, p.9, reproduced (as Jean Fouquet, and dated to 1472); Town and Country, July 1947, reproduced (colour); O.K Bach, “Art of the Middle Ages,” in Denver Art Museum Quarterly, Winter 1950, reproduced p.10; “Amerika, Austellungen Ausserhalb New York City,” in Pantheon, XXI, no.1, January - February 1963, p.53 (as French School, 15th Century); L.B. Smith, The Horizon Book of the Elizabethan World, New York 1967, reproduced in colour on p.26 (as attributed to Fouquet); P.M. Kendall, Warwick the Kingmaker, New York 1968, reproduced in the plate between pp.206 and 207; E. Le Roy Ladurie, L’État Royal de Louis XI à Henri IV, 1460 – 1610, Paris 1987, a detail reproduced in colour on the dust jacket; C. Gauvard, ed., Il était une fois la France: vingt siècles d’histoire, Paris, Brussels, Montreal and Zurich 1987, pp.114-115, a detail reproduced in colour on p.114; C. Weightman, Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 1446-1503, Gloucester and New York 1989, reproduced p.32.
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his strikingly bold portrait of the great Valois king, Louis XI, in extraordinary state of preservation, is one of only three known likenesses created during his lifetime and is the only known portrait to survive in oil. Given that Louis is shown wearing the chivalric Order of Saint Michel, which he founded in August 1469, this gives us a post ante quem for the dating, when the king was aged forty-six or forty-seven.2 Although other portraits of the king must have existed, they are now lost as is much other early French art due to the destruction wreaked by the iconoclastic movements that followed.3 Our portrait is the defining image of Louis XI and although numerous other copies and versions are known, none of them are contemporary. Technical analysis has proven incontrovertibly that it was painted during the king’s lifetime, and may be the prime version or after another lost original. Dendrochronological analysis of the panel, carried out by Dr. Peter Klein of Hamburg University, suggests an earliest plausible usage date of 1455, though more likely is a usage date a decade or so later. A further report dated 27 December 2012 has been written by Katherine Ara in conjunction with Art, Access and Research Group (Ref: AAR0354). Louis is presented in profile facing right, his features in stark relief against a dark background. Plainly but regally dressed in a rich red velvet, he is depicted not as the successful military leader who at the beginning of his reign fought to unite the kingdoms of France, but as a prince worn with years. Commynes states in his memoires that Louis ‘was the humblest in his conversation and Habit’. For head covering he wore heavy hats of beaver or wool, and he wore short garments in a period when long garments were more fashionable.4 Wrinkles have marked his features and hardened his expression. The lower part of his face is heavy, and his eyes are baggy. The prominent aquiline nose, his slightly pinched mouth and the peculiar formation of the join between the bridge of the nose and his eyebrows are all characteristic of Louis XI’s features. Devoid of flattery, the simplicity and deliberate harshness of this portrait are true to the traditions of French painters at that time, ‘whose habit was to depict their sovereigns not with pomp and a display of attributes but with a disarming and intimate sincerity’.5
2. The Order of St. Michel dedicated to the Archangel Michael consisted of a gold badge with the saint standing on a rock (Mont Saint-Michel) in combat with the serpent. This was suspended from an elaborate gold collar made of cockleshells – the badge of a pilgrim, especially those to Santiago de Compostela – and linked with double knots. 3. Inglis, 2011, p.105, op. cit. 4. See: P. Commynes, The Memoirs of Philippe de Comines, Vol. I, Book I, Chapt. X, p.81 London: John Phillips. 5. J. Dupont, ‘A Portrait of Louis II Attributed to Jean Perréal’, The Burlington Magazine, 1947, vol. 89, p.236. 6. From the depths of defeat, when the moral and material life of France was at its lowest ebb at the end of the Hundred Years War with England (1337 – 1453), France rose again to become a great nation, strong and prosperous. Its renaissance owed much to the progressiveness, organisational skills, statesmanship and pragmatic realism of Louis XI. 7. L. Campbell, Renaissance Portraits: European Portrait-Painting in the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries, 1990. 8. K. Christiansen and S. Weppelmann, (eds.), The Renaissance Portrait: From Donatello to Bellini, Exhibition catalogue: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2011, pp.214-217.
Considered one of the first modern kings of France, Louis XI reigned for twenty-two years, forging a strong and united country, and taking France out of the medieval feudal system.6 Through war, political expediency and at times sheer guile and cunning, he managed to persuade the English to relinquish their claim to French territory. He also fought internal battles, transforming the governance of France into an organised, centralised monarchy. His reign was characterised by wars and unrelenting political struggle, but the ensuing period of stability that followed these reforms made it possible for trade to prosper and consequently an artistic Renaissance in France to flourish, even though Louis personally had little enthusiasm to commission art. This artistic blossoming was evident not only in the work of Jean Fouquet (1420 – 1481), the preeminent French painter of the 15th century, but also in the work of Michel Colombe (c.1430 – c.1513) the leading sculptor of his time. It seems unusual that the chosen format of the portrait is in profile, a convention much favoured in Italy during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but which further north had become outmoded by the 1420s.7 The artistic trend in fifteenth century France was towards greater realism and three-quarter-length portraits – notably the portrait of Louis’ father, Charles VII, circa 1450 by Jean Fouquet (Musée du Louvre). As such the profile format at first appears a conflicting and almost retrograde step. However, the most likely rationale was a decision to continue the older French tradition of depicting the royal image in profile, for example that of Louis’ famous ancestor Jean le Bon (1319 – 1364), (Musée du Louvre, fig.1), in the wish to conform to an ideal of courtly decorum and princely appearance.8
fig.1 Jean Fouquet (1420 – 1481), King Charles VII of France (1403 – 1461), c.1450 © Musée du Louvre, Paris
Well versed in humanist ideals, Louis would have fully appreciated the usefulness of princely images in promoting his legitimacy and status as king, and parallels with antique coin portraits and contemporary portrait medals can also be made. Italian numanistic traditions dictated the favoured profile format, and in 1461 on his accession to the throne, Louis did indeed commission a medal with his portrait from Francesco Laurana (d. c.1502). Laurana worked at both the court in Naples and the court of Louis’ uncle, René d’Anjou in Aix-en-Provence. Nuttall explains that the continuing fashion for profile portraits in fifteenth century Italy may be ‘connected with the humanistic fashion for antique coins, which contained profile portraits, or with the profile’s longstanding association with regal imagery’.9 Although our portrait is undoubtedly influenced by the art at the courts of Italy, it is painted on a single plank of French oak, which helps confirm that it was most likely painted in France. Attention turns to the French court painters, in particular artists working within the remit of the School of Tours, in the Val-deLoire. At this time Louis XI often visited the region, escorted by his wealthy lords who were likewise artistic patrons.10 Although Louis never remained long in one place, his favorite residences were Amboise and his chateau at Plessis-les-Tours, so when he finally took up his residence at Tours in 1469, this helped to concentrate artistic activity in the region.11
9. P. Nuttall, From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400 – 1500, 2004. 10. Béatrice de Chancel-Bardelot, Pascale Charron, Pierre-Gilles Girault and Jean-Marie Guillouët, Tours 1500. Capitales des arts, 2012, Somogy Editions d’art : Exhibition Catalogue, Musée des Beaux Arts Tours. 11. P. Girault, Organisation professionnelle et réseaux d’artistes à Tours vers 1500: l’exemple du métier des peintres, pp.121-123. In Chancel-Bardelot et al., 2012 (op. cit). 12. E. Inglis, Jean Fouquet and the Invention of France. Art and Nation after the Hundred Years War, p.63. 13. We know from a mid-sixteenth century text that Fouquet had two sons who were also painters, Francois and Louis, (Avril, 2003, p.24 cited by Inglis 2011 p.15). 14. See Chancel-Bardelot et al., L’école de Tours ou l’ école du Val de Loire en question, 2012, pp.37-49 (op. cit.).
Our portrait has traditionally been attributed to Jean Fouquet (c.1420 – 1481), the pre-eminent royal portraitist to Charles VII, also employed by Louis XI as peintre du roi for a period of five years in the 1470s, during which time he produced paintings, banners and manuscripts for the king as well as designs for stained glass and tapestries. It is within this orbit of activity that Fouquet became the major founding figure of 15th Century art in Tours. Contemporary reports and documentary evidence attest to how active Fouquet was in the service of Louis XI, which suggests that he had the resources necessary – almost certainly model books and portrait drawings – to produce a living likeness of Louis XI from which other Tourian artists may have borrowed.12 However, no document recording the commissioning of a portrait of Louis XI survives, and academic opinion no longer supports an attribution to Fouquet. It seems more probable that, given the dating of this painting, the artist was based at the School of Tours, and we are grateful to Professor Eric Inglis for suggesting this attribution.13 Indeed, recent academic research has begun to distinguish art from this region of the Val de Loire as unique to this area of France. Flemish-influenced, and with its own distinct ‘diffusion de l’italianisme’ (seen mainly in the illuminated manuscripts), the artists from the School of Tours used the principles of renaissance perspective yet set in distinctly French landscapes with Val-de-Loire architecture clearly present.14
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Lucas Cranach the Younger 1515 – 1586
The Nymph of the Spring Oil on panel: 22 ½ × 30 ¾ in. (57 × 78 cm.) Signed centre right on the tree-trunk with the device of a winged serpent1 and inscribed upper left: ‘FONTIS NYMPHA SACRI/ SOMNVM NE RVMPE/ QVIESCO –‘ Painted circa 1540 – 1550 Provenance Rudolf Oppenheim, Berlin, in 1925; with Alfred Gold Gallery, Berlin; from whom acquired by Philippe Cognacq in 1932; thence by descent until Audap-Mirabaud, Drouot, Paris, 7 November 2011, lot 7 (as ‘Lucas Cranach the Elder’, unsold); acquired from the Estate of Philippe Cognacq, 2012. . Literature M. J. Friedländer & J. Rosenberg, Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach, 1932, no. 323, illus., (as executed after 1537).M. J. Friedländer & J. Rosenberg, Les Peintures de Lucas Cranach, 1978, no.402, illus., (as executed after 1537).I. Lübbeke, The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection: Early German Painting (1350 – 1550), 1991, p.208, fig. 3.
f all the subjects that emanated from the studio of Lucas Cranach the Elder and his son, it was the seductive female nude that most beguiled their wealthy noble patrons, be it Eve, Venus, Lucretia or a nymph such as ours. Today their sensuality continues to fascinate, and they remain the most iconic and desirable of the Cranach oeuvre, representing the pinnacle of the duo’s painterly brilliance and innovation.2 The design of this subject was first devised by Cranach the Elder and its obvious appeal to patrons saw its usage throughout the life of the Cranach studio, being recreated in differing versions at least a dozen times between c.1515 to c.1550. Indeed, Cranach the Elder was the first to paint a mythological nude north of the Alps (Venus & Cupid, 1509), whilst in Venice, south of the Alps, Giorgione painted a Sleeping Venus, around 1508 – 1510. Our version, with its beautifully preserved surface, is a particularly fine example and closely follows the very large scale variant by the Elder which is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid (fig.1).
1. In 1508 the Elector gave Cranach the Elder the winged serpent as an emblem, or Kleinod. However, after 1537, his eldest son, Hans, died during a trip to Italy, and so Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger adapted the bat-wings to become bird-wings, in his memory, as seen here. 2. We are grateful to Prof. Dieter Koepplin and Prof. Werner Schade for confirming the attribution on first hand inspection. 3. In a letter dated 15 September 2011. 4. At this time Cranach the Elder headed a prestigious studio with his son in which he conceived compositions and participated in the execution of the paintings, much as Pieter Breughel the Younger would in his family studio one hundred years later.
fig.1 Cranach the Elder, c.1526 – 1530 © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Dr. Dieter Koepplin has written that ‘I believe that the painting is painted in important parts by Lucas Cranach the Younger himself, or partly also as well by Lucas Cranach the Elder. It is impossible to distinguish reliably both hands in the works around 1540 – 50.’3 There are passages of such finesse, notably the nymph’s head, that it could well be they are by the Elder himself. Father and son were active in the same studio together from 1537 until the death of the Elder in 1553.4 Our painting, which Koepplin dates to the period 1540 – 1550, is a pivotal example of this fusion and confusion, as with the versions at Washington, Besançon and Oslo which date to a comparable period.
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All versions present the nymph disrobed and stretched out in the grass, though each is subtly different. Ours is amongst the most arresting. The supple outline of the nymph is the culmination of years of working in the ‘bella maniera’, a style that arguably none since Dürer had achieved with such success. The symbolism of the work, presumably destined for a member of the court, or for a scholar, is complex, and several readings are possible: The inclusion of the bow and arrows can be seen to represent the repose of Diana, goddess of the hunt, though it is only found in the later versions, such as ours. In Cranach’s drawing of the same subject (fig.2), as here, he includes motifs of the hunt – deer, partridges, bow and arrows. More obliquely, they can be interpreted as the ‘pursuit of love’. Such details can also be found in an engraving with which Cranach would have been familiar, by GiovanniMaria Pomedelli (Verona, c.1478 – 1537, fig.3), inscribed ‘QVIES ’ – supine after the hunt, his nymph calls for calm. Perhaps Cranach had also seen a lost painting by Giorgione: The Rest of Venus after the Hunt, which could likewise have inspired his use of these motifs.
fig.2 Cranach the Elder, c.1525 – 1530, whereabouts unknown, in Dresden until 1945
fig.3 Giovanni-Maria Pomedelli, Allegory of Tranquility, 1510 © British Museum, London
The earlier examples of our subject, dated 1515 – 1520, show the nymph before a stone fountain, with no other attributes. This motif derived from a local tradition:5 near to the Danube was a fountain guarded by a reclining carved stone nymph, with some engraved verses, well known at the time, by the humanist Giovanni Antonio Campani, active in the Vatican and at Florence around 1470:
fig.4 Dürer, Reclining female nude, 1501 © Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna
Huius nympha loci, sacri custodia fontis Dormio dum blandae sentior murmur acquae. Parce meum quisquis tangis cava Marmora somnum Rumpere: sive bibas, sive lavere taces.
(‘Nymph of this place, sacred guardian of the fountain,/ I sleep while the water babbles sweetly./ Beware of breaking my slumber as you approach the marble basin/ Either you drink or you bathe in silence’) In our painting, the quatrain continues with an inscription: ‘Fontis nympha sacri/ somnum ne rumpe/ quiesco’ (‘Sacred nymph of the fountain/ do not wake/ rest’).
5. It was also reproduced in a drawing attributed to Dürer, executed in 1514 (fig.4). 6. Cranach the Elder also used the motif of the nymph in his depiction of the Fountain of Youth (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin).
The artist plays on the ambiguity between the seductiveness of the nymph and the prohibition of the viewer from actually approaching her, as implied by the inscription – ‘Fontis nympha sacri/ somnum ne rumpe/ quiesco’. Naked, she is covered by a diaphanous gauze, which serves to emphasise her beauty. She appears to be looking at the pair of partridges at her feet, symbols of amorous courtship likewise found in contemporary depictions of Adam and Eve or of saints battling the temptation of the pleasures of the flesh.6 The bush to the left, half escaping the picture, as in the Besançon version, suggests the continuation of the Paridisal scene beyond what is actually presented. The verdant landscape, scattered with delicate partridges and deer, and at its heart, the crystaline spring, are an expressive interpretation of nature typical of the Cranach dynasty’s idealised
aesthetic. Obliged to paint the hunts of the electors of Saxony, and to decorate their pavilions with scenes of the hunt, they had studied numerous drawings, engravings and paintings of deer. 7 Presented in profile, as here, the animals’ bodies are gently shaded from faun to white, and their faces are expressive. In our picture, one of the deer is drinking from the spring, in a world of quiet, natural pleasures. It is in this context that The Nymph of the Spring could perhaps most of all be read as an allegory of tranquillity, at a time when religious and political events were particularly turbulent. 7. Cranach the Elder’s painting of a hunt with deer from 1530 can be seen in the Copenhagen Museum of Art. 8. Cranach’s connection to Luther was evident through his portraits of the latter, which were widely disseminated, however, his patrons were as much Catholic as they were Protestant.
