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OLD MASTERS FROM THE VAN DEDEM COLLECTION

Hendrick van Steenwijk the Younger
INTERIOR WITH A LADY AND A GENTLEMAN
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
22

OLD MASTERS FROM THE VAN DEDEM COLLECTION

Hendrick van Steenwijk the Younger
INTERIOR WITH A LADY AND A GENTLEMAN
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London

Hendrick van Steenwijk the Younger
ANTWERP (?) CIRCA 1580 - 1649 LEIDEN (?)
INTERIOR WITH A LADY AND A GENTLEMAN
signed with initials (vertically on the hearth to the left) and dated above: H.V.S / 16[2?]8

oil on metal, circular
diameter 5.4 cm.; 2 1/8  in.

 

 
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Provenance

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 19 March 1975, lot 28 (with its pendant), unsold;

With Brian Koetser, London, from whom acquired by Baron van Dedem, 10 July 1975.

Literature

P.C. Sutton, Dutch & Flemish Paintings, The Collection of Willem Baron van Dedem, London 2002, I, pp. 234–35, no. 50, reproduced in colour;

J. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective, Turnhout 2009, pp. 260–61, no. II. E 26, reproduced p. 539 (provenance erroneously given as 1st Viscount Chandos).

Catalogue Note

Within the constraints of a small circular format, Steenwijk has created an atmospheric interior that succeeds in conveying not only a reception room of impressive proportions but also a hallway leading off it and a luminous outdoor space beyond. A lady and a gentleman greet one another while a second figure, leaning casually, watches on from the threshold. Outside, framed by the doorway, stands a man beside a horse. The overall effect of the scene, with its rigorous perspective, is rather like looking through a peephole. Painted on a beguiling scale and probably intended for a cabinet, this work is characteristic of the innovations introduced by Steenwijk, who specialised in the depiction of palatial perspective interiors peopled with full-length figures – albeit rendered here on a tiny scale.

Interior with a lady and a gentleman was considered by Peter Sutton and Jeremy Howarth to be the probable pendant to The courtyard of a palace, a small circular panel, its present whereabouts unknown.1 The two paintings were offered together in a sale at Sotheby’s in 1975. It is arguable whether they were ever a true pair, for their diameters differ (the present work is smaller by at least 2 cm.); the frames at the time of the Sotheby’s sale did not conform; and the figures dominate their respective picture spaces to varying degrees: the couple in the present work occupies a larger proportion of the space than the more diminutive figures in the outdoor scene.2

A specialist in architectural settings, Steenwijk was recognised by Karel van Mander as having a reputation for fine and innovative work. Probably best known for his paintings of church interiors, he also depicted torch-lit dungeons and, though much less common in his work, domestic interiors such as this unusually small example. The work is dated but the third numeral has been brought into question. Sutton has argued convincingly that this picture and others similar to it were painted in the first decades of the century. The style of the interior, with its thread-like application of paint, is comparable for instance to a roundel on copper at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which depicts a Renaissance portico with elegant figures of about 1615;3 it is also a feature of later light-filled scenes such as Saint Jerome in his study, a signed and dated work on copper of 1624 or 1626 in a UK private collection.4

 

1 Howarth 2009, p. 139, no. II. A 21, reproduced in black and white on p. 425 top (incorrectly captioned); 7.5 cm. diameter.

2 This roundel is painted on metal (listed by Howarth as on panel); the other may also be on a metal support but is listed as on panel.

3 Howarth 2009, pp. 134–35, no. II. A 6, reproduced in black and white on p. 418; 24 x 34 cm.

4 Howarth 2009, p. 236, no. II. D 6, reproduced in black and white on p. 511; 24 x 34 cm.

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London