Lot 41
  • 41

Frans Jansz. Post

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Frans Jansz. Post
  • Brazilian landscape with laborers, an armadillo and a tamandua
  • signed lower center left: F. POST
  • oil on panel


Dr. Wenzel Karl Ambrozi (1758-1813), Bohemia;
His estate sale, Prague, 1815 (no date known), sold for 60 florins;
Private sale between the members of the Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde (GPKF), Bohemia, 30 December 1816, where bought by Georg Franz August von Buquoy (1781-1851) and lent to the Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde (GPKF), Bohemia (Buquoy was one of the founders of the GPKF and bought up to 70 paintings for the GPKF; see catalogue note);
Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde (GPKF), Bohemia and later Prague, by 1816 (the GPKF formed the foundation for the Národní Galerie; see Slavíček 2002-03);
Národní Galerie, Prague, until probably circa 1968 (inv. no. O-8728);
Exchanged by the Národní Galerie with Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, circa 1968;
With Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna;
With Hirschl & Adler, New York, 1975;
With Julia Kraus, Paris, 1976;
With P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1982;
Robert H. Smith, Washington, D.C., until 1983;
Private collection, Amsterdam, 1983-1990;
David Koetser, 1990.


Bohemia/Prague, Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde (GPKF), by 1815 or 1816;
Prague, Národní Galerie, Rudolphinum, until after 1965 (inv. no. 588);
Prague, Národní Galerie, Holandské Kraijinàrstvi 17. Stoleti (Dutch Landscapes of the 17th Century), 1965, no. 85;
Paris, Galerie Julia Kraus, Tableaux et dessins des maitres anciens hollandais et flamands, 1976, no. 19;
New York, The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Fine Arts of The Netherlands: Dutch Art Galleries in New York. 17 - 19th Century Master Paintings and Antiquities, 20 - 28 November 1982 (exhibited by P. de Boer);
New Brunswick, NJ, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Haarlem: The Seventeenth Century, 20 February - 17 April 1983, no. 101;
Basel, Kunsthalle; Tübingen, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Frans Post 1612 - 1680 - Paradiesische Landschaft, 13 May- 16 September 1990, pp. 76-77;
Zurich, David Koetser Gallery, Fine Old Master Paintings Principally of the Dutch and Flemish Schools, 1990, no. 2;
Birmingham, 1995, no. 16;
New Orleans 1997, no. 41;
Baltimore 1999, no. 40.


G. Parthey, Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Ölbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen, vol. 2, Berlin 1864, p. 283, cat. no. 11;
Katalog der Gemälde-Galerie im Künstlerhause Rudolphinum zu Prag
, Prague 1889, p. 184, cat. no. 558 (E.C. 1285, and date of entrance of 1815);
P. Bergner, Katalog Obrazárny v Domě umělců Rudolfinu v Praze, Prague 1905, cat. no. 497;
A. von Wurzbach, Niederländisches Kunstler-Lexikon, vol. 2, Vienna-Leipzig 1910, p. 347;
Katalog der Gemälde-Galerie im Künstlerhause Rudolphinum zu Prag, Prague 1912, p. 167, cat. no. 497 (inv. no. DO 91);
P. Souto Maior, "A arte Hollandesa no Brasil," in Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro 83, Rio de Janeiro 1919, p. 117;
R.C. Smith, "The Brazilian landscapes of Frans Post," in The Art Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 4, 1938, p. 265, cat. no. 42;
J. de Sousa-Leão, Frans Post, Rio de Janeiro 1948, p. 100, cat. no. 56;
A. Guimarães, "Na Holanda com Frans Post", in Revista do Instituto e Geográfica Brasileiro, 335, April-June 1957, pp. 100-102 and 205, cat. no. 221, reproduced;
J. Sip, Dutch Painting in the Prague National Gallery, London 1961, cat. no. 54, reproduced; 
E. Larsen, Frans Post: interprète du Brésil, Amsterdam 1962, p. 195, cat. no. 69;
J. Sip, in Holandské Kraijinàrstvi 17. Stoleti, exhibition catalogue, Prague 1965, p. 38, cat. no. 85, reproduced fig. 35;
J. de Sousa-Leão, Frans Post 1612-1680, Amsterdam 1973, p. 121, cat. no. 94, reproduced;
Tableau, November/December 1982, p. 148 (in a special advertorial section dedicated to the 1982-exhibition);
F.F. Hofrichter, in Haarlem, The Seventeenth Century, exhibition catalogue, New Brunswick, NJ 1983, p. 119, cat. no. 101, reproduced in color p. 15, plate 11, p. 140, under cat. no. 131;
T. Kellein and U.-B. Frei, in Frans Post 1612 - 1680 - Paradiesische Landschaft, exhibition catalogue, Basel 1990, pp. 76-77, reproduced;
New Orleans 1997, pp. 101-103, cat. no. 41, reproduced;
Baltimore 1999, pp. 90-92, cat. no. 40, reproduced;
L. Slavíček, "Die Auktionen der Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde in den Jahren 1796-1835" in Bulletin of the National Gallery in Prague, no. 12-13 (2002-2003), pp. 43 and 49 (no. EC 1285);
L. Slavíček, '"Nachlass eines Kunstkenners und Gelehrten". Collection of MUDr. Sbírka MUDr. Václav Karel Ambrozi (1758-1813) and its connection to the Picture Gallery of the Society Patriotic Friends of Arts', in In Italiam nos fata trahunt, sequamur. Sborník příspěvků k 75. narozeninám Olgy Pujmanové. 1. vyd. Praha: Společnost přátel Národní galerie v Praze, 2003, p. 129;
P. and B. Corrêa do Lago, Frans Post, 1612-1680, Catalogue Raisonné, Milan 2007, p. 302, cat. no. 121, reproduced (as probably dating from the early 1670s).