Cranach the Elder was appointed to the court at Wittenberg in 1505 and for over fifty years was court painter to three successive electors: Frederick the Wise, John the Constant, and John Frederick the Magnanimous. In 1508, he was sent on a mission to paint Margaret of Austria, a trip that marked a turning point in his production. He discovered the works of northern Europe, and through them, those of Italy. When he returned to Germany, his source of inspiration had been completely renewed. He became a master of landscape, as well as of the female form, elaborating his canon of Venuses, which were enormously popular. Humanist themes were increasingly in demand as religious subjects declined, and it was in Wittenberg that Luther, who taught at the university, launched his reform. It was in this context that Cranach’s studio flourished, developing eruditely profane themes, often treated in the form of allegories. The Nymph of the Spring is a superb example. Its iconography cannot but be understood in relation to the humanist movement of the era.8
O t h e r Ve r s i o n s o f o u r Pa i n t i n g :
= Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, 59 × 92 cm., signed & dated 1518, (Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig), (fig.5)
= Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, 58 × 87 cm., c.1515 – 1520, (Jagdschloss Grünwald, Berlin Brandenburg)
= Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, 77 × 121 cm., c.1526 – 1530, (Thyssen-Bornemisza. Collection, Madrid), (fig.4)
= Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, c.1525 – 1527, (private collection) = Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, 50.8 × 76.2 cm., signed & dated 1534, (The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), (fig.6)
= Lucas Cranach the Elder and Studio, oil on panel, 48 × 72.5 cm., (similar to our version), (Swiss Art market, 1963)
= Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, 48 × 72.5 cm., signed with the insignia of = = = =
the artist’s serpent, after 1537, (private collection, Switzerland – possibly the same picture that was on the Swiss art market in 1963) Lucas Cranach the Elder & Studio, oil on panel, 48.5 × 74.2 cm., after 1537, (Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Besançon),(fig.7) Lucas Cranach the Younger, oil on panel, 16 × 20 cm., after 1537, (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), (fig.8) Lucas Cranach the Younger, oil on panel, after 1537 (Gemäldegalerie, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Kassel), (fig.9) Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel, signed with the artist’s serpent insignia, 48.5 × 72.9 cm., c.1540 – 1550, (National Gallery of Art, Washington), (fig.10)
fig.6 Cranach the Elder, 1534 © The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
fig.5 Cranach the Elder, 1518 © Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
fig.7 Cranach the Elder & Studio, after 1537 © Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Besançon
fig.9 Cranach the Younger, after 1537 © Museumslandschaft Hessen, Kassel
fig.8 Cranach the Younger, after 1537 © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
fig.10 Cranach the Elder, c.1540 – 1550 © National Gallery of Art, Washington
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William Scrots fl.1537 – 1553
Edward VI (1537 – 1553), King of England Oil on panel: 17 5⁄8 × 12 1⁄2 in. (45 × 32 cm.) Painted circa 1547 – 1549 Provenance Henry Astell Law, 7th Baron Ellenborough (1889 – 1945), Southam, Delabere, Gloucestershire; his deceased sale Sotheby’s, London, 11 June, 1947, lot 65 (as ‘French School’), £220 to Lloyd; with Julius Bohler, Munich, from whom acquired in November 1960 by Edward Speelman Ltd., London, by whom sold in May 1966 to Private collection, Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Private collection, Zurich, until 2012. Exhibited Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Promised Gifts, 1985, as ‘Hans Eworth, Portrait of Edward VI, c.1550’.
his well preserved portrait depicts Edward VI, the much longed-for and only legitimate son and heir to Henry VIII (1491 – 1547) by his third Queen, Jane Seymour (1508 – 1537).1 It shows the young king at the age of nine or ten, shortly after he succeeded to the throne. The prototype for our small-scale painting, (a three-quarter-length likeness in the Royal Collection, Windsor), was initially developed by Scrots before Edward’s succession, in 1546, and includes a view of Hunsdon House in the background, the palace where he resided before his succession.2 Our version, on a more intimate scale, very likely dates from a year or so after the young king’s accession on 28 January 1547. Scrots had recently inherited the mantle of ‘King’s Painter’ from Holbein in 1545, and at the Prince’s succession he oversaw in his studio the production of numerous portraits of Edward. These were disseminated to loyal courtiers and ambassadors, each with various small differences. Notably here, the young king’s pendant displays the Order of the Garter with St. George slaying the dragon rather than the insignia of the Prince of Wales. It is an arresting image; the boy’s translucent porcelain skin and pale blue eyes, inherited from his famously pallid mother, are carefully modelled with a lustre not unlike that of the pearls that adorn his costume, while the stitches of the silver and gold embroidery on his doublet are highlighted by tiny raised brush-strokes, in contrast to the smoother opulence of his ermine trim. It is a confection of texture. The golden buttons of his doublet are in the form of acorns to symbolise the ‘great oak’ it was hoped he would become, poignant in the light of his untimely death.
1. For a portrait of whom, see The Weiss Gallery’s Tudor and Stuart Portraits, 2012, no.2, pp.16-19. 2. After which he resided at Whitehall Palace. 3. Jennifer Loach, Edward VI, New Haven, 1999, p.8. 4. See Ned Lukacher, TimeFetishes: The Secret History of Eternal Recurrence, Durham (NC), 1999, p.74. 5. For an example of which, see The Weiss Gallery, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger: A portrait by Hans Holbein, 2007. 6. Roy Strong notes it was presumably acquired from the Royal Collection through the purchase of Nonsuch Palace by Lumley’s father-in-law, the Earl of Arundel. See Roy Strong, The English Icon, 1969, no.6, p.71.
As the precious male heir to the Tudor dynasty, Edward’s childhood is very well documented through portraiture, in marked contrast to that of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth, whose iconography remained scarce until adulthood. His father was delighted with him; as a baby in May 1538 Henry was seen ‘dallying with him in his arms...and so holding him in a window to the sight and great comfort of the people.’3 The earliest portrait of the young Prince was developed by Holbein, who had painted celebrated portraits of both Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and who executed a drawing of Edward VI in circa 1539 – 1540, when he was only two years old (The Royal Collection, Windsor). This shows the young heir to the throne in a frontal and already authoritative princely pose, which Holbein later developed into a painted portrait, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. An iconic profile portrait of Edward VI by Scrots was also widely distributed around the same time as the present portrait, in a similar plumed cap and ermine collared doublet, holding a pink carnation; it quite literally provided another princely angle from which to view the young heir. Another, signed profile portrait of Edward by Scrots was painted using the virtuosic technique of distorted or ‘anamorphic’ perspective (National Portrait Gallery, London). Later, when the painting was exhibited at Whitehall Palace in the winter of 1591 – 1592, it created a sensation, and important visitors were taken to view it.4 These kingly profiles represented one of the earliest incursions of the classical profile formula into English royal portraiture, influenced by the revival of secular portraiture and the cult of the medal, also seen in portraits by Holbein.5 Scrots went on to paint a full-length of the young King, circa 1550, a version of which is now in the Royal Collection (acquired by Queen Victoria in the 19th Century, first recorded in the Lumley inventory of 1590),6 another being in the Louvre, Paris, sent to the French court in connection with a projected marriage to Henri II’s eldest daughter. He presents the young Edward in a sumptuous black and gold embroidered costume, contrapposto, looking at the viewer from a pivoted stance, presumably in direct pictorial reference to Holbein’s iconic portrait of King Henry VIII (The Royal Collection, Windsor.)
THE CAPTURED EYE
English School circa 1555
Sir Edward Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of Loughborough (c.1512/15 – 1572) Oil on panel: 35 × 27 in. (89 × 68.5 cm.) Inscribed upper left with the sitter’s coat-of-arms and the Order of the Garter’s motto, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ Painted circa 1555 Provenance By descent in the family of the sitter to the Marquesses of Hastings, Donington Park, Leicester and later Loudoun Castle, Ayrshire, until Henry Weysford Charles Plantagenet Rawdon-Hastings, 4th and last Marquess of Hastings (1842 – 1868), thence to his eldest sister, Lady Edith Maud, 10th Countess of Loudoun, (1833 – 1874), thence to her son, Charles Edward Rawdon Hastings, 11th Earl of Loudoun, Baron Botreaux, Hungerford, and Hastings (1855 – 1920);1 with Marshall Spink, c.1930s; with Kende Galleries, New York, 29 January 1941, lot 46; Arnold Seligman, Trevor & Co. Ltd, 53 Grosvenor St., London, by 1953; with Newhouse Galleries, New York, c.1960s; Private collection, USA until 2012. Exhibited London, South Kensington Museum, Exhibition of National Portraits, 1866, no.339, lent by Henry Weysford Charles Plantagenet Rawdon-Hastings, 4th and last Marquess of Hastings (1842 – 1868), Donington Park. London, New Gallery, Tudor Exhibition, 1899, no.221, lent by Charles Edward Rawdon Hastings, 11th Earl of Loudon & Hastings (1855 – 1920), Donington Park.
This is a rare example of portraiture that has survived from the reign of Mary I of England. Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough (1512/15 – 1572), was a nobleman, soldier and courtier who owed his exalted status primarily to his position as a favourite and confidant of the queen from the time of her ascension to the throne in 1553 until her death in 1558. In light of his loyal service he was elected to the Order of the Garter in 1555, and it is very likely that our portrait was commissioned to mark this particular honour. Hastings is depicted wearing the Great George and collar of the Order of the Garter and even his elaborate coatof-arms, top left, is surrounded with the ribbon and motto of the Garter. An imposing presence, his cloak is lined with ermine, and his black silk doublet is richly decorated with gold braid and jewels. His shirt has an embroidered standing collar and he wears a ‘halo’ hat over a black coif. The three-quarter-length format bears reference to other court portraiture of the period, most notably Holbein’s portrait of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1473 – 1554) from 1539, in the Royal Collection, England.
1. On his death his titles were divided between his nieces (the daughters of his brother the Hon. Major Paulyn RawdonHastings), and his youngest brother the Hon. Gilbert Clifton-Hastings, until the Donington estate was divided and sold in 1931 to pay death duties.
He served in the French campaign of 1544, in the Duke of Somerset’s army against Scotland in 1547, and in 1550 with his brother the Earl on a commission to demarcate the boundary of the Calais pale. Until Edward VI’s death in 1553 he held minor political positions, but with Mary I’s succession his fortunes changed. He took a decisive leading role in assembling supporters of Princess Mary in the Thames valley, a determining factor in destroying support in the privy council for Lady Jane Grey. He then joined Mary at Framlingham where he was rewarded with the Office of Receiver of the honour of Leicester, a parcel of land in the Duchy of Lancaster. Soon afterwards he was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council and as one of her inner circle of trusted confidants he was appointed Master of the Horse. During the disputes over the queen’s marriage in the autumn of 1553 he was one of those councillors who sided with the Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardiner, in opposing Philip’s candidature, but like Gardiner he accepted her decision once reached. Later, after Gardiner’s death in 1555, he became a supporter of Lord Paget and was regularly used for missions that required a high level of trust, and it was in that year he was elected to the Order of the Garter. He was created Lord Chamberlain of the Household in 1557 and Baron Hastings of Loughborough in 1558. Hastings remained personally close to the queen, and was among those chosen to be an executor of her will. Initially Elizabeth I showed no disfavour to Hastings. Nevertheless, Mary’s death spelt the end of his public career. He was not reappointed to the privy council, and was replaced as Lord Chamberlain by Lord Howard of Effingham. He was imprisoned for hearing mass in 1561 but released on taking the Oath of Supremacy. After 1558 he spent most of his time on his estates at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, where he carried out various improvements, which included building a hospital and almshouses, and there he died in March 1572
THE CAPTURED EYE
George Gower 1530 – 1596
Jennet Parkinson, wife of Cuthbert Hesketh of Whitehill, Lancashire
1. Heslington Hall was lived in by the Barons Deramore until c.1940, when it was acquired by the University of York in 1962, forming part of its campus. 2. In 1584 a patent was drafted that would have granted Gower the monopoly of all painted and engraved portraits of the Queen (while allowing another painter, Nicholas Hilliard, the monopoly of her portraits in miniature), but it is not clear whether this was ever enacted. His duties also included the supervision of applied and decorative painting for the monarch. In 1596 he was entrusted by the Privy Council with oversight of all portraits of the Queen. 3. As in the present work, Gower’s Self-portrait of 1579, (Milton Park, Cambs.), contains emblematic devices and visual texts. He presents himself with a pair of scales, his arms outweighed by dividers, the instrument of the painter’s craft. Most notably he implies his noble birth is complimented by his trade: a coat-of-arms connotes his birth, while an inscription claims ‘what Parents bare by iust renowne, my skill mayntenes [maintains] the prayes [praise]’. 4. Genesis 4:25, ‘Adam knew his wife againe, and she bare a sonne, & called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed mee another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.’ 5. When Jennet’s husband’s elder brother Sir Thomas died without issue, their eldest son Thomas inherited the family estates at Heslington Hall. 6. From: ‘Townships: Goosnargh’, A History of the County of Lancaster, vol. 7, 1912, pp.190-206. URL: http://www.british- history.ac.uk/ report.aspx?compid=53219& strquery=hesketh. 7. J. S. Leatherbarrow, Lancs. Eliz. Recusants (Chetham Soc. n.s. cx), VCH Lancs, iii, p.294. 8. See: Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, pp.186–94.
Oil on panel: 23 ½ × 20 in. (59.5 × 51 cm.) Charged with her husband’s coat of arms and inscribed upper left: ‘God hath appointed. And I am / contented.’; and further inscribed and dated upper right: ‘ANNO DNI 1580. / NON ANo ÆTATIS SUÆ / 40 12’; and further inscribed on the verso: ‘Jennit Daughter of Jno Parkinson Esq / of Whimney Clough / Wife to Cuthbert Hesketh Esq of / Whitehill in the County of Lancaster / and of Heslington in the County of York’ Painted 1580 Provenance By descent in the Hesketh family, Heslington Hall, Yorkshire, thence to Anne, co-heir of Thomas Hesketh of Heslington (d.1708)1 who married in 1692 Lieutenant Colonel James Yarburgh (d.1728) of Snaith Hall, Yorkshire; thence by descent to Mary Elizabeth Yarburgh (d.1884), who married in 1862 George William Bateson, later Bateson de Yarburgh, 2nd Baron Deramore of Belvoir (1823 - 1893); thence by descent in the Deramore family until 2012.
his iconic Elizabethan portrait with its cool colouring of greys and greens is a fine example of the work of George Gower. He was one of the most fashionable portraitists of the 1570s and 1580s, and was appointed Serjeant Painter to Queen Elizabeth I in 1581, a year after the present work was painted.2 His portraits, with their clear colour palette and patterned surface exemplify the distinctive neo-Medieval taste of the late Elizabethan court which had developed independently of the European taste for naturalism. He was unusual among artists of the day in that he was born into the gentry, the grandson of Sir John Stettenham in Yorkshire.3 Given that he was of the Yorkshire gentry himself, it is more than likely that the artist knew the sitter’s family personally. The Heskeths were a devoutly Catholic family in a fervently Protestant England, and the two religious inscriptions seen here are perhaps significant. The first is particularly cryptic: ‘NON ANo ÆTATIS SUÆ /40 12’, (‘not the year of her birth 4012’). Its intended meaning, presumably biblical, encoded for the family’s reference, has been lost over time. Tudor portraiture was inexorably bound up with the genealogical and philosophical aspirations of the sitter, and impresa, (specific personal devices), would have been intended for the interpretation of family and close friends. One can surmise that ‘4012’ refers to a line from the bible, though prior to the printing of the King James Bible in 1611 there were so many unofficial versions that it is hard to ascertain exactly which. It may refer to either Isaiah 40:12 ‘The Lord Has No Equal’, or Psalms 40:12 ‘For troubles surround me – too many to count’. The second inscription, ‘God hath appointed. And I am /contented,’ is a paraphrase of the words spoken by Eve on discovering that she was pregnant again following the death of her son Abel.4 From this we can assume that our picture celebrates a new pregnancy, possibly following on from the loss of an earlier baby. Jennet would indeed have cause to be contented, for over time she gave birth to at least three sons who proved pivotal in the elevation of their particular branch of the Hesketh family.5 Jennet, née Parkinson, was the wife of Cuthbert Hesketh (d. 1629), Attorney-at-Law, the fourth son of Gabriel Hesketh, of Aughton. As members of the Yorkshire landed gentry, the Hesketh family seat originated at Whitehill, Goosnargh, though in 1601 Cuthbert’s eldest brother Sir Thomas Hesketh (1548 – 1609) bought Heslington Hall, North Yorkshire.6 Despite his Roman Catholicism, Cuthbert remained loyal to the Crown, and was described by Sir Thomas Heneage (c.1532 – 1595) in a letter to Robert Cecil in 1595, as ‘sound in religion’, noting that ‘... good experience of Mr. Hesketh in divers of her Majesty’s services… have found him to deal ever as loyally, carefully and sufficiently as any man whatsoever. If my judgment be worth anything, I know not a more honest man, nor more sufficient.’7 However, later generations of the Hesketh family were heavily fined for their royalist and papist sympathies. In consequence of their descendants taking part in the Civil War on the King’s side, their estate was sequestered and eventually forfeited in 1716 when a Gabriel Hesketh and his son Cuthbert were both attainted of high treason.8
THE CAPTURED EYE
William Larkin c.1580/5 – 1619
Mary, Lady Vere (1581 – 1671) [?] Oil on canvas (reduced): 72 × 40 in. (183 × 102 cm.) Painted circa 1612 – 1615 Provenance with Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, Bond Street, London, before 1912; G.C. Leon, Christie’s, London, 18 March 1921, lot 47 (as ‘Gheeraedts, Portrait of a Lady in Black’); sold for £94.10s to, Francis Howard (1874 – 1954); James F. Montagu, Cold Overton Hall, Oakham; his sale, Christie’s, London, 1 February 1946, lot 25, sold for £75.12s to Wilhelm von Bode (1845 – 1929), (former director of the royal museums in Berlin); Private European collection; Private collection, France until 2012. Literature R. Strong, The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean Portraiture, 1969, p.334, no.362.
his rare autograph full-length, can be compared to Larkin’s celebrated series of nine fulllength portraits that were formerly in the collection of the Earls of Suffolk, now with English Heritage.1 As in our portrait, the sitters are framed by stylised silk curtains, a conceit that first saw Larkin’s work ascribed to ‘The Curtain Master’,2 standing on Turkey carpets beside either a chair or a richly draped table. Here, the sitter’s saffron lace collar and cuffs are particularly finely rendered and her costume is almost identical to that of Larkin’s Anne Sackville, Lady Seymour, c.1616-18 at Petworth House, National Trust.
