THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY

Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck
PORTRAIT OF CORNELIS MONTIGNY DE GLARGES, AGED 43, HALF-LENGTH, IN A BROWN COAT AND WHITE LACE RUFF
Estimation
100 000200 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY

Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck
PORTRAIT OF CORNELIS MONTIGNY DE GLARGES, AGED 43, HALF-LENGTH, IN A BROWN COAT AND WHITE LACE RUFF
Estimation
100 000200 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

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Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck
HAARLEM 1609 - 1662
PORTRAIT OF CORNELIS MONTIGNY DE GLARGES, AGED 43, HALF-LENGTH, IN A BROWN COAT AND WHITE LACE RUFF
signed and dated lower right: J. vSpronck. an 1643
inscribed upper left: AETAT.S 43 (AE in ligature) and charged with the arms of the sitter
oil on canvas
80.8 by 64.8 cm.; 31 3/4  by 25 1/2  in.
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Provenance

Presumably by descent in the family of the sitter;
Douairière A.C. Groeninx van Zoelen (née Baroness van der Goes van Dirxland), The Hague;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 26 May – 5 June 1964, lot 497;
Private collection, U.S.A.;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Christie's, 28 November 1975, lot 84, when acquired by the father of the present owners.

Exposition

Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum, Verspronck, 15 September – 25 November 1979, no. 64;
New Brunswick, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Haarlem: the 17th century, 20 February – 17 April 1983, no. 129.

Bibliographie

R.E.O. Ekkart, Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck, exhibition catalogue, Haarlem 1979, pp. 48, 103, no. 64, reproduced p. 176 (as dated 1646);
F. Fox Hofrichter, Haarlem: the Seventeenth Century, exhibition catalogue, New Brunswick 1983, pp. 139, no. 129, reproduced p. 138.

Description

Cornelis Montigny de Glarges (The Hague 1599 or 1600–1683 Haarlem), son of Gilles de Glarges, whose portrait by Miereveldt is now in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, and Wilhelmina Cooper, was Agent – effectively Ambassador – of the Dutch States-General at Calais. He came from a wealthy Dutch family, and was educated at the University of Leiden. He married Sara Parret (died 1681) in The Hague in 1633. Montigny de Glarges was clearly very well connected among kunstliefhebbers in Haarlem and elsewhere, especially Leiden: he maintained an album amicorum from 1622 until 1679 in which friends including the still life painter Floris van Dyck, and the draughtsman and engraver Jacob Matham, the portraitist David Bailly, as well as poets, historians, scientists and philosophers such as Jacob Cats, Samuel Ampzing, Theodor Schrevelius, Constantijn and Christiaan Huygens and René Descartes inscribed poems, drawings and messages of goodwill.1 On 16 July 1624 David Bailly contributed a Vanitas drawing of a skull, an hour glass and a smoking clay pipe with the following dedicatory inscription: Ter liefden en t'sijnen versoecken van mijnen groten vriendt / Joncheer Cornelis De Clarges heb ik t'sijner gedachtenische / dit alhieer ghestelt den 16 guilij Ao. 1624. In Leiden / V.E.D. / Davidt Baillij. ('Out of love and at the request of my good friend / Jonkheer Cornelis de Clarges, I have for his memory, placed this here on 16 July Ao. 1624 In Leiden / V.E.D. / Davidt Baillij.').2

Several of these friends of Montigny de Glarges also sat to Frans Hals (as well as one to Rembrandt), but while the pose of the present sitter reminds us of Hals, it is actually more extreme than in any of Hals' portraits, with the sitter's shoulder cocked elbow pointing straight out at the viewer, while his face is almost full-frontal. Although Verspronck was certainly influenced by his older townsman, his technique is entirely different and much more restrained, and his lighting more complex and theatrical. As Fox Hofrichter put it, '[t]he sharp lines and angles of the composition are gently offset by the sophisticated use of back lighting and by the soft, extravagant full lace collar which complements the subject's almost sensual face'.2  The swagger pose of the sitter here recalls what has become Verspronck's most famous painting, the half-length portrait of Andries Stilte as a standard-bearer, in Washington, although the mood of the two works is quite different.

Rudi Ekkart noted a disparity between the age of the sitter and the date of the painting, then read as 1646, but subsequently a cleaning revealed the date 1643, which corresponds with the age of the sitter, who was born in 1599 or 1600.

1. Preserved in The Royal Library, The Hague; see Fox Hofrichter under Literature.

2. See I. Bergström, Studier i Hollänskt Stillebenmåleri under 1600-talet, Gothenburg 1947. p. 167, reproduced fig. 135.

3. See Hofrichter, op. cit.

4. Washington, National Gallery of Art; see Q. Buvelot, in R.E.O. Ekkart & Q. Buvelot, Dutch Portraits. The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals, exhibition catalogue, Zwolle 2007, p. 220, no. 64, reproduced.

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