Dutch School, mid-17th Century
- View of Paris from the Pointe de La Cité, looking towards the Louvre on the right and the Tour de Nesle on the Left
- oil on canvas
- 39 5/8 x 54 1/2 inches
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 10 June 1994, lot 4 (as Attributed to Theodor Matham);
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 29 January 1998, lot 83 (as Attributed to Theodor Matham);
There purchased by the present collector.
"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."
This view of Paris from the Pointe de la Cité is based on an engraving by Stefano della Bella (Florence 1610-1664) dated 1646. It depicts a view of the Seine with the 16th century Hôtel de Nevers and the 13th century Tour de Nesle, which had survived from the city walls of Philippe-Auguste, on the left. Both were demolished later in the 17th century to make way for the Collège des Quatre-Nations. On the right bank, the Tour de Bois, a vestige of the walls of Charles V, and the last remains of the medieval castle of the Louvre are shown flanking Henri IV's Grande Galerie du Louvre. Both these older structures were demolished during the same period to make way for expansion of the newer Louvre. The foreground depicts a lively scene with figures promenading along the Pont Neuf. The bridge was built during the reign of Henri IV, who inaugurated it in 1607 and whose statue can be seen at center.
Della Bella's engraving was famous and numerous paintings based on it by Dutch artists are known including one by Peter Casteels II, in the Musée Carnavalet, Paris and another attributed to Pieter Wouwerman.1
1. Sale, London, Christie's, 8 December 1995, lot 361 (as Attributed to Pieter Bout) and now Attributed to Pieter Wouwerman by Marijke C. de Kinkelder of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague; their photo archive image no. 6526.