1. Usually hung at Kenwood House in Hampstead, but currently on display at the Holburne Museum in Bath, 2013. 2. These formalised swags of silk were a device he commonly employed to frame his subjects. The artist, or his studio, often replicated almost identical folds. 3. F. Heal & C. Holmes, The Gentry in England and Wales, 1500 – 1700, London 1994, p.366. 4. Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth (d.1683), married John Holles in 1626, from 1637 2nd Earl of Clare, while Mary (c.1611 – 1669) married Sir Roger Townshend and then Mildmay Fane, from 1638 2nd Earl of Westmorland. Catharine (b.1612/13) married, in 1634, Oliver St John of Lidiard Tregose, and then, in 1641, John Poulett, from 1649 Lord Paulet. Anne (1617 – 1655) married, in 1637, Thomas Fairfax (from 1648 Lord Fairfax); and Dorothy married John Wolstenholme. 5. Jacqueline Eales, ‘Vere, Mary, Lady Vere (1581–1671)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008. 6. TNA: PRO, PROB 11/168, fol. 7v. 7. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (ibid.).
On the basis of costume, our painting can be confidently dated to c.1615. Identified by an old label as Mary, Lady Vere (1581 – 1671), she would have been around thirty-four. As an older married woman, Mary is soberly dressed in black, though her red underskirt is richly embroidered with gold and silver thread, revealing her wealth. Sporting a fine rope of pearls looped down the centre of her dress, nonetheless her jewels are few, indicating her modest or puritan standing. Mary, Lady Vere was born in 1581, the youngest daughter of Sir John Tracy of Toddington, Gloucestershire. She married firstly at the age of nineteen William Hoby of Hailes, Gloucestershire (d.1602), with whom she had two sons, Philip (d.1617) and William (d. 1623). She was widowed in 1602 but in 1607 married her second husband Sir Horace Vere (1565 – 1635), 1st Baron Vere of Tilbury (1565 – 1635), a first cousin of Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford (1593 – 1654), whose wife Diana Cecil (c.1603 – 1654) and her sister Anne Cecil (c.1603 – 1676) were both painted by William Larkin. The cousins appear to have been very close for Edward de Vere’s son, Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford (1593 – 1625), served under Sir Horace Vere in the Palatinate, between June and November 1620. Sir Horace, also Horatio Vere or Horatio de Vere, was a professional soldier, and considered the greatest military commander of his time - fighting in the Netherlands against the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War and the Thirty Years’ War. Mary, Lady Vere and Sir Horace appear to have been a devoted couple and for several years Mary accompanied her husband on campaign in the Netherlands. They had five daughters in total, two of whom, Elizabeth and Mary, were born in The Hague and naturalized by act of parliament in 1624. The Veres have been classified among the well-known Puritan families of pre-civil war England,3 and through the marriages of her daughters, Lady Vere was brought into even closer contact with the puritan opposition to the crown.4 In 1643 she was briefly entrusted by parliament with the care of two of the king’s children and in 1645 parliament granted her £1000 as part of the arrears sum of £2,500 owed to her husband from the state. In January 1649 John Geree addressed the dedication of his ‘Might Overcoming Right’ to Lady Vere and her daughter Anne Fairfax in the hope that they could persuade Sir Thomas Fairfax to save the king. Mary’s religious views were regarded by some contemporaries as ‘of a Dutch complexion’5 and it was to this she owed parliament’s favour after the civil war. Sir Horace Vere’s will, dated 10 November 1634, makes no mention of his daughters, but he made a number of conveyances of his property the previous year and left his remaining lands to Mary, ‘my most loving wife’, evidently trusting her to make appropriate dispositions for their children.6 She continued to live at Clapton until the death of the widow of Lord Vere’s eldest brother, John, when she succeeded to Kirby Hall. There she died at the ripe age of ninety on Christmas Eve 1670, outliving her husband by some thirty-six years.7
THE CAPTURED EYE
William Larkin c.1580/5 – 1619
Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset (1590 – 1670) Oil on panel: 22 3⁄4 × 17 1⁄8 in. (57.5 × 43.5 cm.) Painted in the summer of 1618 Provenance Commissioned by the sitter as a gift to her cousin, Margaret Hall (née Elmes) of Gretford, Lincolnshire, second wife of Henry of Gretford (d.1616), thence by descent, to their eldest son, Henry Hall of Gretford and Burton Coggles (d.1672), and his wife Elizabeth Harton (1615 – 1676), widow of Montague Cholmeley (1615 – 1652) of Easton Hall, Lincolnshire; thence by descent to Sir Montague Cholmeley, 1st Bt. (d.1855), of Easton Hall, (who presumably sold the present work c. 1805 when he altered and enlarged Easton Hall); Anonymous sale; [T?]emple Row, Birmingham, c.1850 – 1860 (?), lot 77 (as ‘Portrait of Lady Goodrick Parker, by Zuccaro, purchased at Aston Hall [sic.] sale about fifty years ago.’), according to the remnants of an old auction label on the reverse; George J. Egerton, his sale, Christie’s, London, 23 November 1956, lot 79 (as ‘Zuccaro, Portrait of Lady Goodrick Parker’); when acquired by Kretscher (an art dealer); A private collection, Germany until 2012. Literature Anne Clifford, The Memoir of 1603 and Diary of 1616 – 1619, ed. Katherine O. Acheson, Toronto 2007, p.155. Katherine O. Acheson, The Diary of Anne Clifford, 1616-1619, A Critical Edition, 1995, pp.97-98. R. Strong, William Larkin, Icons of Splendour, Milan 1995, p.120. R. Strong, The English Icon: Elizabethan & Jacobean Portraiture, London 1969, pp.313 & 329. James Lees-Milne, ‘Two Portraits at Charlecote Park by William Larkin’, The Burlington, 1952, vol. 94, p.356.
ur rediscovery of this long lost portrait of Anne Clifford, documented by the sitter in her diary of 1619, is important not only as an addition to the rare autograph oeuvre of William Larkin, but moreover to the iconography of Clifford herself. Renowned today as a diarist and early feminist, the embattled heiress helped set a precendent whereby a woman could hope to inherit family estates that previously only ever went to male heirs. In her diary for the period 1616 – 1619, Anne Clifford omitted the entire year of 1618. She had been pregnant in 1617, giving birth in 1618 to a baby that did not survive, which may explain the lack of a diary for that year: she was in mourning. Indeed, in our portrait, painted by William Larkin in the summer of 1618, she wears black mourning strings, which hang prominently at her neck and left ear. It was not until January 1619 that she began to record her quotidian life again, mentioning how she sent the portrait as a gift to her cousin: ‘The first of this month I began to have the curtain drawn in my chamber and to see the light… The 16th… I sent my cousin Hall of Gilford [sic.] a letter and my picture with it which Larkin drew at Knole this summer.’1 The drawing of the curtains in her chamber to ‘see the light’ can be regarded as a metaphor for her emergence from that mourning, and possibly, from an associated depression.2 That she chose to send Larkin’s portrait from that time with a letter to Margaret Hall of Gretford, her mother’s first cousin, is notable, for she may have specifically wished to share her sad news with a kinswoman close to her mother, Margaret Russell, youngest daughter to the Earl of Bedford, to whom she herself had been so close, but who had died not long before in 1616. 1. Anne Clifford, The Diary of 1616 – 1619, ed. Katherine O. Acheson, (op. cit.), p.155. 2. See Katherine O. Acheson’s footnote to this particular entry, (ibid.), footnote 1, p. 155.
Anne Clifford commissioned the portrait when she was twenty-eight, and nearly ten years into her marriage to Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset. Her choice of Larkin as the fashionable artist of the day was significant, and furthermore the artist and his studio had painted her husband at least twice in 1613 (The Suffolk Collection, English Heritage, and Lord Sackville, Knole, Kent).
THE CAPTURED EYE
The prime version of our portrait (fig.1) has descended within the Sackville family at Knole, Kent, however it is our version that is mentioned in Anne’s diary. In his catalogue raisonné of the artist (op. cit.), Roy Strong notes that ‘[the version at Knole], cannot be that one [ie. the one in the diary]’, for indeed the picture at Knole never left the family collection.
fig.1 William Larkin, Anne Clifford, 1618 © Lord Sackville, Knole, Kent
3. Strong, Larkin, (op. cit.), no.38, p.120. 4. The pale yellow of her lace was notoriously modish owing to a scandalous court case of 1616, in which Lady Somerset was accused of murdering Sir Thomas Overbury in 1613 with the aid of a herbalist Anne Turner, also known for her skill as a yellow starcher. See A. Ribeiro, Fashion and Fiction, London, 2005, p.172. 5. Quoted by Strong, Larkin, (op. cit.), no.38, p.120. 6. She successfully refuted the claim that women could not succeed to baronies.
fig.2 William Larkin, Anne Clifford, 1618 © The Weiss Gallery
Strong describes Larkin’s portrait of Anne Clifford as ‘a textbook instance of his methods, with the emphatic delineation of the upper eyelid and lip line and the reflected light from the ruff onto the chin. The costume is of high quality with meticulous rendering of the lace and the silver and gold embroidery.3 Certainly, it is a bold characterisation of an indomitable woman – her mouth firm and resolute, her expression a touch sad, and her costume a wonder of green cloth, gold embroidery and saffron lace.4 Her neck-line scoops low to reveal the fashionable pallor of a gentlewoman’s décolletage. Larkin captures the likeness described with satisfyingly forensic detail by Anne herself in her diary: ‘The colour of mine eyes were black, like my father, and the form and aspect of them was quick and lively, like my mother’s; the hair of my head was brown and very thick, and so long that it reached to the calf of my legs when I stood upright, with a peak of hair on my forehead and a dimple in my chin like my father, full cheeks and round face like my mother, and an exquisite shape of body resembling my father’.5 Anne Clifford was a great heiress as the only surviving child of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, and Margaret Russell, daughter of Francis, 2nd Earl of Bedford. The Earl, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, died in 1605 when Lady Anne was fifteen years old, leaving all of the Clifford estates not to Anne, his only surviving heir, but to his brother Francis, who became fourth Earl of Cumberland. Though Anne petitioned for the return of the Clifford lands for decades, it was not until the death of her uncle in 1641, then the death of his son Henry, two years later, with no male heirs, that Lady Anne finally inherited her long-fought for estates in Westmorland and Yorkshire. And so Anne’s power and authority depended on her status as her father’s sole heir. Through long and complex litigation, begun by her mother, she established herself as such, and was in her own right the Baroness Clifford, Westmorland and Vecsey.6 She also strengthened her status through marriage; she was Lady Anne Clifford until the age of nineteen when she married the 3rd Earl of Dorset, with whom her marriage was fraught yet affectionate (as evident from her diaries). On his death in 1624 she became the Dowager Countess of Dorset, and in 1630 married secondly Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, becoming in addition the Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery.
This proved to be a personally disastrous marriage in that they soon became estranged, she retreating to her northern estates. Nonetheless, because of Herbert, a staunch supporter of the Republic, her property was fortuitously protected during the Civil War. Over the course of many years not even the King and the attorney general could persuade Anne to assign her property to her husbands (the main cause of friction with Dorset). Ultimately she succeeded in disinheriting her father’s male heirs in favour of her elder daughter and son-in-law.
7. For a further interpretation, see: http://www.abbothall.org. uk/great-picture: ‘Portraits of Lady Anne’s governess, Mrs. Anne Taylor, and her tutor, the poet Samuel Daniel, are placed above the shelves of books, which include titles by Ovid, Chaucer, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote. These elements of the composition highlight Lady Anne’s education and refined upbringing. Portraits of Lady Anne’s two husbands hang behind her: Richard Sackville, third Earl of Dorset, who died in 1624, and Philip Herbert, fourth Earl of Pembroke and first Earl of Montgomery, who died in 1650. On the walls behind the family g roup hang portraits of Lady Anne’s four aunts.’
Lady Anne did not leave London for the North until 1649, probably due to the unstable political climate during the Civil War. On her tour of the region she found that many of her castles were in ruins, and her estates in great need of repair. She wasted no time in rebuilding her castles at Skipton, Appleby and Brougham, as well as repairing neighbouring churches and settling long-running disputes with her tenants. She continued to enjoy the fruits of her inheritance and hard work for the remaining twenty-seven years of her life, and was a greatly respected figure at the time of her death in 1676. Throughout her life, Anne Clifford commissioned artists to paint her portrait. As a woman who fought to defend what she perceived as her natural rights, self-fashioning was perhaps an unsurprising preoccupation. From the intimacy of the present bust-length portrayal by Larkin to the sombre and matronly likeness painted by Lely c.1646 when she was a twice-widowed triple heiress, Clifford understood the power of the portrait in documenting her specific political and personal agenda. The culmination of this was her commissioning of the ‘Great Picture’ in 1646, (now at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendall, fig.3), a painting to represent the different stages of her life and mark her final succession to the inheritance that she had always felt was rightfully hers. Painted as a triptych, it presents the family history and accomplishments of Lady Anne using a combination of portraiture, text and symbolism. The left side of the triptych depicts Lady Anne Clifford at the age of fifteen, when she was disinherited. The central panel depicts Lady Anne’s parents, Margaret Russell and George Clifford, third Earl of Cumberland, with her older brothers who did not survive to adulthood: Francis (1584-1589) and Robert (1585-1591). As Lady Anne was not born until 1590, she does not appear in the central panel as such, but Lady Margaret’s gesture hints that the daughter who would ultimately become the Clifford heir had already been conceived at the time of the original painting The right side shows Lady Anne in late middle age, when she finally regained the Clifford estates.7
fig.3 Jan van Belcamp, The Great Picture, 1646 © Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria
THE CAPTURED EYE
Cornelius Johnson 1593 – 1661
An Unknown Lady Oil on panel: 30 ½ × 24 in. (77.5 × 61 cm.) Signed with initials and dated lower right: ‘C.J. fecit/ 1624’ Painted 1624 Provenance Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 22 April 1977, lot 98 (sold for £2,600); Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 7 July 1982, lot 23 as ‘Lady Hewytt’ (sold for £7,700); Private collection, Wilton Crescent, Belgravia, London until 2011.
his elegant portrait is a fine example of the artist’s early work at a time when he mainly painted on panel. Johnson’s first signed pieces date from 1619, and by 1624 his assured, carefully modelled portraits were already much admired. Our unknown lady was in the past mistaken for another likeness by the artist of Margaret Lytton, Lady Hewytt, (Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, National Trust),1 as both women wear near identical monochrome dresses highlighted by red embroidered rosettes and matching girdles. Here, the flashes of red compliment the young woman’s covetable pink and white complexion and rosy lips, a confection of exquisite stylised beauty. Johnson painted both sitters in feigned marble ovals, as though set in stone for posterity. Along with the English artist William Larkin, he was one of the earliest proponents of this format, mimicking the miniaturist tradition of painting portraits in oval. The difference between our portrait and the one at Claydon House lies in the women’s jewellery and their faces.2 In ours, Johnson’s softly blended sfumato brush-work creates an almost translucent surface to her skin, giving the sitter’s face a vivid realism. The connection, if any, between the two women remains unknown, lost over time. Alternatively, the visual similarities may reveal Johnson’s artistic practise – he may possibly have had a ‘stock’ set of painted costumes for his sitters to choose from for their idealised representation. Certainly, many of Johnson’s portraits from this period present his sitters in similar black and white costumes. Aileen Ribeira has noted this combination brings to mind the contemporary romantic conceit of ‘Night and Day’, or ‘Melancholy and Joy’.
