Lot 3
  • 3

Corneille de Lyon

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Corneille de Lyon
  • Portrait of a gentleman, presumed to be René de Batarnay, Comte du Bouchage
  • oil on panel


With D. A. Hoogendijk & Co., Amsterdam;
Acquired from the above by W.H. de Monchy, Rotterdam, circa 1950;
Thence by inheritance to the present owner.

Catalogue Note

This is the prime version of Corneille's three portraits of a gentleman identified as René de Batarnay, Comte du Bouchage. The identity of the sitter is made on the basis of its likeness to an anonymous chalk drawing of the same sitter today in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Corneille is thought to have painted a group of portraits of the Comte de Bouchage and his family in the 1530s and 1540s.

The two other versions of this portrait, neither of which are unanimously accepted as autograph, are in The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, and The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York.1 The only difference in the former is a slight glimpse of a white collar beneath the Comte's ear but this is likely a later addition, done in the 1550s or '60s, to bring the clothing up to date. The version in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, shows no added ruff.

A portrait of the Comte's wife Isabelle of Savoy is also in The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.2 Two depictions, also by Corneille, of the sitter's daughter Marie de Batarnay, later the wife of Guillaume II, Vicomte de Joyeuse, are in The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Musée Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp. Another portrait said to be of Marie by Corneille was sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 2013, lot 4, although the identification of the sitter in that painting is less certain as there is little in common with the physiognomy of the Houston and Antwerp portraits and, as de Groër notes, the clothes are datable to the 1560s, well after the execution of the other portraits of the Batarnay family.3

We are grateful to Alexandra Zvereva for endorsing the attribution to Corneille de Lyon and for identifying it as his prime version. Mme Zvereva has dated the portrait to c. 1545.

1 A. Dubois de Groër, Corneille de la Haye dit Corneille de Lyon, Paris 1996, pp. 101–83, cat. no. 80 and 80a, both reproduced.
2 Ibid., p. 222, cat. no. 140, reproduced p. 78.
3 Ibid., pp. 223–24, cat. nos 141, 141a, 142, all reproduced.