Bischoffheim collection, London, by 1926; Anonymous sale, A.W.M. Mensing, Amsterdam, 15 November 1938, lot 53; Thence by descent to the present owner.
Nicolaes Maes’ portraits of children are amongst his most lively and amusing compositions. Here the young sitter is dressed in an ornate classical costume with a quiver over his shoulder and an arrow in his right hand. He embraces a goat whilst a lively spaniel jumps up. Goats are often seen in Maes’s child portraits and their inclusion, as domestic pets of the wealthy elite, seems incongruous today but was very much in fashion in the seventeenth century when they were used to pull small play-chariots.
The colours of the original are a touch more yellow than they appears in the catalogue illustration.
The canvas has a firm relining which has somewhat flattened the paint surface, which is otherwise secure and in good, original condition under a slightly yellowed varnish. There is little evidence of retouching but thorough inspection under UV light is impeded by the aforementioned varnish.
Offered in a gilt wood and plaster frame in good condition with some minor losses.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."