1. See A.J. Finberg, ‘A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson’, Walpole Society, 1922, vol.X, p.11. 2. Our unknown lady wears a more complex cruciform diamond pendant, and a simpler pearl-drop earring. 3. K. Hearn, ‘The English Career of Cornelius Johnson’, Dutch and Flemish Artists in Britain 1550 – 1700, Leiden, 2003, ed. E. Domela et al., pp.113 -128.
Johnson was born in London, the son of Flemish émigrés whose family originated from Cologne. His parents were part of the great influx of Protestants from the Netherlands who fled religious persecution following the Spanish conquest of Flanders and the fall of Antwerp. It has been speculated that he may have trained in the Netherlands with Michiel Jansz. van Miereveld.3 Indeed, our portrait has a smooth and precise finish that is reminiscent of that artist. It may well be that Johnson also studied in London under Marcus Gheeraerts. Not only do his first signed and dated works such as this use a form of inscription similar to that of Gheeraerts, but stylistically they continue the Jacobean traditions encapsulated in that artist’s oeuvre. Johnson’s art was suited to the relative intimacy of the bust-length portrait where, with a certain detachment, he captured the reticence of the English landed gentry and minor aristocracy. His success was such that in December 1632 Johnson was appointed as ‘his Majesty’s servant in ye quality of Picture Drawer’. However, the arrival of Van Dyck evidently had a major impact on his patronage. Although Johnson was still among the King’s ‘servants in ordinary of the chamber’ in 1641, as described by Vertue, he ‘Stayd in England till the Troublesom civil war… being terrifyd with those apprehensions & the constant persuasions of his wife went to Holland’. Thus he and his family left for Holland in October 1643, where he continued to paint into his final years, dying in Utrecht in 1661
THE CAPTURED EYE
Sofonisba Anguissola c.1532 – 1625
An Unknown Spanish Noblewoman Oil on canvas: 711⁄2 × 38 3⁄4 in. (181.5 × 98.5 cm.) Painted circa 1547 – 1549 Provenance Joseph, Cardinal Fesch (1763 – 1839), Palazzo Falconieri, Rome; Possibly his sale, Galerie de Feu, S.E. Le Cardinal Fesch, Ancien Archevêque de Lyon, Primat des Gaules, George, Rome, 17-18 & 24 March 1844; Sir William Bromley-Davenport, K.C.B.; his sale; Christie’s, London, 28 July 1926, lot 146 (as ‘Sir Antonio Moro’, ‘Portrait of Mary of Austria, fourth wife of Philip II, in white satin dress embroidered with gold braid and red flowers’, as ‘from the collection of Cardinal Fesch’), bought for £25.2s by Tyndale; Francis Howard (1874 – 1954), sold by his executors; Christie’s, 25 November 1955, lot 75 (as ‘Fontana’, ‘Portrait of Mary of Austria, fourth wife of Philip II, in white satin dress, gloves in her right hand’), bought for £115.10s by Leggatt Bros., London; Private European collection; Private collection, France, until 2012.
1. For example, she wears the constricting high-collar of Spanish fashion at that time. 2. See for example her portrait by Alfonso Sanchez Coello in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. 3. In 1475, Constanzo Sforza presented his bride, Camilla d’Aragona, with a diamond ring on their wedding day, and a poem in an illuminated manuscript documented the ceremony: ‘Two torches in one ring of burning fire / Two wills, two hearts, two passions, all bonded in marriage by a diamond.’ The fire in the diamond was likened to the constant flame of love.
his ravishing portrait of an unknown noblewoman can be dated on the basis of costume 1 and hairstyle to circa 1560 – 1565, when the Cremonese artist Anguissola was based as a lady-in-waiting to Elisabeth of Valois (1545 – 1568) at the Spanish court in Madrid from 1559, where she stayed until 1578. The portrait was traditionally and incorrectly identified as ‘Mary’ of Austria, meaning Anna, fourth wife of Philip II of Spain (1549 – 1580) – but the costume of our sitter dates to before the death of Elisabeth of Valois, third Queen Consort, and nor does she bear a resemblance to known portraits of Anna of Austria, Philip’s fourth Queen Consort.2 The richness of our noblewoman’s costume and the wealth of her jewellery nonetheless identify her as a lady from the highest echelons of the nobility, possibly a fellow lady-in-waiting with Anguissola. On her left hand she wears an engagement ‘fede’ ring, or ‘faith’ ring, of two clasped hands, representing the unity of love, as well as an elaborately mounted diamond ring. As early as the fifteenth century, the diamond ring was a feature of royal and noble weddings. 3 It is undoubtedly an engagement portrait, for in her right hand she holds a man’s glove, presumably her betrothed’s, and in her left she clasps a long golden chain at her waist. Such chains were traditional marriage gifts, chatelaines on which as the lady of the house she would hang a bejewelled pomander or indeed her keys. We are grateful to Mina Gregori and Amparo Serrano de Haro for confirming the attribution to Sofonisba Anguissola. Little is known of the few works attributed to Sofonisba, since historical sources and documents do not help to reconstruct the artist’s body of work with any certainty. Many paintings have been lost or cannot be traced, creating problems in reconstructing the Sofonisba catalogue. Nevertheless, this portrait reveals convincing analogies of style, execution and construction with the work of Anguissola. The sitter’s eyes, carefully delineated, and her gentle smile are typical of the artist, as is the extraordinary attention to the detailing in the costume and jewels. The heavy folds in her white satin dress, the three-dimensional impasto of the gold and red embroidery, and the finesse of the jewels, are comparable in treatment to the artist’s portrait of Elisabeth of Valois of 1565, now in the Prado, (fig.1overleaf).
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4. Vasari, Lives of the artists, p.36
The great early art historian Giorgio Vasari wrote of Anguissola that she ‘has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavors at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, colouring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings.’4 Born in Cremona, Lombardy, around 1532, the oldest of seven children, six of whom were girls, her father, Amilcare Anguissola, was a member of the Genoese minor nobility and her mother, Bianca Ponzone, was also of a noble background. Her apprenticeship with local painters set a precedent for women at the time to be accepted as students of art. Anguissola traveled to Milan in 1558, where she painted the Duke of Alba, who in turn recommended her to the Spanish king, Philip II. The following year, Anguissola was invited to join the Spanish court, which was a turning point in her career. Elisabeth of Valois was a keen amateur painter, and Anguissola was informally recruited as her tutor, with the rank of lady-in-waiting. During this period she adapted her style to the more formal requirements of official portraits for the Spanish court but it is notable that as a lady-in-waiting, she did not paint in an official capacity, nor indeed did she sign her work during her time at court. After the queen’s death, Philip helped arrange an aristocratic marriage for Anguissola and she eventually moved to Palermo, then Genoa, where she continued to practise as a leading portrait painter. Our painting has an illustrious early provenance, forming part of the extraordinary collection of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, half-brother of Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte (1750 – 1836), mother of the future Emperor Napoleon I, to whom Fesch was close in age. From the mid-1790s to his death in 1839 he collected one of the largest private collections of paintings of the 19th century. His love of art seems to have developed during Napoleon’s campaigns in Italy (1796 – 1798), when Fesch became, through his nephew’s offices, a supplier to the French army: indeed, his first acquisitions were given to him by a terrified Grand Duke Ferdinand III of Tuscany. It was after his return to Paris in 1800, however, that he began to acquire paintings at an extraordinary rate. In 1802 he was made Archbishop of Lyons and then Cardinal of San Lorenzo-in- Lucina; from 1803 to 1806 he was French Ambassador in Rome, and on his return to Paris in 1806 was appointed Grand Almoner of France. He used his considerable income to augment his collection, taking advantage of the dispersal of a number of other collections to acquire French, Dutch and Flemish paintings, as well as Italian works from some of the great Roman patrician families. In 1812, however, he quarrelled with the Emperor about his loyalty to Pius VII and lost his position, retiring to his diocese in Lyons before settling in August 1815 in Rome, where he led the life of an exile of limited resources, dividing his time between pious activities and the search for new paintings. According to the inventory drawn up at his death, Fesch’s collection comprised nearly 16,000 works. His residence in Rome was the Palazzo Falconieri in the Via Giulia, where he displayed his finest pieces. These included such masterpieces as Giorgione’s Allendale Nativity (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art), Giotto’s Dormition of the Virgin, Fra Angelico’s Last Judgement, Rembrandt’s Predication of the Baptist (all Berlin, Gemäldegalerie), Poussin’s Dance to the Music of Time, Metsu’s Sleeping Hunter, Hobbema’s Stormy Landscape, Adriaen van de Velde’s Departure of Jacob, Watteau’s Fête in a Park and Halt during the Chase (all London, Wallace Collection), Mantegna’s Agony in the Garden, a Raphael Crucifixion, Foppa’s Adoration of the Magi and Ercole de’ Roberti’s Israelites Gathering Manna (all London, National Gallery), Carpaccio’s Hunting on the Lagoon and Pontormo’s Portrait of a Halberdier (both Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum). The Cardinal’s own portrait was sculpted by Antonio Canova in 1807 – 1808 (Ajaccio, Musée Fesch)
fig.1 Sofonisba Anguissola, Elisabeth of Valois, 3rd wife of Philip II of Spain, 1565, ÂŠ Museo del Prado, Madrid
THE CAPTURED EYE
Gervasio Gatti (c.1550 – 1630)
Giuliano II Cesarini (1572 – 1613), with servant Oil on canvas: 73.2 × 45.3 in. (186 × 115 cm.) Inscribed lower centre: ‘IVLIANUS CESARINUS/AN.AGENSXIV ’ and lower left: ‘G. 46 ’1 Painted in 1586 Provenance Genzano di Roma, Palazzo Cesarini; thence by descent within the family to The Sforza-Cesarini Collection until 2012. Literature Archivio Sforza Cesarini, Rome, typewritten inventory, probably late 19th century, drawn up by Mario Malcangi, no.98: ‘Ritratto di Giuliano Cesarini a 14 anni - olio su tela di cm 187 × 115.2’.
he present portrait was painted in 1586 when the sitter was fourteen, almost certainly to celebrate his recently acquired title of Duke. In 1585, he was conferred with the Dukedom of Civitanova nelle Marche by Pope Sixtus V, and thus he became the first duke of those lands. Born in Rome in 1572, he was a scion of the Roman noble family; his parents were Giovangiorgio (1550 – 1585), 2nd Marquess of Civitanova, Montecosaro, Ardea, Genzano, Civita Lavinia, and Clelia Farnese (c.1556 – 1613), the illegitimate and much-loved daughter of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520 – 1589). After she was widowed in 1585, Giuliano’s mother acceded to her father’s request and married Marco Pio of Sassuolo on 2 August 1587. Clelia moved to Emilia, leaving her adolescent son in his grandfather’s care. It is possible that it was Cardinal Alessandro Farnese – a refined man and great patron of the arts – who commissioned and paid for this celebratory portrait of his grandson and ward. In fact, Alessandro Farnese played an important role in establishing a position for Giuliano.
1. This almost certainly refers to a numbering system, probably from the late 18th century, in the Cesarini family’s inventory of their painting collection. The ‘G’ stands for ‘Genzano’, a reference to the family’s summer residence home in Genzano on the shores of Lake Nemi. 2. Of the few portraits by Gervasio Gatti that can be identified today, it is worthwhile mentioning and comparing two paintings from the 1590s, the Portrait of a Noblewoman, brought to light by Marco Tanzi in 2001, with its very pale flesh tones, and the pearly, glazed rendering in cold and luminous harmonies, and the Three Boys Playing Backgammon while a Little Girl Plays with a Dog in the Borromeo all’Isola Madre Collection, in which the children’s faces strongly recall Giuliano’s page and we see similar attention to detail in the rendering of the fabrics (Cf. F. Frangi-A. Morandotti (ed. by), Il ritratto in Lombardia da Moroni a Ceruti, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2002, p.59. Fig. 3). 3. Cf. Notizie istoriche dè pittori, scultori ed architetti cremonesi, 2 vols., Cremona 1774, I, p.243. 4. We are grateful to Dr. Josè A. Godoy for this information.
In the decades straddling the 16th and 17th centuries, the Cremonese portrait school had several notable artists including Giovan Battista Trotti called Malosso, Bernardino Gatti called Sojaro and Gervasio Gatti – Bernardino’s nephew – who all worked on prestigious commissions in Cremona and for the Farnese court in Parma. Gervasio Gatti was already renowned as a portraitist in 1585; in his Cremona Fedelissima, Antonio Campi mentioned his ‘grace in portraying from life’, as the author of infinite portraits of ‘Lords, Princes and gentlemen.’2 His work as court portraitist for the Farnese is confirmed by several period inventories and by the 1774 biography of the artist written by Giovanni Zaist.3 Stylistically, Gatti’s portraits are indebted to the influence of his uncle Bernardino who was strongly tied to the Correggesque movement dominant in nearby Parma, and which the young Gatti reinterpreted in cold, glazed colours and polished shapes. The lack of psychological characterization in this portrait – the stately pose, the attention to the fine details in the armour and clothing – make it possible to include this painting in the category of ‘State Portraits’. It falls among the Hapsburg-Farnese court portraits that are modelled on Titian’s paintings for Charles V and for his son, Philip II (both in the Museo del Prado, Madrid) and the works of the Dutch painter Anthonis Mor, who is documented as having worked for the Farnese court. Mor’s influence on Gatti’s portraits is evident from his early copy (now in Berlin) of the Utrecht painter’s portrait of Margaret of Austria (Palazzo Comunale, Parma). In our portrait, the boy’s regal features are skilfully portrayed, conveying his newly exalted position in a suitable pose contrasting with the lively and colluding expression of his dwarf page, who is rendered with a natural spontaneity more common in northern, particularly Lombard painting. Gatti opens the curtain on a scene where the midget is caught in the act of taking his master’s sword, cheekily smiling at the viewer. Gatti gracefully depicts the soft, colourful feathers on the left, which are part of a heraldic crest partially concealed by the helmet on the table. The shining armour - in the style of Milanese armourer Pompeo della Cesa, and therefore made between Milan and Brescia in the years from 1570 – 15804 – is finely decorated with floral motifs and figures of harpies along the edges, and the clothes of the young duke and his page are faithful to the fashions of the day. Both historically and and stylistically, it is comparable to Gatti’s Portrait of Ranuccio I Farnese in the Palazzo Comunale, Parma. The Ranuccio portrait has ‘blood ties’ with the sitter of the portrait presented here. Giuliano was the grandson of Pier Luigi Farnese (1503 – 1574), who was also Ranuccio Farnese’s great-grandfather. Even if the painting in Parma is not a portrait of Ranuccio as some scholars suggest, a document in the Archivio di Stato di Parma confirms that Gatti painted a portrait of Ranuccio – Giuliano’s cousin of the same age – the same year that he painted Giuliano’s. However, we have yet to understand how Giuliano – who spent most of his life in Rome or on the Lazio fiefs owned by his father’s family – decided to have Gatti paint his portrait in Parma. It is plausible that the fatherless boy entrusted to his maternal grandfather was sent to Parma in Emilia – the Farnese family’s main fief – specifically to have Gervasio Gatti paint his portrait
THE CAPTURED EYE
Orazio Gentileschi 1563–1639
David contemplating the Head of Goliath Oil on lapis lazuli, laid on slate: 9 ¾ × 7 ½ in. (25 × 19 cm.) Inscribed in the 17th century on the reverse of the backing slate: ‘del Bono/.73.’ Painted circa 1612 Provenance Possibly commissioned from the artist as a papal gift by Pope Paul V Borghese (r.1605-21) (as suggested by Prof. Dott. Francesco Solinas); Thence in the collection of the Counts Del Bono in Parma, probably during the latter half of the 17th century (as suggested by the inscription on the reverse of the backing slate, and the inventory number 73); Private collection, France, by the 1930s (reputedly the collection of André Borie (d.1971) and thence that of his daughter Andrée); Acquired in June 1995 by a European collector; Acquired from the above in April 2012. Exhibited Paris, Musée Maillol, Artemisia 1593 – 1654: Pouvoir, Gloire et Passions d’une Femme Peintre, 14 March – 15 July 2012. Literature Roberto Contini, Francesco Solinas, et al, (ed.), Exhibition catalogue: Artemisia 1593 – 1654: Pouvoir, Gloire et Passions d’une Femme Peintre, Paris, 2012, p.31, no.9.
