THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
oil on limewood panel, in a carved and gilt wood frame
Possibly Graf Gebhardt von Mansfeld, 1591;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Sotheby's, 12 July 2000, lot 16, for £55,000, where bought by the present owner.
Hans Döring was a pupil of Lucas Cranach in Wittenberg. A Lucretia by him, signed with initials and dated 1514, and closely derived from a Lucas Cranach prototype, is in the Städtisches Museum, Wiesbaden. By 1520, the date of the present picture, he was probably no longer in the Cranach workshop. Until 1558 Döring was in the service of the Grafen von Solms, and also of the Grafen von Mansfeld (see Provenance). Two other portraits of Philipp von Solms by Döring are known: at Schloß Laubach, also inscribed and dated 1520, and of very similar size but not signed1; and at Neuenstein2. His likeness is also to be found in an altarpiece wing attributed to Doring in Nieder-Weidbach.
Philipp von Solms was one of the most trusted advisors of Kurfurst Friedrich der Weise of Saxony3, who appointed him Regent of Coburg from 1504 until 1514, and who entrusted him with a mission to the Bishop of Eichstadt, Gabriel von Eyb, one of the starkest critics of Luther. A portrait of Philipp von Solms in oil on paper by Lucas Cranach, also of about 1520, is in Bautzen, Stadtmuseum4.
The present portrait first came to light early in 1994, when the signature was discovered during cleaning, and it was published later in the same year by Claus Grimm. We are grateful to Dr. Kurt Locher, who has confirmed Döring's authorship upon first-hand inspection.
1. See E. Ehlers, Hans Döring, Darmstadt 1919, p. 7, reproduced plate iii, and Graf E. zu Solms, Aus dem SchloSS der Grafen zu Solms - Bildnisse des 16. Jahrhunderts im Schloß zu Laubach, 1955, reproduced plate 2.
2. See F. Grunewalt, 'Hans Döring. Bildnis des Grafen Philipp von Solms'' in Die Weltkunst, 15 May 1950, p. 5.
3. For a portrait of whom see the following lot.
4. See Grimm, under Literature.
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