Lot 551
  • 551

Pieter de Grebber

10,000 - 15,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pieter de Grebber
  • Portrait of a woman, bust length
  • oil on panel
  • 15  1/2  by 13  1/4  in.; 39.4 by 33.7 cm.


Julius Unger Canstatt;
His sale, Berlin, Paul Cassirer und Hugo Helbing, 21 March 1917, lot 12;
Ivan Traugott, Stockholm;
Dr. Albert Welcker, Amsterdam;
Alfred Brod, 1958.


London, Alfred Brod Gallery, Annual Spring Exhibition of Old Masters, 11 April – 10 May 1958, no. 18;
Providence, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Northern Baroque Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Weldon, 15 April - 7 June 1964, no. 10;
Allentown, Allentown Art Museum, Seventeenth Century Painters of Haarlem, 2 April – 13 June 1965, no. 32;
New York, Finch College Museum of Art, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Weldon, 11 May - 30 June 1966, no. 15;
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972, temporary loan;
Birmingham, Alabama, The Golden Age of Dutch Painting, 22 April - 18 June 1995, no. 9;
New Orleans, New Orleans Museum of Art, In the Eye of the Beholder: Northern Baroque Paintings from the Collection of Henry H. Weldon, 1997, no. 22;
Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, An Eye for Detail, 17th-Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings of the Collection of Henry H. Weldon, 20 June - 5 September 1999, no. 21.


Der Kunstmarkt, vol. XIV, no. 27 (April 1917), p. 158;
The Burlington Magazine
, vol. 100, no. 663 (June 1958), p. 221, reproduced p. 222, fig. 38;
Daily Telegraph and Morning Post, 10 April 1958, p. 12, reproduced;
Seventeenth Century Painters of Haarlem, exhibition catalogue, Allentown 1965, p. 29, cat. no. 32, reproduced;
N. T. Minty, In the Eye of the Beholder: Northern Baroque Paintings from the Collection of Henry H. Weldon, New Orleans 1997, pp. 55-57, cat. no. 22, reproduced p. 56;
N.T. Minty and J. Spicer, An Eye for Detail, 17th-Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings from the Collection of Henry H. Weldon, Baltimore 1999, pp. 54-56, cat. no. 21, reproduced p. 55.

Catalogue Note

In this sympathetic bust-length portrait, a mysterious light source illuminates the delicate features, expressive eyes, loosely bound hair, and the modest attire of an unknown woman.  Apart from her rosy lips, flushed cheeks, and blush fabric near her neck the color palette used is restrained.  The format, color, and contrasts of light within this painting suggest that De Grebber was influenced by the intimate and solemn portraits painted by Rembrandt and Lievens in the 1620s.  Interestingly enough, a label fragment on the reverse indicates that the work was thought to have been painted by Lievens at one point in the past.   

Pieter de Grebber is perhaps best known for his paintings with historical or religious subjects.  While the present sitter’s heavenward gaze and pious spirit might suggest a devotional quality, a scene more typical of the artist’s religious work has been preserved under the surface of the Weldon portrait.  It appears de Grebber reused an old panel that once depicted the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Details of the work underneath remain faintly visible to the naked eye: the angel expelling the pair is faintly visible in front of the woman’s shawl and the soft strokes in the woman’s head correspond to the figure of Eve.