his extraordinary objet d’art, painted on the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli, is unique in the oeuvre of Orazio Gentileschi, arguably one of the greatest painters of the baroque period. The painting’s early function and history are as yet unknown but its intimate scale, exquisite handling and the sheer costliness of the lapis all indicate that it was an important commission for a patron with highly sophisticated tastes. Prof. Dott. Francesco Solinas, co-curator of the Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition in which the painting was recently exhibited (Paris, Musée Maillol, 2012), has suggested that it may have been commissioned as a papal gift. Notably, the painting is datable to circa 1612, shortly after Orazio had completed work on two important fresco cycles for the Borghese: one for an apartment in Pope Paul V’s grand palazzo on the Quirinal, and the other in the casino (or garden loggia) belonging to the pope’s nephew, Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The artist was already fifty years old by this date, but his reputation and demand for his work grew considerably in the wake of Caravaggio’s death, and resulted in some of his most important commissions – not only in Italy – but also abroad, in Paris and London. The Old Testament subject is taken from I Samuel, 17: 5051. David is portrayed after the fight – victorious yet quietly contemplative, and in stark contrast to Orazio’s earlier, dramatically Caravaggesque depiction of David slaying Goliath in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (c.1607 – 1609), (fig.1). Orazio’s fascination with the subject reveals in turn his interest in the works of his contemporaries, Caravaggio and Guido Reni, both of whom often turned to the subject of David and Goliath. Reni, in particular, treated the theme of David contemplating the head of Goliath in his large canvas of c.1604 – 1606 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), probably only a few years before Orazio conceived his own composition. However, where Reni’s rendition is elegantly contrived, Orazio’s is artfully naturalistic: he is as much interested in the textures of David’s sheepskin cloak as he is in the youth’s emotions, adapting the sharp caravaggesque lighting of his figure to a naturalistic outdoor setting.
fig.1 Orazio Gentileschi, David contemplating the head of Goliath, c.1607 – 1609 © National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
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Nonetheless, his David is as muscular as a Roman statue, and the sheepskin is artfully draped to expose his impressive figure in repose, while he ponders Goliath’s head at his feet. He nonchalantly clasps the stone with which he killed Goliath in his left hand, a sword in his right. David’s victory over Goliath was intended as a metaphor of virtue – an exemplum virtutis – and this intimate presentation of David in a secluded landscape, simply dressed and holding his humble weapon, serves to underline the picture’s symbolic purpose. Though the painting is unpublished, its composition is well-known. It relates to two other known autograph works by Orazio Gentileschi, and the design evidently enjoyed some popularity.1 The first, on canvas and of much larger dimensions (173 × 142 cm.), is in the Galleria Spada, Rome (figs. 2 & 3).2
fig.2 Orazio Gentileschi, David contemplating the head of Goliath, c.1610 – 1611 © Galleria Spada, Rome
fig.3 Orazio Gentileschi, David contemplating the head of Goliath, c.1610 © Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.
It shows David in the same pose, but three-quarter-length, standing before a partially wooded landscape. The Spada painting has been dated to c.1610 – 1611, and although it has been proposed that it may once have been full-length, this seems unlikely. X-rays have shown that the canvas is made up of different sections, and it seems that the composition may originally have been conceived more compactly, and subsequently extended by the artist to include David’s foot and the landscape. By 1758, when the painting was recorded in a Spada inventory, its dimensions were as they are now, so it is probable that the full-length interpretation of the design came later, in the other known variant of the composition, today in the Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.3 1. Christiansen, op. cit., lists a copy (without landscape) after the Spada picture which was with Di Castro, Rome, in 1977, and three copies of the Berlin David; one (contemporary) in a private collection, Berlin; another (later in date?) in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig; and a third, on touchstone, with no landscape background and minor differences (painted as a pair to a copy after Artemisia’s Judith decapitating Holofernes) in the Galleria dell’Arcivescovado, Milan. The latter two copies are reproduced in R. Ward Bissell, Orazio Gentileschi and the Poetic Tradition in Caravaggesque Painting, 1981, figs.36 and 37. 2. Inv.155; Christiansen, op. cit., pp.101-4, cat.no.18, reproduced in colour on p.103. 3. Inv.1723; ibid., pp.105-7, cat. no.19, reproduced in colour on p.106. 4. Ibid.
That painting, executed on copper (36.7 × 28.7 cm.), is closer in scale to the present work, and shows David in a similar full-length pose, before a rocky crag. The Berlin painting should not be considered merely as a reduced variant of the Spada picture: it is in fact a more subtle and sophisticated interpretation. Its small scale and the enamel-like brilliance lent by the copper create a heightened sense of atmosphere. As Keith Christiansen has observed, ‘the Berlin picture improves on the larger canvas and forecasts the new direction in Orazio’s work, one emphasizing formal clarity, a more refined sense of colour and atmospheric unity, and delicacy of touch’.4 Our version takes this yet further: with its brilliant and precious lapis lazuli support, the artist has pushed his artistic ingenuity to its peak, utilising the natural patterns and blue of the stone to define the sky, water and rocky background. Not only is the painting more refined than either of the other two variants, but it is astonishingly experimental in its incorporation of the natural stone effects in to the composition. Although all three interpretations appear very similar, and the present version is compositionally closest to the Berlin copper, none of them feel in any way repetitive. There are a number of subtle differences – the turn of Goliath’s head is different in all three versions – here, the giant’s head points downwards. The swords are likewise embellished differently in each variant, and the Berlin copper is the only painting in which Orazio has chosen to include David’s sling. The reflective mood of the Spada and Berlin David has been replaced here by a heightened sense of drama, and the young victor’s expression seems greatly intensified compared to the other two. The key difference between the three versions, however, lies in their landscape settings. The Spada picture’s wooded landscape and distant buildings are replaced in the Berlin copper by a rocky crag, as here, and in turn, although the distant landscape and rocky riverbank of the Berlin version is similar to ours, the line of the horizon has been substantially altered. By raising the horizon here, Orazio has created more space for the river, thus maximising on the natural effects of the lapis in order to imitate the sky’s reflection in water. The effect is startling: the intensity of the sky, beautifully reflected in the water below, provides a stark backdrop to the lonely figure of David.
The use of lapis lazuli is not unusual in Roman painting at this time, but it is unique in Orazio’s oeuvre.5 Mined in Central Asia since antiquity, the stone was highly prized for its intense blue colour. As well as being used in its polished form for jewellery, mosaics, ornaments and vases, it was also ground to make ultramarine, a costly pigment normally used exclusively for the Virgin’s blue cloak in Renaissance painting. Here, the polished slab of lapis is exceptionally large – the stone, when cut, must have exceeded 25 × 19 cm. Nor has it been excessively thinned down, measuring 3 mm. thick. A piece of slate was affixed to the reverse of the lapis at an early date, (as indicated by the 17th century inscription on the reverse), presumably to protect the lapis from cracking. If the painting was indeed commissioned as a papal gift, and was intended to travel, it may well have been backed as a preventative measure against damage in transit, before the object even left the artist’s workshop.
5. A fine example of painting on lapis lazuli is Cavalier d’Arpino’s Perseus Rescuing Andromeda (oil on lapis, oval, 20 by 15.4 cm.) which was acquired by the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2000. No other paintings on lapis are known in Orazio’s oeuvre, though a painting showing The Fall of the Rebel Angels, painted on alabaster and thought to date from an early phase in Orazio’s career, has recently been identified (sold Christie’s, Amsterdam, 6 May 2009, lot 13, as ‘Circle of Cavalier d’Arpino’). 6. Inv.1707; Christiansen, ibid., pp.142-44, no.27, reproduced in colour on p.143.
The lapis gives the painting a cooler undertone overall which Orazio brilliantly utilises to his own artistic ends – he allows the blue of the stone to glow through the shadows of Goliath’s head to suggest his deathly pallor and the onset of rigor mortis. The evolution and refinement of Orazio’s earlier theme on this precious support indicates that our painting was probably adapted from the Berlin version to meet a specific commission, giving a terminus post quem of c.1612. This date is further supported by comparison with the artist’s Saint Christopher, very likely painted around the same time, now in the Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, (fig. 4).6 The Saint Christopher had long been dated to around 1610, (a date which seems rather precocious), until Keith Christiansen argued for a substantially later date of circa 1615-20 in the 2001-2 exhibition catalogue. Since our painting on lapis must date from a similar time to the Berlin David whilst also sharing the Saint Christopher’s interest in light and reflection, it seems most likely that the Saint Christopher dates from around 1612 or shortly afterwards, rather than later in the decade. Although the Saint Christopher is on copper, both paintings are comparable in scale, and pivotally demonstrate the aritst’s growing fascination with landscape, light and its reflection on water. This in part stemmed from his close association with Agostino Tasso at the time: the two artists had just finished decorating Scipione Borghese’s Casino delle Muse on the Quirinal. Orazio probably also turned for inspiration in his landscapes to the works of Adam Elsheimer, who was greatly admired in Rome at the time, and to whom a number of Orazio’s small-scale works on copper were once attributed. Interestingly both the Berlin David and the Berlin Saint Christopher were once attributed to Adam Elsheimer: the former was acquired by the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in 1914 as a work by Elsheimer and the latter was included in Drost’s monograph on the German artist as late as 1933
fig. 4 Orazio Gentileschi, Saint Christopher, c.1610 © Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino
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COLOUR IS WRONG PLEASE USE THE SCAN ON PAGES 13/14 OF Weiss Gallery FACING THE PAST CATALOGUE–2011
FRANS POURBUS THE YOUNGER AND HIS FAMILY = The first of three generations of this famous Flemish family of painters was Pieter Pourbus the
Elder (c.1523 – 1584), who was to become the most prominent painter to work in Bruges in the second half of the sixteenth century, and the founding father of a style of painting that brought a new naturalism to northern European portraiture. He was also renowned for his religious works, commissions painted for the most part for the churches and chapels in Bruges, as seen opposite in a detail taken from ‘The Last Supper’, a subject that he was to paint on several occasions. Pieter’s son, Frans Pourbus the Elder (1545 – 1581), having initially trained with his father, left his native Bruges to settle in Antwerp c.1564, where he became a pupil of Frans Floris (1519 – 1570). In 1566 he married his master’s niece, Susanna Floris, and by the time of his uncle-in-law’s death, he had established himself in Antwerp as one of the most eminent portrait painters in the city. However his career was cut short by his early death at thirty-six, leaving his twelve-year-old son Frans the Younger to be tutored in Bruges by his grandfather Pieter. In 1591, having completed his apprenticeship, Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) now aged twenty-two, was accepted as a master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. His earliest works, firstly painted in Antwerp and then Brussels, display a remarkable virtuosity and technique that is firmly rooted in the great Netherlandish tradition in which he was brought up. Although his style developed after he left Flanders for Italy, then France, he always remained faithful to the northern tradition and never fully embraced the baroque movement. By 1599 his reputation was such that his career as a court painter began with his appointment to the service of the governers of the Southern Netherlands, firstly the Archduke Ernst of Austria and then his successors, the archducal couple Albert and Isabella. Almost immediately thereafter his talents brought him to the attention of one of the greatest patrons of the arts in Europe, Vincenso Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. Through this entrée Pourbus was then to receive numerous commissions from great ruling families, including the houses of Savoy, Medici and Hapsburg. Finally In 1609, Pourbus became the official court portraitist to the French queen mother, Marie de’ Medici, and subsequently to Louis XIII in 1616. He was naturalized French in 1617, and remained at the French court until his death in 1622. Frans Pourbus the Younger was undoubtedly one of the most influential court painters of the early seventeenth century, and developed a particularly influential iconography for his portraiture of French royalty. His success was so prodigious that it was only the new artistic approach of Rubens or Van Dyck that would take court portraiture in a different direction. He sought to both faithfully render a likeness, whilst also aspiring to an idealism – the ‘royal dignitas’. This he endeavoured to do above all by representing the status of the sitter through a set of attitudes and gestures, utilising the sumptuous splendor of their costumes and stage-like backdrops, while capturing their character with his virtuoso technique. =
Detail from: Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523/4 – 1584) The Last Supper, c.1562 – 1565, © The Weiss Gallery€ 43
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Frans Pourbus the Elder (1545 – 1581)
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, called ‘Testa di ferro’ [‘The Ironhead’] (1528 – 1580) Oil on panel: 39 3⁄8 × 28 ½ in. (100 × 72.5 cm.) Painted circa 1566 Provenance Léon Somzée, 1st Viscount de Somzée, Brussels, by c.1900; (Presumably sold in) his deceased sale, J. Fievez, Brussels, 24 May – 11 June 1904 (vol. 2 of 4, among lots 278 – 700), or passed to Madame Léon de Somzée, Brussels, until 1907; her deceased sale, J. Fievez, Brussels, May 28, 1907; Gaston Ritter von Mallman (d.1917), Berlin, until his deceased sale, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, 12 June 1918, lot 80 (as ‘Frans Pourbus the Elder, Alessandro Farnese’); where presumably acquired by the art historian August Hahr (1868 - 1947), and by descent to his daughter Elsa Hahr (b.1906), until sold Bukowski’s Auctioneers, 24-26 October 1945, (as ‘Angelo Bronzino’), lot 110, where acquired by G. Wolff (for SEK 1,000); Private collection, Stockholm, until 2012. Exhibited Malmö, Utställning av en samling äldre målningar, 1926, no.33 (as ‘Frans Pourbus the Elder, Alesandro Farnese, Duke of Parma’). Literature Dr. Eduard Plietzch, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Sale catalogue no.1808, 1918, p.35, no.80. Ernst Fischer, exh. cat. Utställning av en samling äldre målningar, Malmö Museum, 1926, no.33.
his imposing portrait forms part of the small but distinguished oeuvre of Frans Pourbus the Elder, son of the Bruges painter Pieter Pourbus (c.1523 – 1584), and father to the great international court painter Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622). Our painting can be compared to the artist’s portrait of an Unknown Man in the Wallace Collection, London, (fig.1), signed and dated 1574, of the same dimensions. Both sitters are portrayed three-quarter-length, contrapposto, set large against a carefully shaded, muted background. Their hands are meticulously modelled with similar use of shadow and highlights. Through dendrochronology1 it has been discovered that our portrait is painted on panels of oak from the same tree as those used in a hitherto unattributed portrait of Thomas Gresham (c.1519 – 1579) in the National Portrait Gallery, London, (fig.2).2 Comparison between our portrait and that of Gresham, noting in particular the identical manner in which the hands are painted, would seem to confirm a mutual attribution to Pourbus the Elder (figs. 2 & 3). Given that Pourbus the Elder was one of the pre-eminent portrait painters working in Antwerp in the 1560s it is more than likely that Gresham, an important international merchant and the founder of the Royal Exchange, who divided his time between England and the highly international trading city of Antwerp, would have commissioned the artist for his portrait. 1. Ian Tyers, July 2012, Tree-ring analysis of a panel painting: Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour. 2. There is another (more likely studio) replica of the NPG painting with the Mercer Company, London.
fig.1 Frans Pourbus I, Unknown Gentleman, 1574 © Wallace Collection, London
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fig.2 Frans Pourbus I, Thomas Gresham (c.1519 – 1579), c.1565 © National Portrait Gallery, London
fig.3 Frans Pourbus I, Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528 - 1580), c.1566 © The Weiss Gallery, London
The identity of our sitter was in the past erroneously thought to be Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma (1545 – 1592), who in the 1560s would at any rate have been too young. However, comparison with a bust-length version of our portrait with a contemporary inscription identifying this sitter as the ‘Duc de Savoie’ has enabled our portrait to be correctly identified, and this is supported by further comparison with engravings of the Duke.3 The Duke of Savoy, as one of the leading political and military strategists of his day, had been Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands from 1555 – 1559 after which time he returned to Savoy. Our portrait was presumably commissioned around 1566, when Pourbus the Elder is documented as travelling to Italy.4 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, was the son of Charles III and Beatrice of Portugal, 5 and one of the most renowned princes of the later Renaissance. After his father’s failure to remain neutral in the wars between Francis I of France and the Emperor Charles V, Prince Emmanuel took service with the Emperor in 1545, distinguishing himself through battle in Germany, France and the Low Countries. In July 1553 he captured Hesdin, and a month later succeeded to the title of the Duke of Savoy on the death of his father. However, this proved a nearly empty honour, as the vast majority of his hereditary lands had been occupied and administered by the French since 1536. Nonetheless, he continued to serve the Hapsburgs in hopes of recovering his lands, serving his maternal first cousin King Philip II as Governor of the Netherlands from 1555 – 1559. Having been refused the command of the imperial troops in Piedmont, he tried in vain to negotiate a separate peace with France; but in 1556 France and Spain concluded a five years’ truce, by which each was to retain what it then occupied. This would have been the end of Savoy, but within a year the two powers were again at war. The chief events of the campaign were the successful resistance of Cuneo, held for the Duke by Count Luserna, and the victory of St. Quentin (1557), won by Emmanuel Philibert himself against the French. At last in 1558 the powers agreed to an armistice, and in 1559 the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was made, by which Emmanuel regained his duchy, though on onerous terms: France was to occupy several Piedmontese fortresses, including Turin and Pinerolo. A conciliatory marriage was arranged between the Duke and Margaret, Duchess of Berry, sister of the French King. Their marriage took place in Paris a few months later, and after the French evacuation the Duke re-entered his dominions amidst the rejoicings of the people. The condition of Piedmont at that time was deplorable – wars, the exactions and devastations of the foreign soldiery, and religious antagonism between Catholics and Protestants had wrought terrible havoc. There was no army, the administration was chaotic, and the finances were in a hopeless state. The Duke set to work, inaugurating a series of useful reforms. Savoy, following the tendency of the other states of Europe at that time, became thenceforth an absolute monarchy. Emmanuel reformed the currency, reorganized justice, prepared the way for the emancipation of the serfs, raised the standing army to 25,000 men, and fortified the frontiers, ostensibly against Huguenot raids, but in reality from fear of France. The Duke rounded off his dominions by the purchase of Tenda and Oneglia. He died in August 1580, and was succeeded by his son Charles Emmanuel I. During his reign the duchy, which had been more than half French, became predominantly Italian. Although he was a capable and brave soldier, he preferred diplomacy to war, and succeeded in freeing his country, converting it from a ruined and divided land into a respectable independent power of the second rank, and, after Venice, the best-governed state in Italy.
