Circle of François Clouet
- François Clouet
- Portrait of a man, said to be Comte Lamoral d'Egmont, Prince de Gavere (1522-1568), half length, wearing the order of the golden Fleece
- oil on boxwood panel, circular, within an integral frame
His deceased sale, London, Christie's, 25 February 1966, lot 3, as 'Burgundian School, circa 1550', where purchased by Leonard Koetser for 170 Guineas;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's South Kensington, 9 July 2004, lot 17, as 'Circle of Frans Pourbus' for £4,500 where purchased by the present owner.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
The sitter is traditionally identified as Comte Lamoral d'Egmont, Prince de Gavere, son of Jean d'Egmont and Francoise de Luxembourg. A highly regarded general and diplomat, he negotiated the marriage of Philip II of Spain with Mary Tudor. Such was his influence that he was made a knight of the Golden Fleece in 1548, at the age of 26. In 1567 d'Egmont became involved in political conspiracies that led to his premature death: accused of treason, he was executed in the Grand Place in Brussels on 6 June 1568.
A note on the Provenance: In 1912 Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill inherited Northwick Park and its contents from his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Augusta Bowles, wife of the 3rd and last Lord Northwick. The collection comprised approximately 400 Old Masters including a number which Lord Northwick had 'bought back' during a series of sales which followed the death intestate of his uncle John Rushout, the 2nd Lord Northwick, in 1859. The collection was extremely broad, representing every school of painting, and Captain Spencer-Churchill added a further 200 pictures. As directed in the Captain's will, the collection was dispersed at auction: the sale that took place on 28 May 1965, in which this painting was included, was only the first of a series.
A Jacobean structure, Northwick Park was substantially remodelled in the 18th and 19th centuries. Between 1728 and 1730 Lord Burlington redesigned its eastern façade and entrance hall in the Palladian style. It was remodelled in the 1770s by John Woolfe, who also designed a new cantilevered circular staircase which rises through the whole building to a domed roof-light. Richard Hulls was responsible for adding a picture gallery in the 1830s. Following the death of Captian Spencer-Churchill in 1964 and the dispersal of the house's contents in a series of sales at Christie's, the house became derelict. Standing empty for a long time, several of its splendid fireplaces disappeared. It was eventually sold in the late 1980s and developed into residential flats.