The present work was almost certainly owned by the Sedelmeyer Gallery, as evidenced by the gallery's wax seal on the reverse. However what remains uncertain is which version of the present composition by Vestier is the picture published in the 1901 Sedelmeyer catalogue. Illustrated in1901 Illustrated Catalogue of the Seventh Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters is a work of almost identical composition to the present lot, as having once formed part of the collection of the Comte de Bryas, Paris.1 The fact that Sedelmeyer owned both the present picture, and the work illustrated in their 1901 catalogue suggests that these two pictures may be one in the same. However, inconsistencies which are clearly noticeable between the two compositions, such as differences in the sleeves, and the flowers being held in the sitter's hand, as well as the inclusion of an urn in the present work, favors the contrary. Furthermore, the apparent lack of any major surface damage here supports a more likely explanation that Sedelmeyer owned two versions of this composition, the present picture, and the aforementioned published version.
1. C. Sedelmeyer, Illustrated Catalogue of the Seventh Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters, Paris 1901, p. 88, cat. no. 74, reproduced.
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