3. Bonhams, Knightsbridge, 21 April 2009. We are grateful to Drs. Sabine Craft-Giepmans of the RKD for drawing our attention to this portrait. 4. Max Friedländer wrote in his article ‘Frans Pourbus der Ältere’, Oud-Holland 52 (1947), pp.60-67 that Pourbus made a trip to Italy in 1566 (p.63). 5. Sister-in-law to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. 6. R. Petrucci, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, vol. 5, no.16 (Jul., 1904), p.422. 7. There were also numerous Italian masters including Lorenzo di Bicci, Bellini, Tintoretto, Canaletto and Titian.
By the 20th century the painting passed into the hands of Léon Somzée, 1st Viscount de Somzée, a celebrated Belgian engineer, industrialist and collector, who made his fortune with the creation of the ‘Compagnie Générale pour l’Eclairage et le Chauffage par le Gaz - Gás Belga’, ultimately providing a network for gas lighting in Lisbon and Oporto. He was created 1st Vicomte de Somzée (‘viscondes de Somzée’) by Carlos I, King of Portugal (1863 – 1908), in 1895, in recognition of his services. In his deceased sale of 1904, 423 old master paintings were sold from his collection, as well as furniture, sculpture and objects. It was in this sale that the present portrait was presumably purchased by an influential German art dealer, Gaston Ritter von Mallman. The sale was reviewed at the time in The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, in ‘Notes from Belgium’, in which it was described as ‘one of the most interesting and important events of the year…Of the pictures, the Death of Polyxena by Tiepolo was bought by the State for the Brussels museum for 25,000 francs’.6 Von Mallman owned a gallery in Berlin, the contents of which were sold after his death in a four day sale at Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, 1918. The sale included 164 paintings with numerous works by Dutch and Flemish masters, among them pieces by Rubens, Van Dyck, Miereveld, and Frans Pourbus the Younger among others.7 It was at this sale that our painting was presumably purchased by the famous Swedish art historian of the early 20th century, August Hahr, (professor in Lund and later in Uppsala), for the picture was sold in 1945 by his daughter in an auction at Bukowski’s auctioneers in Stockholm. Hahr’s pubications included books on the Swedish court portraitists David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (1628 – 1698) and his nephew David von Krafft (1655 – 1724)
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Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622)
Caterine van Damme (b.1540) Oil on panel: 41 ¾ × 29 ½ in. (106 × 75 cm.) Inscribed with an armorial of the de Groote family upper left, and upper right: ‘AE TAT IS S VA E 51/ A NNO D NI 1591 ’ Inscribed on the reverse of the panel: ‘IONC V R AV WE- C AT ER INE- VA N- D A MMEHV V SV RAV W F- VAN - M R - F R A NC OIS - D E- C R OOT E ’ 1 Painted 1591 Provenance Private collection, France. with The Weiss Gallery, 1997; Private collection, England. Literature Ebert, 1963, no.833. The Weiss Gallery, Illustrious Company, 1998, no.8. Marx, 2005, no.1401. B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune, 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, 2011, no. P.A.3., pp.184-185.
1. ‘Lady Caterine van Damme, wife of M. Francois de Groote’. Little is known about the sitter apart from that her husband’s family, the de Groote, were from Bruges. 2. A comparison to Antonis Mor (1519 – 1575) can also be made. Pourbus, from his youth, can be seen to rival the master of Hapsburg portraits. He was the natural successor to the renowned Mor – and like Mor, he had been born into a family of eminent portrait painters.
irst identified by Mark Weiss as the work of Pourbus in 1997, this powerfully sculptural portrait is an important example of the small number of portraits by the artist that date from the very early years of his working life in Antwerp between 1591 – 1594 and indeed painted in the first year of his professional life. They constitute a very distinguished group, conspicuous for their unerring naturalism, and reflecting the great artistic traditions the artist had inherited, both from his father, Frans the Elder, and his grandfather, Pieter Pourbus.
From 1591, the year of our portrait, we find the artist’s earliest signed works: his portrait of An Unknown Gentleman (Temple Newsom, Leeds), a Self-Portrait (Uffizzi, Florence), as well as An Unknown Gentleman (ex coll. The Counts of Schonborn, Pommerfelden Castle), whose female companion portrait is dated but unsigned. Undated, but probably from the following year, is the signed portrait of Ricardus Petrus (Groeninge Museum, Bruges), and a pair of unsigned portraits, both dated 1592, of Nicolas de Hellincx (Museum voor Schone Kunst, Antwerp), and The Wife of Nicolas Hellincx (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin). This last portrait in particular is remarkably close to ours in character. Crucially, the form of inscription found on the Dublin and Antwerp portraits stylistically matches that found on the present work. The richness of the sitter’s two gold bracelets, her gemstone rings and the pendant cross with baroque pearl drops belie the costume’s austerity, as do the discreet jet beads that gently gleam from its trimmings. Her elegant concertinaed lace cuffs are similar to those seen in Pourbus’s portrait of an Unknown Woman aged 54, also painted in 1591 (Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco), and like the San Francisco portrait, Catherine van Damme, whose identity is confirmed not only by the inscription but also by the coat-of-arms, very likely had a pendant portrait of her husband. The exquisitely rendered chain, heavy and placed in the foreground in play with her hands, is typical of the era, very much in the taste of portraits by Herman van der Mast (c.1550 – 1610)2. Her pose is similar to that in a portrait of an Unknown Lady by Adriaen Thomasz. Key in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, as well as to several works by the artist’s father, Frans Pourbus the elder. She is partially turned away from the viewer, but the back of her hands, her front, and even the cross, are lit from above in counterbalance. Such visual eloquence reveals Pourbus’s ability to use and mature the example of his father’s work to his own end
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Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622)
An Unknown Man Oil on oval panel: 19 × 15 in. (49 × 39 cm.) Painted circa 1593 – 1594 Provenance with Guy Stein1, Paris, 1935, by whom sold to Arthur Sambon; Private collection, U.S.A. Literature B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, 2011, p.196, no. P.A.13. Exhibited Paris, La Galerie Stein, 1935, no.12.
s with the portrait of Caterine van Damme (cat.13)and that of Justus Lipsius [?] (cat.15), this work stylistically can be dated to the early years of the artist’s professional life, c.1594 at the latest, shortly before he moved to work in Brussels. The extraordinary realism and level of finish in this head are of the highest quality, and the paint surface is beautifully preserved. Painted on an intimate scale, the sitter does not present any aristocratic or courtly attributes, as found in later work by the artist. The man’s ‘simple placement in the space around him, his promounced and angled threequarter pose, and the finesse of the modelling of his flesh, all point to a creative ingenuity and skill which affirm this early dating’.2
1. The existence of this panel in the Stein collection in Paris, 1935, is known through documentation by Max J. Friedlander in 1936 (courtesy of the RKD). 2. Ducos, op. cit.
The dexterous handling of paint, typical of Pourbus’s first stylistic phase, concentrates on rendering every possible detail in a subject’s face, from the very slightest shadow in the modelling of the flesh tones, to every single hair on his head and beard. The impact and realism with which our sitter is portrayed is astonishing. He fixes the viewer in a direct gaze, as he would have the artist, who in turn has meticulously observed the man’s refined and care-worn face with unerring skill. We do not know who he is, but that he was a close associate of Pourbus seems likely. His costume – a simple black doublet and ruff, with discreet slashes revealing tiny windows of red silk, is the informal wear of one who has sat to the artist without pretention or selfaggrandisement. This is a portrait painted on a human scale, for close inspection
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Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622)
An Academic, possibly Justus Lipsius (1547 – 1606) Oil on panel: 26 3⁄8 × 20 ¼ in. (67.1 × 51.4 cm) With a 19th century continental red wax armorial seal on the reverse Painted circa 1595 – 1600 Provenance Sotheby’s, London, 21 April 1982, lot 54 (as ‘Willem Key’); European private collection; Christie’s, London, 8 December 1995, lot 240 (as ‘Willem Key’); European private collection; Christie’s, London, 9 December 2005, lot 222 (as ‘North Italian School, c.1560’); with The Weiss Gallery, 2005 – 2006; acquired by the de Bode Family Trust, on loan to the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (2006 – 2012) Literature B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, 2011, P.A.7, p.190. Jonckheere, 2007, A76, pp. 110 – 111, & 288. The Weiss Gallery, A fashionable likeness; early portraiture 1550 – 1710, London 2006, no.15. Israel, 1997, pp.5 & 7.
s with the portrait of Catherine van Damme, this painting was first identified as the work of Pourbus by Mark Weiss. It plausibly represents the great humanist and classical scholar, Justus Lipsius (1547 – 1606), who was described by his admiring correspondent Michel de Montaigne as one of the most learned men of his day. There are no other known ad vivum portraits of the sitter, whose iconography is based on engravings – primarily a print by Crispin de Passe, dated c.1587, which shows Lipsius aged forty – and a posthumous image in a group portrait by Rubens, The Four Philosophers (Palazzo Pitti, Florence), completed in 1611, which depicts the artist with his brother Philipp, Lipsius and another scholar, (fig.1).
1. By around 1594 Pourbus was in Brussels where his precocious talents earned him commissions from the court of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, the Spanish Regents. It was there that he met and went on to enter the employ as court painter to Vicenzo Gonzaga I, 4th Duke of Mantua. 2. As for the identification of the sitter to the humanist Laevinus Torrentius (1525 – 1595) by Jonkheere, this remains unverifiable. The sitter represented here can be no older than sixty-five years – the age of Torrentius at the date when he would have had to sit for Pourbus, in the first half of the 1590s. Blaise Ducos also posits ‘But then, why not consider as possible models for this beautiful portrait the clerk of the court, Juan Mandicor, or the Chancellor of Brabant, Petrus Peckius, or even Jean Richardot who chaired the Privy Council (Israel, 1997)?’ However, none are as convincing or indeed as seductive as an identification to Lipsius. 3. Hans Vlieghe, The Burlington Magazine, September 2011, CLIV, p. 640, in his review of Frans Pourbus the Younger, by Blaise Ducos.
The portrait displays Pourbus’s remarkable technique, capturing the physiognomy of the sitter with astonishing verisimilitude. On stylistic grounds, it was most likely painted by Pourbus in Brussels, in the second half of the 1590s, while the artist was in the service of the archduke’s court – a dating supported by the fashion of the sitter’s collar and hairstyle; it certainly cannot be much later, for Pourbus left for Mantua in 1600.1 Ducos, (op. cit.), suggests that stylistically the painting corresponds with the artist’s Antwerp period, in the early 1590s, however any shift in Pourbus’s style between his move from Antwerp in 1594 and his arrival in Brussels that same year, would not yet have taken perceptible effect. Furthermore, the sitter appears to be in his late forties or early fifties, and assuming it is indeed Lipsius, by c.1594 he would have been approaching fifty years old, and was teaching at the Catholic University of Leuven, close to Brussels. Notably he is presented bearing the conventional attributes of academic life – wearing a university gown and holding a book.2 In this final period of Lipsius’s life, he continued to publish dissertations, the chief being his De militia romana (1595). It is tempting to suggest that the book in our portrait might indeed be a copy of his De militia romana, or that the portrait could even have been commissioned to celebrate its publication. Justus Lipsius was the founding father of ‘Neostoicism’, a key feature of European thought in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His lifelong project was to transform contemporary moral philosophy through a new reading of the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca. In 1592, he accepted the chair of history at the University of Louvain and the chair of Latin at the Collegium Trilingue. Assuming our sitter is indeed Justus Lipsius, Blaise Ducos (op. cit.) notes that this conjunction between the painter and philosopher would be pivotal in proving the existence of a de facto relationship between Pourbus and Rubens – Lipsius being one of the latter’s close circle of friends. Further to this, Hans Vlieghe notes that although ‘nothing is known about any specific contact between the two Antwerp painters, and Ducos does not see any reason why there should have been, this could be challenged… Both young Flemish painters were evidently guided by Titian’s example and I find it tempting to think that Pourbus followed that example in direct emulation of Rubens’3 fig.1 Rubens, The Four Philosophers, 1611 © Palazzo Pitti, Florence
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Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622)
Archduke Albert VII of Austria (1559 – 1621) Oil on card, oval: 3 1⁄8 × 2 ½ in. (8 × 6.5 cm.) Painted circa 1600 Provenance Private collection, London, by whom sold Christie’s, London, 15 October 1996, lot 125; from whence acquired by, Private collection, Belgium until 2012.
his exquisite masterpiece in miniature of the Archduke Albert VII of Austria appears to derive from the fulllength portrait of the sitter by the artist, painted around 1599 – 1600, now in the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Significantly, in our miniature he wears full armour, whereas in the full-length, he is shown in a breastplate. Pourbus has meticulously rendered every tiny hair, loop of lace, golden curlicue and play of light across the Archduke’s face and armour with a precision and near-microscopic vision that is astonishing in its virtuosity. Renowned for his unerring skill, Pourbus’s pleasure in the medium of a miniature is apparent here in its magnification (or more precisely, the diminution) of his already prodigious attention to detail. The careful modelling of flesh-tones and characterisation of the Archduke’s face, his heavy-lidded and slightly weary eyes, the full Hapsburg lips, the flush of his cheeks and sheen across his nose all convey a remarkably believable likeness. Such careful realism is a hallmark of Pourbus’s work before his move to the French court, where he learnt to flatter with a more idealised version of ‘royal dignitas’, often concentrating on the sumptuous splendor of his sitter’s costumes.
1. For a comparative discussion of these two paintings, see B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus Le Jeune, Paris 2011, pp.198-199.
Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, was the third son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Habsburg. He was raised at the Spanish Court, and in 1577 was created Cardinal of Toledo. From 1585 – 1595 he was Viceroy of Portugal, and after the death of his brother Archduke Ernst in 1595, he was sent to Brussels to succeed as Governor General of the Hapsburg Netherlands. He presumably commissioned the full-length on which the present miniature was based in 1599 when he relinquished his orders (with special dispensation from the Pope), to celebrate his marriage to the Infanta Isabella, daughter of Philip II of Spain. It was to be more than just a marriage portrait, but also a statement of Albert’s military and political ambitions. In a pointed homage to Philip II, Pourbus depicted the Archduke fulllength and contrapposto, holding a baton of command and dressed in a breastplate, echoing the 1560 portrait of the Spanish King by Antonis Mor, which celebrated Philip’s victory at the battle of Saint-Quentin.1
Our miniature, painted at the beginning of the couple’s reign, would have been one of a number commissioned from the artist by the Archduke to distribute to loyal courtiers and foreign emissaries, presumably with a pendant miniature of the Archduchess (also based on her full-length pendant to the Archduke’s portrait by Pourbus of 1599, likewise in the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, Madrid). One such pair of miniatures can today be found at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, Scotland (National Trust for Scotland), of the same dimensions and bust-length composition. Notably, in his catalogue raisonnée (op. cit.), Blaise Ducos dismisses the pair as ‘très bonnes copies (réduites), attestant la faveur du modèle pourbusien vers 1600 – 1605’2, observing that the multiplication of images of the Archduke and Archduchess could be found in all formats and mediums at that time, disproving in his view the artist’s production of miniature copies of his own portraits. However, in the same book, Ducos lists other miniatures as by Pourbus in full, counter to his own argument.3 Another comparable miniature of the Archduke fully attributed to Frans Pourbus the Younger can be seen in the collection of the Groeningemuseum, Bruges. Albert and Isabella were joint sovereigns of the Hapsburg Netherlands until the Archduke’s death in 1621, ruling the territories in the southern Low Countries and the north of modern France.4 They were avid patrons of the arts, employing the finest artists of their day. Frans Pourbus the Younger was undoubtedly the most influential court painter at the time of their dynastic marriage, and he was the obvious choice to paint the couple at their union. His success was so extensive that it would only be the new artistic approach of Rubens that would take portraiture in a different direction, and indeed the royal couple later appointed Rubens as their court painter in 1609. Although Pourbus presents the Archduke in armour to emphasise his military prowess, by 1600 Albert’s reputation as a military commander had suffered badly when he was defeated by the Dutch stadtholder, Maurice of Orange, at the battle of Nieuwpoort on 2 July 1600. Unable to draw the lengthy siege of Ostend to a close (1601 – 1604), he withdrew from the tactical command of the Spanish Army of Flanders, ceding his military operations to the great general, Ambrogio Spinola.5 Spinola’s campaigns were key in persuading the Dutch Republic to accept a ceasefire in 1607, and with the Archduke’s added desire to negotiate peace, this eventually led to the Twelve Years’ Truce, agreed in Antwerp on 9 April 1609. The United Provinces were to be regarded as a sovereign power, a point Albert conceded against the will of Madrid, in his quest for the restoration of peace in the Low Countries. However, towards the end of the Twelve Years’ Truce, in 1620 Albert’s health declined sharply, and although he devoted his last energies to securing its renewal, his death on 13 July 1621 more or less coincided with the resumption of hostilities between the two
2. B. Ducos (ibid.), p.297. 3. B. Ducos (ibid.), pp.215, 228 & 256: P.A.34 Miniature of Marie de’ Mecici, 1606 – 1607, 5.4 × 4.2 cm.; P.A. 44 Miniature of Marie de’ Medici, 1610, 3.6 × 2.9 cm.; P.A.80 Miniature of Marie de’ Medici, 1615, 4.1 × 3.4 cm.; P.A. 81 Miniature of Marie de’ Medici, 1615, 3.3 × 3.3 cm. 4. He would eventually succeed his brother Emperor Matthias as reigning archduke of Lower
and Upper Austria, but abdicated in favour of Emperor Ferdinand II after only a few months, making it the shortest reign in Austrian history. 5. For a portrait of whom, see The Weiss Gallery, Facing the Past, London 2011, no.10, Circle of Michiel Jansz. Van Miereveld (1567 – 1641), Ambrogio Spinola, 1st Marquis of Los Balbases (1569 – 1630), pp.30-31.
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Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622)
Louis XIII (1601 – 1643), King of France Oil on unlined canvas: 27 × 21 ½ in. (68.5 × 54.5 cm.) Inscribed on the reverse: ‘L U D OV IC O X III R E D I F R A NC IA F IG L IO D I E N RI CO I I I I E M AR IA D E MED IC I’ Painted circa 1620
1. Significantly he served Philip III in Italy as Capitán General and Virrey de los Reinos de Sicilia (1610 – 1616) and Nápoles (1616 – 1620), and the inscription on the reverse of the canvas is in Italian. 2. Significantly, the adolescent King appears a few years older than in a portrait dated circa 1617, today in the Jakober Foundation, Majorca, in which he is shown in similar costume but with a single tiered, square laced ruff, see B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus the Younger, op. cit., p.259, no. P.A. 86. The recent discovery of our portrait also disproves the theory proposed by Hamish Miles that late on the artist fell from grace with Marie de’ Medici, giving up portraiture and resorting to painting religious works towards the end of his career. It now seems clear that Pourbus continued to paint both religious scenes and portraits of the King right up until the time of his death in 1622. 3. The fire of 1661 in the portrait gallery at the Louvre resulted in the loss of all these portraits, except for that of Marie de Médici, and is undoubtedly the cause of this gap in the royal iconography of Louis XIII. 4. As a perfectionist, he was known to be an extremely slow painter, confirmed by the many letters from kings and princes urging him to finish their portraits. 5. See Blaise Ducos, (op. cit.), no.37, c.1606/07 aged 5 – bust-length in red (? - b&w illustration); nos. 46 & 58, c.1610 aged 9 – bust-length in blue; and no.50, 1611 aged 10 – full-length in red. 6. See Blaise Ducos, (op. cit.), no. 66, 1614 aged 13 – bust-length in a simple white silk costume; no. 82, 1616 aged 15 – threequarter-length in a white slashed costume with gold embroidery; no. 84, c.1616 – bust-length aged 15 in a white slashed costume with gold embroidery; no.94, c.1616 – bust-length, white slashed, as above, aged 15; no.86, c.1617, bust-length, white slashed, as above, with a love lock, aged 16.
Provenance Possibly given to Pedro Nuñez Girón y Velasco Guzmán y Tovar, Duke of Osuna (1574 – 1624)1, then sent to Spain, where it descended in the collection of the Dukes of Infantado for many generations; Probably Joaquín Arteaga y Echague (1870 – 1947), 17th Duke of Infantado; and by descent to his daughter Doña Teresa de Arteaga, Countess of the Andes; thence by descent to her son Don Iñigo Moreno y Arteaga, Marqués of Laula; Private collection, Spain. Literature B. Ducos, Frans Pourbus le Jeune 1569 – 1622, Le Portrait d’apparat a l’aube du Grande Siècle, 2011, pp.135 & 277, P.A.103, also reproduced p.134, with erroneous provenance.
his is the last known portrait of Louis XIII of France by his official court portraitist, Frans Pourbus the Younger before the artist died in 1622. Blaise Ducos has dated the painting to circa 1620, when Louis XIII was nineteen years old.2 Our portrait therefore represents the adolescent King at a pivotal moment in his life – having assumed full regal power, and emerging from the control of his mother, Marie de’ Medici. There is no other known extant representation of the King from this period, and prior to the discovery of this portrait in 2011, the iconography of Louis passed from his prepubescent portraiture by Pourbus to those of the king as a mature adult aged thirty by Philippe de Champaigne, (fig.1).3 Pourbus portrayed Louis XIII various times during his employ at the French royal court, however the present design is unique, with no other known versions. This can to some extent be explained by the fact that although the artist developed the most important artistic circle of his day, with numerous followers, he nonetheless by choice had practically no workshop.4 In all his portraits of Louis XIII, Pourbus presents the young royal contrapposto, in a pose that directly mimics the artist’s earlier portraits of Louis’ father, King Henri IV of France (Louvre, inv. 1708). In establishing the young king’s iconography, Pourbus saw the importance of invoking that of the deceased.
➢fig.1 Philippe de Champaigne, Louis XIII aged thirty, 1631 © Musée du Louvre, Paris
Costume was likewise important in presenting his sitter as a sumptuous and grandiose royal icon. He painted the younger Louis in blue or red silk costumes (see fig.2),5 but from adolescence, as here, he wears white silk with gold embroidery, redolent of his celestial kingly status.6 In our portrait, Louis wears the prerequisite white silk with rich gold embroidery, but the costume itself is of an entirely new fashion – the doublet is of watered white silk, with multiple ripples and reflections, rather than the ‘slashes’ of his previous doublets. As well as golden embroidery thereare additional and manifold gold buttons. Pourbus has relished every detail, from the clustered layers of lace in his newly rounded ruff, to the ironed fold in his blue sash. Although it is a bust-length format, the artist has also included Louis’ badge of the order of Saint Esprit. The young king retains the lovelock that appeared in
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his portrait of 1617, but here he sports a young man’s nascent moustache, each hair as carefully rendered by Pourbus as the sitter’s eyelashes. Our painting is believed to have been in the collection of the Dukes of Infantado, Spain, for many generations. The Dukedom of Infantado is, together with Alba, Albuquerque, Medinaceli, Medinasidonia and Fernan Nuñez, one of the six most important Dukedoms in Spain. The family lineage goes back to the 1st Marquis of Santillana, Don Iñigo López de Mendoza (1398 – 1458), whose son Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1415 – 1479) was created 1st Duke of Infantado by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella in 1475. Amongst their many family titles, the most distinguished include Dukes of Infantado, Marquises of Santillana, Counts of Manzanares el Real, Dukes of Lerma (until 1844), Princes of Eboli, Marquises of Ariza, Counts of Saldaña, Marquises of Tavara and Admiral of Aragón, making them Grandes de España no less than six times. The family brought together two of the greatest Spanish historic collections, those of the Dukes of Lerma and the Dukes of Infantado, which were united following the marriage in 1686 of Doña Luisa Mendoza and the 1st Duke of Lerma. The great tradition of collecting within the Infantado line began with the 5th Duke of Infantado, Don Iñigo López de Mendoza y Pimientel (1493 – 1566) who assembled more than five hundred paintings in his palace in Guadalajara. The collection was subsequently enlarged by his descendants to adorn their eight palaces in Madrid, which included those next to the Royal Palace, the old palace of the Dukes of Lerma in the Paseo del Prado, as well as the Cattle of Manzanares el Real and the Palace of Moncloa.
fig.2 Frans Pourbus II, Louis XIII aged ten, 1611, previously with The Weiss Gallery © The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Our portrait may have entered the Osuna collection during the time of Pedro Nuñez Girón y Velasco Guzmán y Tovar, Duke of Osuna (1574 – 1624), who served Philip III as Capitán General and Virrey de los Reinos de Sicilia (1610 – 1616) and Nápoles (1616 – 1620). These last dates coincide with that of our portrait, which significantly is inscribed to the reverse in Italian. Pedro Nuñez Girón de Velasco, known as the Gran Duque de Osuna, was one of the most outstanding personalities in Italy at this time. His relationship with the Duke of Lerma, favourite of Philip III, was very close and extended even to the point of marrying his son and heir, Juan Tellez Girón, to the grand-daughter of the Duke of Lerma and daughter of the Marquis of Uceda. This relationship facilitated his rapid ascent, and later his fall at the time of the Duque de Olivares, due to his being considered a pivotal figure in the circle of the Marqués de Uceda, the greatest enemy of Olivares.
7. Don Iñigo Moreno y Arteaga, Marqués de Laula married Doña Teresa de Borbón, cousin to Don Juan Carlos, King of Spain and great grand-daughter of Alfonso XIII.
The relationship between the House of Osuna and that of Infantado-Lerma culminated in the union of the titles and patrimony of both Houses, in the person of Pedro Alcántara Tellez Girón y Beaufort, XIVth Duke of Infantado, Duke of Lerma and Duke of Osuna. The titles continued united until the death, without descent, in 1882 of his brother, Mariano Tellez Girón y Beaufort, XVth Duke of Infantado. From this date on, the Dukedom of Osuna was again independent, while the Dukedom of Lerma was added to the titles of the House of Medinaceli and the Dukedom of Infantado passed to Don Avelino de Arteaga y Silva Carvajal y Tellez Girón, XVIth Duke of Infantado, nephew on his mother’s side of the Duke of Osuna, and great-grandfather of Don Iñigo Moreno de Arteaga, Marquis of Laula, the last recognised holder in the Infantado family of the portrait of Louis XIII painted by Pourbus.7
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Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)
Study (tronie) of an Old Man’s Head Oil on panel: 19 × 14 ¾ in. (48 × 37 ½ cm.) Painted circa 1615 – 1618 Provenance European private collection
his vigorous and arresting study of an old man’s head is a new discovery and addition to the oeuvre of Rubens. We are grateful in particular to Prof. Dr. Arnout Balis, Chairman of the Rubenianum in Antwerp, for his written confirmation of the attribution. The painting’s execution, with its streaky imprimatura, is typical of the artist. Presumably painted from life, the sitter’s pronounced nose and tousled greying hair and beard may well have been deemed appropriate for the portrayal of a characterful saint, bystander or apostle. As yet no finished work has been identified that includes this study, however Balis notes that there are similarities, seen from various other viewpoints, with a figure used in drawings by Rubens produced as part of the artist’s stock of head studies: Four such heads that are arguably the same man can be found in a couple of drawings attributed to the young Van Dyck working after Rubens’ prototypes (not preserved in the original). He would appear to be the same sitter for two heads on a sheet in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire (Held, Oil Sketches, 1980, fig.49), and for two other heads on a sheet in the Louvre (No.20.287), (fig.1). He appears again on two different sheets, one in Rotterdam and the other whereabouts unknown.1
fig.1 Sir Anthony van Dyck after Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Head Studies © Musée du Louvre, Paris 1. A.W.W.M. Meij, Rubens, Jordaens, van Dyck..., exh.cat. Rotterdam 2001, no.51 and p.196, fig.4. 2. See D. Jaffe & E. McGrath (eds.), Rubens: A Master in the Making, National Gallery exh. cat, 2005, p.186. 3. A generation later tronies were well received in the expanding Dutch art market, both for the appeal of the subject matter but also because they were more affordable than a larger work while still showcasing the artist’s talent at its best. 4. See Rubens to Lucas Fayd’herbe; Magurn, 1995, letter 244, pp.410 – 411
Here, Rubens has sought to achieve great effects on a small scale – his ‘lightening-like’ strokes animate the surface while the sagging cheeks and furrowed brow of the deliberately anonymous old man convey the weight of wisdom and experience; he appears immersed in thought. Rubens painted this work as a tronie (‘face’ in Dutch) – a term used in early inventories for close-up studies of single faces or busts displaying striking features or expressions. Such studies soon developed into an independent genre by the likes of Leiden artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Lievens, however Rubens seems to have systematically painted such studies to build a personal library of ‘types’. His copies of heads from Raphael’s tapestry cartoons suggest he ‘felt a need for a wider facial vocabulary’2. Rubens’ skill in capturing human emotion in these works no doubt contributed to the development of tronies.3
In ours, the old man’s head is lit in semi-profile, as though caught in a spot-light. His slightly unfocused eyes suggest a psychological detachment from the viewer, their averted gaze accentuating his self-containment. With swift, creamy impasto Rubens captures the man’s weather-beaten skin and greying, matted hair and beard in a bravura display of painterly skill. He has confidently scratched out odd, individual hairs with the back of his paintbrush. It is a remarkable study, painted quickly, its textural virtuosity typical of the artist. We are acutely conscious of the hair – clotted strands that hang across the skull with astonishing realism. Rubens’ tronies count among his masterpieces, others including his profile study of an Old Man in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica di Palazzo Corsini, Rome, his study of a Man’s Head in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, and an Old Man in the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow. As here, they display explosive vitality. Rubens clearly regarded such works as templates for his paintings, the characters through whom he would tell his stories. This is revealed by his written instructions to an assistant to cover key preparatory works from prying eyes: ‘I have urgent need of…three heads in life-size, painted by my own hand… It would be a good plan to cover it… so it may not suffer on the way, or be seen’4. From this we can also infer that Rubens painted his studies independently before they were incorporated into larger works, and that he would use them as and when such a ‘character’ was needed: they were made for his own and his pupils’ private contemplation, rather than for the art market at large
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Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)
An Unknown Genoese Noblewoman Oil on canvas, with corners added: 39 ½ × 29 ½ in. (100.4 × 74.9 cm.) Painted circa 1621 – 1623 Provenance (Possibly) Marchesa Lomellini Durazzo, Genoa; with Luigi Grassi (1858 – 1940), Florence; Marcus Kappel (d.1931), Berlin, by 1909; Ernest G. Rathenau, New York, and by descent to Ellen Ettlinger (née Rathenau), Oxford; with Knoedler & Co., New York; Norton Simon Foundation, Los Angeles, sold Sotheby’s, London 11 July 1973, lot 20 (£180,000); with Brod Gallery, London; Private collection, USA, until 2012. Exhibited Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein, Ausstellung von Bildnissen fünfzehnten bis achtzenten Jahrhunderts: Aus dem Privatbesitz der Mitglieder des Vereins, 31 March – 30 April 1909, no.30. Genoa, Palazzo dell’Academia, Cento Opere di Van Dyck, June – August 1955, no.18.Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, Northern 17th-century Painting: Selections from the Norton-Simon Inc. Museum of Art, 1972, no.7. Literature E. Schaeffer, Van Dyck: Des Meisters Gemälde, Klassiker der Kunst, 1909, p.183. D. von Hadeln, ‘Die Porträtausstellung des kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Vereins’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, 1909, XX, p.297, fig.3. W. Bode, Die Gemäldesammlung Marcus Kappel in Berlin, 1914, no.38, illus. G. Glück, Van Dyck: des Meisters Gemälde, Klassiker der Kunst, 1931, p.165. O. Millar, ‘Van Dyck a Genova’, The Burlington Magazine, XCVII, 1955, p.314. D. Steadman, ‘The Norton Simon Exhibition at Princeton’, Art Journal, XXXII, Autumn, 1972, no.1, pp.35-6, fig.5. S.J. Barnes, Van Dyck in Italy, Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1986, no.62. E. Larsen, The Paintings of Anthony Van Dyck, Freren (Luca Verlag), 2 Vols., 1988, Vol.2 no.364. S. Barnes et al, Van Dyck: A complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Yale 2004, p.231, no.II.107.
his elegant portrait can be dated on the grounds of costume, hairstyle and technique to the very early years of Van Dyck’s Italian period, most likely painted when he was based in Genoa. Apart from its palpable beauty, the most striking aspect of our portrait is the bravura with which it was executed. Perhaps painted within a day, wholly autograph and without any studio assistance, the speed with which it was demonstrably executed clearly reflects an artist ‘on the move’. The creamy impasto is brushed thickly over a darker coral-brown underpaint, and the bold application of dragged paint in the sitter’s sleeves and skirt are coarsely sumptuous in contrast to the sensitively observed rendering of her features. It is a powerful likeness; contrapposto, she turns her head to directly engage the viewer’s gaze.