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 particularly good condition, given that paintings by this artist are often in questionable condition. The sky is painted very thinly. It seems the blue areas of the sky have become slightly thin and have received small spots of retouching, but the clouds are almost completely undisturbed. Although the brownish distance shows darkly under ultraviolet light, it does not seem that there is any retouching here. The darker colors of the foreground and trees on the right appear to have absolutely no damage at all. The panel is flat and unreinforced on the reverse. This is clearly a work that could be hung in its current state, although the varnish could also be freshened slightly.
"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 painting is an excellent example of Post’s work from the late 1660s to the 1670s, when he was transitioning from the third to fourth phase of his style.  The decade of the 1660s marked a period when the artist enjoyed his strongest commercial success; 71 of his 156 known paintings date from this period.  The Weldon Post, which has been dated by Pedro Corrêa do Lago to circa 1670, may well be one of the last pictures of Post’s third phase and still demonstrates the brilliance of the artist’s most fruitful period.
The attractive and carefully staged composition includes many of the diverse elements employed by Post during this phase of his career.  Two exotic creatures, an armadillo and an anteater, can be seen in the left foreground.  Later in his career the artist would utilize these elements much less frequently.  In the background to the right the ruins behind the thick, elaborate vegetation also suggest a dating to circa 1670, as do the selection of figures, both slaves and natives, as well as the marshy landscape and houses. 

We are grateful to Pedro Corrêa do Lago for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.  Since the publication of his 2007 monograph on Post, he has examined this painting firsthand after a recent cleaning which has revealed stronger hues in the painting, especially the sky.  He believes this painting to be an exceptionally good example in fine condition of Post’s work in this transitional phase of his career.

A Note on the Provenance
The early formation of the National Gallery in Prague began on 5 February 1796 when a group of patriotic Czech aristocrats, along with several middle-class intellectuals, decided to "elevate the deteriorated taste of the local public." The corporation, which was christened the Gesellschaft patriotischer Kunstfreunde (GPKF) or "Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts," then established two important institutions which Prague had, up until then, lacked: an Academy of Fine Arts and a publicly accessible Picture Gallery. The Picture Gallery became a direct predecessor of what is today the National Gallery in Prague.  In 1918, the Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts turned into a central art collection of the new Czechoslovak state.  Andrea Steckerová, curator of the Collection of Old Masters, has kindly informed us that the Weldon painting was legally exchanged in circa 1968 with Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna. This exchange was arranged from the Czech side by the Artcentrum.

We are grateful to Dr. Andrea Steckerová of the Národní Galerie, Prague for her help in clarifying the provenance of this lot.

1. The provenance line as given by Corrêa do Lago 2007 (see Literature): with Galerie Michael Osterweil, Hamburg, 1962, is incorrect. The picture was still in Prague until circa 1968.