Lot 120
  • 120

Jacob Jordaens

80,000 - 120,000 USD
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  • Jacob, the elder Jordaens
  • St. Andrew
  • oil on canvas


In the possesion of the present owners since at least 1960.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This marvelous painting has not been restored for many years. The canvas has been lined, the paint layer is stable but the surface is extremely dirty and heavily varnished. Because of the old varnish no retouches are visible under ultraviolet light but under close inspection one can see that the neck, the face and the lighter strokes in the hair and beard are all beautifully preserved. Similarly the hand and the cross are very healthy. The darker colors in the hair, in the folds of the shirt to the back of the neck and in the background generally are probably slightly weaker and may have been retouched. Nonetheless, the entire painting should be carefully cleaned since it would produce a very lively and much more textured paint layer which, with careful retouching, would produce a very fresh and immediate image.
"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."

Catalogue Note

The present work, a re-discovered and hitherto unpublished picture, can be dated on stylistic grounds to Jordaens' early career. It is comparable to other youthful works by Jordaens executed circa 1620 or slightly earlier, for example his Job in the Detroit Institute of Arts (acc. no. 43.418). In these pictures, which can be classified somewhere between informal sketches and finished portraits, Jordaens employs bold, expressive brushstrokes, seen here as he carries a single brushstroke along a large stretch of canvas in the white collar and neck of St. Andrew. These broader gestures are complemented by quick, short brushstrokes which are used to build up the beard of the sitter.

Though not directly related to a known composition, the present model may be the same standing figure with a lantern in Jordaens' Adoration of the Shepherds from around 1617 (Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, inv. no. 60.094). The sitter may have been a studio model, whose likeness would have been recorded in various figure studies, and later incorporated into other multi-figure compositions. The practice of creating, keeping, and re-using studio studies made from life was first developed by Frans Floris in the Southern Netherlands, and later embraced by Jordaens' Flemish contemporaries, Rubens and van Dyck. Both van Dyck and Jordaens were in Rubens' studio around 1615-20, and would have been very much aware of, and involved in the production of figure studies for communal studio use. These were often recycled in a sense, or used on numerous occasions, and seem to have functioned in certain cases as figure types which could be used repeatedly. One such example, dating from around the same moment as the present work, can be seen in Jordaens' Two Studies of a Bearded Man (Rockoxhuis, Antwerp, inv. no. 77.111). Similar to the present St. Andrew, these particular studies do not appear exactly in later works, but rather modified versions of the same model were placed in larger compositions, such as St. Jerome with An Angel, of which there are versions in both the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (inv. no. NM 404).