Lot 144
  • 144

Pieter van Mol

25,000 - 35,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pieter van Mol
  • Study of a boy's head
  • oil on shaped paper


John Bertram, circa 1859;
Thence by descent to Michael John Redman;
Acquired by Angus Neill, Felder Fine Art, London, 1998;
With Deborah Gage, London (all of the above as by Jacob Jordaens);
There acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Weldon in 2000.

Catalogue Note

When acquired for the Weldon collection in 2000, this sensitively painted oil sketch was ascribed to the hand of Jacob Jordaens.  A number of scholars supported that attribution, placing it among the early works of that master, and dating it to circa 1616. 

More recently, however, this study has been convincingly identified as a work by the Flemish painter Pieter van Mol, datable to before 1631 when he left Antwerp for Paris.  While Jordaens oil studies are usually more free and sketchy in handling, the Study of A Boy's Head is more fully worked up and finished.  Striking similarities in execution can be seen with another oil study ascribed to van Mol, Young Man Wearing a Mitre, in the collection of the Musée du Louvre (fig. 1):  the similar manner in which the neck areas are rendered, half in light and half in shadow; the strong use of pink in the flesh tones to suggest the youthful bloom of the cheeks; the impasto in white and light brown on the collars; the beautifully detailed rendering of the hair and its highlights; and the thin layers of grey brush strokes over brown in the background. 

Van Mol began his artistic training in 1611 with the little-known painter Seger van der Graeve and later studied with Artus Wolfort.  He was received as a master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1622.  Van Mol settled in Paris where he was appointed Painter to Queen Anne of Austria in 1642 and eventually participated in the founding of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1648.