Lot 58
  • 58

Eglon Hendrick van der Neer

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Eglon Hendrick van der Neer
  • The fainting fit
  • signed and dated lower left: Egelon van der Neer fe 1680
  • oil on shaped panel
  • 20 1/2 x 17 inches


Johann Wilhelm von Neuburg, Elector Palatine (1658-1716), Düsseldorf, kept in one of the two private cabinets in the Old Castle, catalogue of 1719 by G.J. Karsch, no. 121; 1730, to Mannheim, inv. 1730, manuscript inventory by J.P. van der Schlichten, no. 120; cat. 1730, no. 72;
With Hofgarten Galerie, Munich, 1805;
Älte Pinakothek, Munich, 1836-1925 (depot from 1910 onwards);
With Schleissheimer Galerie, Schleissheim, 1925-1934;
Älte Pinakothek, Munich, 1934-37;
Given in exchange for an other work of art to Heinrich Tschuppik (1890 - 1950) from Vienna 29 October 1937;
With D. Katz, Dieren and The Hague, 1937 until at least 1939;
R.H. Hoos, Wassenaar, 1973 (where stolen August 1973, and subsequently returned);
By whom sold, London, Christie’s, 7 July 1978, lot 227;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 4 May 1979, lot 36;
With P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1979;
Private collection, The Netherlands, 1980;
With Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam and London, 1983-86;
With P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., New York;
Private collection, Cleveland and New York, acquired from the above before 1989 


Delft, Prinsenhof, Antiekbeurs, 1979;
Leiden, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Een verzameling schilderijen uit de 17de, 18de en 19de eeuw, 1980, no. 40;
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, De Hollandse fijnschilders: Van Gerard Dou tot Adriaen van der Werff, 1989-1990 no. 27.


J. van Gool, De Nieuwe Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Kunstschilders en Schilderessen, The Hague 1750/1751, vol. II, p. 563;
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné..., London 1833, vol. IV, p. 176. cat. no. 23;
C. Blanc, Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles depuis la Renaissance jusqu’à nos jours: école hollandaiseI, vol. II, Paris 1860, p. 8;
G. Parthey, Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen, p. 186, cat. no. 15;
A. Woltmann & K. Woermann, Geschichte der Malerei, Leipzig 1888, vol. III, p. 737;
J.D. Champlin & C.C. Perkins (eds.), Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, New York 1888, vol. III, p. 325;
Th. Levin, “Beiträge zur Geschicte der Kunstbestrebungen in dem Hause Pfalz-Neuburg”, in Beiträge zur Geschichte des Niederrheins, vol. 20, 1905, p. 244;
A. von Wurzbach, Niederlandisches Kunstler-Lexikon. Vienna 1910, vol. 2, p. 224;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné, etc., V, London, 1913, vol. V, p. 489, cat. no. 55;
Historia. Maandblad voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, 1937, p. 300, cat. no. 12;
E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris 1953, vol. 6, p. 327;
O. Naumann, Frans van Mieris the Elder 91635-1681), vol. I, p. 73, note 47, and p. 76, reproduced, fig. 107;
C. White, The Dutch Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge and London 1982, p. 83, cat. no. 121;
Caroline Luise, Markgräfin von Baaden, exhibition catalogue, Karlsruhe 1983, p. 215;
Apollo Magazine, March 1983, vol. 128, p. 65, reproduced;
F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca, 1450-1700, Amsterdam 1949- in progress, vol. XIV, p. 142;
B. Gaehtgens, Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722), Munich 1987, p. 415, reproduced;
O. Ydema, Carpets and their Datings in Netherlandish Paintings, Zutphen 1991, pp. 57, 154, cat. no. 342;
E. van de Wetering, “Het satijn van Gerard Ter Borch,” in Kunstschrift 37, 1993, no. 6, p. 32, reproduced;
C. Kemmer, “In search of classical form: Gerard de Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek and seventeenth Dutch genre painting”, in Simiolus 26, 1998, p. 104;
E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris 1999, vol. 10, pp. 135-6;
E. Korthals Altes, “The collections of the Palatine Electors: new information, documents and drawings”, in The Burlington Magazine 145, 2003, pp. 211, 216;
E. Korthals Altes, “Philip van Dijk, een 18de-eeuwse Haagse schilder-kunsthandelaar met een locale en een international clientele”, in Oud Holland 116, 2003, p. 218, reproduced;
E. Mai, S. Paarlberg & G.J.M. Weber (eds.), Vom Adel der Malerei. Holland der Malerei/ De Kroon op het werk. Hollandse schilderkunst 1670-1750, exhibition catalogue, Cologne/Kassel/Dordrechts 2006-2007, p. 232;
R. Baumstark (ed.), Kurfürst Johann Wilhelms Bilder. Galerie und Kabinette, exhibition catalogue, Munch 2009, p. 216, reproduced;
E. Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer (1635/36-1703): his life and his work, Doornspijk 2010, pp. 488-9, cat. no. 89, reproduced in color, plate XXXI.


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 work is in very good state. The panel is flat and unreinforced. The upper right and upper left edges are curved; this is probably original to the artist. The panel is a single piece of oak. The paint layer is very dull and presumably dirty. There is no reason that any thinness or weakness should become apparent in the darker colors once the work is cleaned and varnished, and the lighter colors are certainly in marvelous condition.
"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 Fainting Fit ranks among Eglon van der Neer’s most celebrated works. Its first recorded owner was Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm, one of the greatest collectors of his age. Dated 1680, it may have been the artist’s steppingstone to his future appointment in 1698 as court painter to the German prince.1 Van der Neer painted this high life conversation piece with a clear reference to Frans van Mieris’s Doctor’s Visit, presently in the Getty Museum (see fig. 1). That Van der Neer chose  reinterpret Van Mieris' composition testifies to his ambition to achieve a similar international reputation as the elder van Mieris, a goal which he would soon achieve. Van der Neer was not alone in his rivalry with Van Mieris. His Rotterdam colleague Jacob Ochtervelt had taken up the challenge first and probably started work on his version of the Doctor’s Visit, now in Leipzig, even before Van Mieris had finished his prototype. Later – in 1677 – Ochtervelt painted another version, currently in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’d’Oro, Venice (inv. 183), from which Van der Neer also seems to have borrowed elements in the present work.2

 Van der Neer has here transformed Van Mieris’s satirical doctor’s visit with its caricaturist protagonists into an elevated scene marked by restrained drama. The swooning woman has just undergone a bloodletting, indicated by the small bowl with blood which rests in the left foreground. The laces of her stays have been loosened allowing her to breath more freely. Even though she has lost  consciousness, the attractive young patient obeys the rules of decorum and reclines in a graceful pose. The striking difference in approach between the two artist's treatments of this subject would certainly have aroused lively debate among the connoisseurs visiting the Elector’s residence in Düsseldorf, where coincidentally the two works hung together in the same room. 

-Eddy Schavemaker

1. In 1995, during his visit to Rotterdam, Johann Wilhelm bought a painting by Van der Neer from the gentleman-dealer Jacques Meyers, see: Schavemaker 2010, p. 31. The earliest inventory catalogue of Johann Wilhelm’s collection of 1719 contained two Van der Neers predating the artist’s appointment as court painter; the Fainting Fit and a Lady Tuning a Lute of 1678 (Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv. 204).
2. see S.D. Kuretsky, The Paintings of Jacob Ochtervelt (1634-1682), Oxford 1979, no. 98, p. 94.