His posthumous sale, Paris, 19 November 1787, lot 2, for 900 Francs to Dubois;
His sale, Paris, 9 February 1789, lot 2, for 2,800 Francs;
Tsar Paul I of Russia (1754-1801);
By whom given to his mistress, Mademoiselle Ekaterina Nelidova (1756–1839), lady-in-waiting to the Tsarina Maria Feodorovna;
By whom given to Sir Alexander Crichton (1763–1856);
With Duval, Geneva (possibly bears his seal with monogram D on the reverse);
Acquired en bloc with the Duval collection by the Duc de Morny;
Charles Auguste Louis Joseph Demorny de Morny, 1er Duc de Morny (1811 - 1865);
His sale, London, Phillips, 20 June 1848, lot, 46, for £178 10s. to Scot;
Edwin Henry Lawrence, F.S.A (1819-1891), London;
His deceased sale, London, Christie's, 4 May 1892, for £86. 2s;
Anonymous sale, Monaco, Sotheby's, 5 March 1984, lot 1013, for 360,000 FF to Koetser;
With David Koetser, Zurich;
From whom acquired by the late husband of the present owner.
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné..., vol. IV, London 1833, p. 276, cat. no. 35;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., vol. V, London 1913, pp. 384–85, cat. no. 258;
T. Beherman, Godfried Schalcken, Paris 1988, p. 296, cat. no. 199, reproduced in colour p. 293.
Beherman dated this work circa 1665–70, but since most of Schalcken's candle-lit paintings are later than this, a dating around 1670 or in the following decade seems more plausible.
NOTE ON PROVENANCE
As Hofstede de Groot was the first to notice, this is unlikely to be the painting mentioned by Descamps in the Van Heteren collection.
This painting has had a fascinating history. It was acquired by Tsar Paul I, presumably at or shortly after the Coclers sale in 1789. He gave this picture to his mistress, Yekatarina Nelidova, who was lady-in-waiting to the Tsarina. Yekatarina was evidently a beauty, as portraits of her by Dmitriy Levitzky and others clearly show. She left the Court in 1798. She may well have remained in favour with the Dowager Tsarina, however. She is believed to have given the present painting to Alexander Crichton, a Scots physician, who studied medicine all over Europe, before graduating in Leiden. In 1804 he was appointed Physician in Ordinary to Tsar Alexander I of Russia and to Maria Feodorovna, the Dowager Empress, a post he held until 1819, when he returned to London.
The Swiss-born Duc de Morny was the illegitimate son of Hortense de Beauharnais (wife of Louis Bonaparte and Queen of Holland) and Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut, and thus the half-brother of the Emperor Napoleon III, and the grandson of Talleyrand. Known by polite fiction as the Duc de Morny, he entered the army, serving in Algeria during its conquest by France, and later went into business, establishing a sugar-beet factory, and entering into a variety of speculations, helped by his mistress Françoise Mosselman, the beautiful and wealthy wife of the Belgian ambassador, Charles Aimé Joseph Le Hon, Comte Le Hon. Eventually there were few great commercial enterprises in Paris in which he did not have an interest. He was deeply involved in horse-racing, as well as the arts, having taken Delacroix to Tangier in 1832, and later promoting the early career of Sarah Bernhardt. He was temporarily ruined by the Revolutions of 1848, which probably occasioned the sale of part of his collections, including the present picture, in London in the same year - although his acquisition of Duval's collection was probably another speculation. The remainder of his valuable collection of pictures, including Fragonard's The Swing, were sold after his death.
Edwin Lawrence was the great-nephew of the painter Sir Thomas Lawrence. A successful stockbroker, he amassed a considerable collection of Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, which he later attempted, though unsuccessfully, to sell privately to the British and South Kensington Museums. The collection was dispersed at Sotheby's in 1883 and 1888, and like the present picture, in sales following his death in 1892.
1 Private collection, see R. Baer, Gerrit Dou 1613–1675, exh. cat., Washington 2000, pp. 110–11, no. 23, reproduced.
2 A.K. Sevcik, Schalcken. Gemalte Verführung, exh. cat., Cologne 2015, pp. 239–40, no. 58, reproduced.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale