Lot 20
  • 20

GERRIT DOU | The Penitent Magdalene

700,000 - 900,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • The Penitent Magdalene


The following condition report is provided by Sarah Walden who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Gerrit Dou. The Penitent Magdalen. Signed at the top of the open page of the book. This painting is on a fine, perfectly stable and flat, oak panel, bevelled all round, with many ancient seals. A very narrow strip of wood has been added all round to protect the outer edges, where minor past wear is likely. The perfectly selected panel, and evident protection and care dedicated to it over the early historic background of the painting, clearly continued when it seems likely to have been acquired during the Grand Tour. Some light cleaning appears likely to date back to its purchase by Speelman in the early mid twentieth century. The central area, including the beautiful still life and the figure, appear to have been carefully cleaned, while the upper and lower sections of the painting still retain older rather hazy varnish, as also do some side areas. Very occasional traces of slight past wear can just be seen in the more shadowy upper right edge of the book, and perhaps very slightly in some folds of the Magdalen's grey drapery, and possible strengthening long ago of a fold or two in the brown drapery. However the remarkable preservation of the entire painting is rare. The immaculate condition of the exquisite still life, including for example the minutely folded corner of a page in the book, near the candle, as well as the sensitive details within the Magdalen's hand and hair, and her emotion sensed throughout every delicate detail in the beautiful figure. This report was not done under laboratory conditions.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."