Lot 4
  • 4

Salomon van Ruysdael

300,000 - 400,000 GBP
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  • Salomon van Ruysdael
  • An estuary scene with smalschips on a broad reach before a gentle breeze
  • signed in monogram on the lee-board of the boat lower centre: SVR
  • oil on oak panel


Louise-Élisabeth-Félicité-Françoise-Armande-Anne-Marie-Jeanne-Joséphine de Croÿ d’Havré, Marquise and later Duchesse de Tourzel, known as Louise-Élisabeth de Croÿ, (1749-1832);
By inheritance to her grand-daughter, Anne-Hélène-Aldegonde du Bouchet de Sourches de Tourzel (1806-1837), who married Comte Louis-Marie-Paul d’Hunolstein (1804-1892);
Their son, Comte Antoine-Jean d’Hunolstein (1832-1859), who married Anne-Marie-Josèphe de Montmorency-Luxembourg (1839-1900);
Thence by descent to the present owner.


The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar, who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's. UNCONDITIONAL AND WITHOUT PREJUDICE Structural Condition The artist's panel has a vertical split and has two inserted butterfly batons inserted into the reverse of the panel. The split, which is approximately 13 cm in from the left vertical sight edge, has reopened and should ideally be secured and rejoined. Paint Surface The paint surface has a discoloured and rather uneven varnish layer and should respond well to cleaning and revarnishing. Inspection under ultra-violet light shows a number of small scattered retouchings, most of which appear larger than is really necessary and could be reduced with more careful inpainting. The most significant of these retouchings are, 1) retouchings on and around the vertical split mentioned above, 2) an area in the upper left of the clouds which measures approximately 4 x 1 cm, and 3) an area in the lower right of the clouds just above the small boats which measures approximately 5 x 1 cm. There are other small scattered retouchings. Summary The painting would therefore appear to be in essentially good condition and should respond well to cleaning, restoration and revarnishing. The split in the panel should be addressed.
"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

This unrecorded picture resembles others of similar subjects on small upright panels of similar dimensions.  Not many are dated, but those that are suggest that Ruysdael started to paint them as early as the 1640s.  The majority, however, probably including the present work, date from the early 1660s.  The artist seems to have made a speciality of these, and they are characterized by their apparent rapidity of execution, with many details worked wet-in-wet.  A concentration on a single subject matter such as this - most are even shown under high summer clouds with the foreground in shadow as here - allowed the artist to express himself without pausing for reflection, and their sense of immediacy of execution is palpable.  Although many, including this picture, do not depict calms, most of them are imbued with a sense of tranquillity, stability and permanence: the weather is set fair and nothing untoward is likely to happen.