16
16

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Antwerp School, first half of the seventeenth century
FOUR STUDIES OF A MAN'S HEAD
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
16

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Antwerp School, first half of the seventeenth century
FOUR STUDIES OF A MAN'S HEAD
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale

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New York

Antwerp School, first half of the seventeenth century
FOUR STUDIES OF A MAN'S HEAD
oil on paper laid on panel
18 3/4  by 26 1/8  in.; 47.6 by 66.4 cm.
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Provenance

Dr. Carl Meyer, Venice;
Thence by descent to his great-granddaughter, the present collector.

Catalogue Note

This arresting group of oil studies of an old man from four different angles was completed in the first half of the seventeenth century.  The gentleman’s features have been rendered with the utmost detail, from the varied tones on his cheeks, to the soft wrinkles of his weathered skin, to the furrowed ridge at the top of his nose, to even the texture of his distinctive thick grey beard, captured with free and wispy strokes of white paint.  Such specific and meticulous features not only imbue the sitter with a degree of familiarity, but also suggest that these careful studies may have been completed in thoughtful preparation for another composition.  This sitter may have been a studio model, or perhaps even an acquaintance of the artist, whose likeness would have been recorded in various studies to later be possibly incorporated into multi-figure compositions. 

The practice of creating, keeping, and re-using studio head studies for later transcription or free adaptation was first developed Frans Floris in the Southern Netherlands.  The same practice was later embraced by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens, each of whom 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 that could be used repeatedly. 

An X-Ray image of the present work reveals the original presence of a hand below the head that is second from the right (fig. 1).  

Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale

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New York