1. Op. cit., pp.189-190.
Little is known of the portrait’s early history, and nothing of the sitter. The young woman rests her right hand on her swollen belly and lifts her gown to reveal a bulging rust skirt – gestures that suggest she is pregnant. In what is otherwise a restrained palette, the prominent use of red pigment in the treatment of her coral necklace and headdress may also be a reference to her pregnant state. As Barnes has observed,1 the unusual employment of red in the cuffs of the dresses worn by Elena Grimaldi (Widener Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington) and another unidentified Genoese Noblewoman, previously thought to be Geronima Doria (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), may well have been an allusion to their pregnancy.
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Van Dyck’s portraits of the Genoese nobility are generally recognized as one of the supreme achievements of Western portraiture and the high point of the artist’s career.2 Due to the early provenance of this painting, the sitter was previously erroneously identified as the Marchesa Lomellini-Durazzo, a noblewoman from the important Genoese family known to have sat for Van Dyck’s most ambitious and celebrated group portrait from his years in the Ligurian Republic: The Lomellini Family (Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland). However, more recently, scholars including Piero Boccardo have suggested that this identification cannot be substantiated and for the present our Genoese lady’s identity remains unknown.
2. O. Millar, ‘Van Dyck at Genoa’, The Burlington Magazine, Vol.97, 1955, pp.312-315. 3. G. Gorse, ‘A Classical Stage for the Old Nobility: The Strada Nouva and Sixteenth-Century Genoa’, The Art Bulletin, 1997, vol.9, pp.301-327.
Painted around 1621 – 1623, our portrait falls into the transitional years connecting the last works of Van Dyck’s first Flemish period and the earliest works of his Italian periods, when he was still very much influenced by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640). Indeed, our painting has much in common with Van Dyck’s portrait of Rubens’ first wife, Isabella Brant (National Gallery of Art, Washington), painted in 1621 and given as a gift to Rubens prior to Van Dyck’s departure to Italy. Van Dyck set out from Antwerp for Italy in October 1621, staying firstly in Genoa, where recommendations from Rubens provided convenient ingress to Genoese society. Consequently Van Dyck found patronage from the same group of aristocratic families for whom Rubens had been active fourteen years earlier. Genoa was a city at the apogee of its power; at the centre of European finance, with its ruling classes and ‘new nobility’, it provided a rich seam of patronage for the young artist, and it was here that he was able to observe Rubens’ monumental and imaginative portraits from twenty years earlier.3 Genoa would remain Van Dyck’s base during his six-year stay in Italy and he spent most of 1625 – 1627 in the city enjoying great success as a portraitist
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John Riley (1646 – 1691)
Charles II (1630 – 1685), King of England Oil on unlined canvas: 50 × 40 in. (126 × 100 cm.) Painted circa 1683 – 1684
Provenance Private collection, Befordshire, until 2012.
eorge Vertue related in his notebooks how Charles II exclaimed of Riley’s uncompromising portrait ‘Is this like me? Odd’s fish, then I’m an Ugly fellow’. Vertue continues ‘this so much damp’t Mr Roilys spirit that he never coud endure to look on the pictture. Tho’ a Noble man bought it & pay’d for it, the King had it not’.1 John Riley was appointed Paynter & Picture drawer to His Majesty in Ordinary in 1681 on the death of Sir Peter Lely, who previously held the monopoly in royal portraiture at the court of Charles II. Riley, like Lely, received a salary of £200 per annum; however, he never quite achieved the same level of success as Lely, not least because his portraits of Charles II, though grand and regal, were considered by the king to be unflattering. Nonetheless, there was sufficient demand for the portrait that Riley’s studio continued supplying versions to other courtiers, and the king himself ‘honour’d him with several obliging Testimonies of his Esteem, and withal gave him this Character of his works, that he painted both Inside and Outside’.2 The ‘ugliness’ of the king’s portrait was in line with Riley’s aesthetics as a ‘sound and skilful artist’ - indeed, ‘truthfulness’ in portraiture was a fashion that emerged with the reinforced Protestantism during and after the Popish plot.3 Buckeridge observed that ‘[Riley’s] excellence was confined to a head’, and indeed the sensitive brushwork and lively characterization of our portrait, and Charles’s reaction to it, attest to the artist’s ability to paint a face with particular scrutiny. The King sat to Riley circa 1682 for a head and shoulders portrait, the original for which is thought to either be at Holker Hall, Cumbria, or Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire. Riley then evolved the present three-quarter-length format in armour, another example of which also hangs in the Bodleian New Building, Oxford, along with Riley’s pair of the Queen. Ours is notably fine; the quality of the execution of the face, the bravura drapery, and the fluid handling of the landscape in the background all indicate that it is by Riley in full. It is also the only known version of the work to include the king’s crown and sceptre.
1. Vertue Notebooks vol. IV, p.28. 2. See K. Gibson, ‘Best Belov’d of Kings: The Iconography of King Charles II’, Ph.D, London University, 1997, p.134, available from the British Library British Thesis Service. 3. K. Gibson, p.133.
John Riley was apprenticed to both Isaac Fuller and Gerard Soest respectively, but worked independently for some years before he made a name for himself after Lely’s death. He employed Lely’s principal studio assistant, John Baptist Gaspars (c.1628 – c.1690), and in 1681 they were jointly commissioned by the Painter-Stainers Co. for a portrait of the Duchess of York. On 15 September 1682 Riley was given the freedom of the Company. He then entered into a partnership with fellow artist John Closterman, who only contributed drapery and poses. According to Vertue, the arrangement foundered for, although they shared equally in the £40 for a full-length and £20 for a three-quarterlength, Closterman only received 30 shillings out of the £10 charged for a head and shoulders. These sums represent, incidentally, exactly half Lely’s charges at the end of his career. After the revolution of 1688 Riley was jointly appointed Principal Painter to William and Mary along with Sir Godfrey Kneller, but does not appear to have received a commission to paint the new monarchs. In 1689 he re-founded the St Luke’s Club for artists, and Closterman served as its steward. Riley had a number of pupils working in his studio including the artist Jonathan Richardson, who later became his executor and heir, having married Riley’s niece
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John Riley (1646 – 1691)
Elizabeth Fox (1661 – 1702/3) Oil on canvas: 49 × 39 in. (124.5 × 99 cm.) Signed lower left on the urn: ‘Riley/px’ and inscribed lower right: ‘Mrs. Fox, Only/ Daughter to Sir/ Will. Trollop/ of Caswick in/ Lincolnshire./ Died 1703.’ Painted circa 1679 Provenance By descent in the family of the sitter at Casewick Hall, where it remained until 2nd Lord Kesteven, Casewick Hall, Stamford, Lincolnshire, his sale, Christie’s, London, 18 March 1960, lot 19 (to W. Sabin for 80 guineas); with Frost and Reed, London (according to an old label on the reverse); Dr. James Ward, Louisville, Kentucky; Private collection, Cincinnati, USA, until 2012.
his is likely to be a marriage portrait, and may have hung with a pendant of the sitter’s husband. She wears the fashionable classical costume of colourfully draped silk, billowing chemise and ropes of pearls made popular by Sir Peter Lely in his fantastical portraits of the ‘Hampton Court beauties’, among them Barbara Villiers and Nell Gwyn. Riley has set her against a suitably Baroque imaginary backdrop with a classical column, extravagantly looped golden curtain, and a classical urn of roses and iris. Elizabeth Carr Trollope was the only child of Sir William Trollope, 2nd Bt. (1621 – 1678), High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, and Elizabeth Carr (d. 1661). Her mother died the year she was born, presumably in child-birth, and her father died the year before Elizabeth married Charles Fox (d.1713)1 in 1679, when she was eighteen, and an heiress. Charles Fox was MP for Salisbury and Paymaster of the Forces.
1. Son of the Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen Fox and Elizabeth Whittle.
Casewick Hall, where our portrait hung for generations, was a medieval moated manor house, recorded as belonging to Edward Heron by 1595, soon after which it passed to Sir James Evington, who sold it in 1621 to the sitter’s greatgrandfather, William Trollope (d.1638). It was inherited by Elizabeth as part of her estate from her father. The house was remodelled substantially in the 17th century, presumably by Elizabeth and her husband, and was later re-fronted in 1785 in the ‘Strawberry Hill’ Gothic style
THE CAPTURED EYE
Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. (1723 – 1792)
Study for the Uffizi Self-portrait Oil on canvas 23 ½ × 19 ½ in. (59.3 × 49.5 cm.) Painted circa 1774 – 1775 Provenance (Possibly) The artist’s niece, Mary, Marchioness of Thomond, Christie’s, 26 May 1821, lot 11 or 11a, bought John Jackson, R.A.; or: Jaubert sale, Christie’s, London, 15 December 1804, lot 28, ‘Sir J. Reynolds Portrait of Himself, painted with great Effect’, bought Walsh Porter for 6 guineas. Walsh Porter sale; Christie’s, 14 April 1810, bought John Graves for 80 guineas, by whom sold to John Newington Hughes, Maidstone. By descent to his daughter, who married James Morrison Esq. and by descent to Charles Morrison Esq. of Basildon Park, Reading. Private collection, Oxford until 2012. Literature C.F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, Vol. IV (Supplement), 1857, p.311. A. Graves & W.V. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., Vol. II, 1899, p.804. Exhibited London, South Kensington, National Portrait Exhibition, 1867, no.535, lent by C. Morrison.
his newly rediscovered work by Sir Joshua Reynolds is a key stage in the development and execution of his famous self-portrait for the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, measuring 28 ½ × 23½ in. (72 × 58 cm.), (fig.1). Reynolds had been invited in 1772, at the request of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, to contribute to the gallery of self-portraits that formed part of the Medici collection at the Uffizi in Florence. The artist’s connection to the city dated back some twenty years earlier when in September 1752 he was elected a member of the Accademia di Belle Arte. This prestigious commission was clearly important to Reynolds who set about presenting himself as a significant intellectual and artistic force. So much so, that on its completion and arrival in Florence, it was according to Luigi Siries, Keeper of the Gallery, revered almost as if it were a holy relic. Reynolds chose to depict himself in the scarlet robes and black velvet cap of an Oxford Doctor of Civil Law, an honorary title he was awarded on 9 July 1773 and of which he was inordinately proud. Of all the honours bestowed on Reynolds it was the one that afforded him the greatest personal satisfaction. Many of his friends had already been awarded doctorates, including Thomas Percy, Charles Burney, Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson. The hat and gown allowed the artist to indulge in a sense of theatre not previously found in his earlier selfportraits and to consciously emulate some of the great painted and etched self-portraits executed by Rembrandt.1
1. See Rembrandt’s Self-portrait at the Age of 34, National Gallery, London. 2. Sir Joshua Reynolds, Self-portrait, Tate Britain, London.
Reynolds, an enthusiastic recorder of his own visage from early in his career, executed a number of self-portraits in his doctoral robes in a variety of poses, including one painted in late 1773 that the artist sent to the Corporation of Plympton after he had been elected Mayor in September 1773 (private collection). Mannings has identified an unfinished canvas in the Tate Gallery,2 in which he holds his left hand to his breast, as the artist’s first attempt at the Uffizi portrait citing the influence of Van Dyck’s portrait of Sir Kenelm Digby with an Armillary Sphere, which hung at Knole, during the 18th century. The present work, painted on a more intimate scale, on a canvas of approximately 24 × 20 in., develops this composition a stage further with the focus on the play of light falling across the face. The black velvet cap with its serpentine line casts a deep shadow over more than half of the artist’s forehead – making it more conspicuously Rembrandtesque. It is also unfinished, with the scarlet drapery only blocked in with thick rapid brushstrokes and a sketchy, unresolved area to the sitter’s right that might represent paint brushes, an easel, or the beginnings of a scroll. There are pentimenti visible in a number of areas of the composition, including the neck cloth, the ear, the hair as well as the costume, attesting to the speed with which it was painted and its experimental nature. It was almost certainly painted for the artist’s own pleasure as an exercise rather than as a commissioned work. Like many artists, Reynolds saw his self-portraits as an essential part of an artist’s development where away from the pressures of a patron or commission, he could produce a pure distillation of skill.
THE CAPTURED EYE
In the final, more formal composition at the Uffuzzi, painted on a panel support, Reynolds scales back the dramatic shadow caused by the velvet cap and allowing more of his face to be seen in clear light.3 He holds in his right hand a scroll of paper on which is inscribed a tribute to Michelangelo. On a label on the reverse he listed in Latin a roll-call of his public honours and titles. It represents a very public face, in contrast to the private nature of the present work – confirming his status as one of the leading painters in Europe and heir to the traditions of the great old masters. Our painting can possibly be identified with one of several self-portraits by Reynolds missing since the early 19th century. It could be one of the ten self-portraits sold by the artist’s niece, Mary, Marchioness of Thomond at her posthumous sale at Christie’s in 1821. Three of the self-portraits described as ‘unfinished’ works were sold on 26 May 1821 as lots 11, 11a and 11b. The first two were bought by a copyist of Reynolds’ work – John Jackson, and the third by J.M.W. Turner. A 19th-century copy of the present work, quite likely by Jackson, and recorded in the Heinz archive at the National Portrait Gallery, would support the supposition that our portrait might well have been one of the two purchased by Jackson in the Thomond sale, and which he later copied.
3. Sir Joshua Reynolds, The Uffizi Self-Portrait, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
Alternatively, it could also be identified with a self-portrait of the same dimensions and description recorded by the authors Graves and Cronin in the sale of the collection of Walsh Porter, an art dealer and dandy who lived at Craven Cottage in Fulham. Porter, a friend and art advisor to George, Prince of Wales was influential in the remodelling of the interiors and art purchases for Carlton House. Craven Cottage itself which Porter enlarged and remodelled from 1805, comprised of a series of rooms designed in a totally different fashion so the Great Hall was Egyptian and the dining room was Gothic. Christie’s held a sale of Porter’s collection after his death in 1810 as ‘A Catalogue of the Magnificent Collection of Italian, French, Flemish and Dutch Pictures, the Genuine and Sole Property of the Late Walsh Porter, Esq.’. Graves and Cronin record his Reynolds self-portrait being purchased at that sale by John Graves. It was subsequently bought by John Newington Hughes of Maidstone, Kent and passed by descent into the Morrison family of Basildon Park, Reading. Waagen records the painting in situ at Basildon in 1854 and it was lent to the National Portrait Exhibition of 1867 by Charles Morrison
fig.1 Sir Joshua Reynolds, Self-portrait © Uffizi Gallery, Florence
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Published on Mar 12, 2014