View full screen - View 1 of Lot 46.  DIRCK VAN BABUREN | GRANIDA AND DAIFILO.


Property from the collection of J.E. Safra



Property from the Collection of J.E. Safra


Wijk bij Duurstede, near Utrecht circa 1594/5 - 1624 Utrecht


signed and dated lower right: T.D. Baburen /...fecit An° 16...3 (1623)

oil on canvas

65¼by 83¼in.; 165.7 by 211.5 cm.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920,, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.

This work has a 20th century glue lining. Although the surface is slightly uneven, it not unstable. There is an original join, running horizontally across the center through the back of the kneeling male figure

The varnish is slightly broken in the upper center where there is some cracking. The retouches have discolored. Although there is weakness in the sky and in the ground to a lesser degree, the figures themselves show restorations that attend to isolated paint losses rather than any thinness to the paint. There are only a few in the faces and hands. There is more of a concentration of retouching in the lower half of the picture. There are numerous retouches in the torso, legs and hips of the kneeling male figure on the left. The sheep in the lower left are in considerably better condition. The figure on the right shows only a few isolated restorations, with slightly more in her chest. The tree in the upper right has also developed thinness. There are restorations around the edges and to the original join.

The restorations could be slightly adjusted, and some further retouches perhaps applied to the thinness in the background.

"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." 

Please refer to the online cataloging for the amended literature for this lot.

Commissioned by Peter van Hardenbroeck (1593-1656/58), Utrecht, in 1623;

By whom bequeathed to his lawyer, Jan de Wijs, Utrecht, 1658;

With Wildenstein & Co., New York, before 1971; 

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 8 July 2009, lot 6;

There acquired.

E. Schleier, "A Lost Baburen Rediscovered," in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXIV, no. 836, November 1972, p. 787, note 5;

L.J. Slatkes, "Additions to Dirck van Baburen," in Album Amicorum J.G. van Gelder, The Hague 1973, pp. 267-268, 272, notes 6-11, reproduced fig. 2;

A. McNeil Kettering, "The Batavian Arcadia: Pastoral Themes in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art," unpublished Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley 1974, vol. I, pp. 217-220, vol. II, p. 444, notes 8, 11, Appendix, pp. 501, 561;

B. Nicolson, The International Caravaggesque Movement, Oxford 1979, p. 17, reproduced in color on dust-jacket;

C. Brown and A. Blankert, et al., Gods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt, exhibition catalogue, Washington 1980, p. 110;

G.C. Sciolla, "Pittori caravaggeschi olandesi a Roma 1610-1630 e una proposta per la cerchia di Dirck van Baburen," in Bolletino del C.I.R.V.I., vol. 2 1981, p. 18, note 48;

A. McNeil Kettering, The Dutch Arcadia, Pastoral Art and Its Audience in the Golden Age, Montclair, NJ 1983, p. 164, note 19, pp. 174, 189;

P. Huys Janssen, Jan van Bijlert (1597/98-1671), schilder uit Utrecht, unpublished Ph.D. diss., Rijksuniversiteit, Utrecht 1984, p. 52;

C. Brown, Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting, exhibition catalogue, Philadelphia 1984, p. 130;

M.A.H. Te Poel, "De Granida en Daifilo voorstellingen in de Nederlandse schilderkunst in de 17 de eeuw," unpublished Ph.D. diss., Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht 1986, pp. 17, 21-23, 50;

J.A.L. de Meyere, "Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten. Nieuw licht op de Gouden Eeuw," in Antiek, vol. 21, 1986-1987, pp. 345, 347, reproduced fig. 7;

A. Blankert and L.J. Slatkes, Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen, exhibition catalogue, Braunschweig 1986-1987, pp. 20, 24, 33, 188-190, cat. no. 37, reproduced p. 189;

W.Th. Kloek, "Hendrick ter Brugghen und die Nachfolger Caravaggios in Holland," in Kunstchronik vol. 40, 1987, p. 617;

D.E.A. Faber, "Dirck van Baburen, His Commissioner and His Motifs," in R. Klessmann (ed.), Hendrick ter Brugghen und die Nachfolger Caravaggio's in Holland: Beiträge eines Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig, Braunschweig 1988, pp. 143-149, reproduced p. 142, fig. 184;

J.A.L. de Meyere, 'Granida en Daifilo' (1625) van Gerard van Honthorst; onderzoek en restauratie, Utrecht 1988, pp. 20-21, reproduced fig. 19;

B. Nicolson in L. Vertova, ed., Caravaggism in Europe, Turin 1989, vol. I, p. 53, reproduced vol. III, fig 1070;

P. Huys Janssen, Rembrandt's Academy, exhibition catalogue, The Hague 1992, p. 266, under no. 37, p. 268, note 2, reproduced p. 268, fig. 37a;

Agnew's 175th Anniversary, exhibition catalogue, London 1992, under no. 4, unpaginated;

Dutch and Flemish Old Master Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Johnny van Haeften, London 1992, under no. 3, unpaginated;

M.G. Aurigemma, "Gherardo, Enrico, Teodoro ed altri simili," in L'asino iconoclasta. Seiento olandese; proposte di lettura, problemi di metodo e di interpretazione, Rome 1993, p. 49;

M.J. Bok, "Schilderkunst in Utrechts Overkwartier in de zeventiende eeuw," Tussen Rijn en Lek: Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van het Kromme-Rijngebied, vol. 27, 1993, p. 10, reproduced fig. 5;

P. van den Brink and J.A.L. de Meyere, Het Gedroomde Land: Pastorale schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw, exhibition catalogue, Utrecht 1993, pp. 21, 24, 28, note 27; 29-30, note 28; 56, 58, note 2; 87-91, cat. no. 4, reproduced in color; pp. 92, 163, 164, 176 note 9, 192, 231, 241, 313, Appendix 2, no. 2, reproduced p. 88;

P. Huys Janssen, "Review of Het gedroomde land. Pastorale schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw," in the Burlington Magazine vol. 136, 1994, p. 387;

H. Bussers, Het verborgen museum; ontdekkingstocht in de reserves, exhibition catalogue, Brussels 1994, pp. 65-66, reproduced p. 66;

J.A.L. de Meyere, "Utrecht: A Unique Centre of Painting in the Golden Age of the Netherlands," in Masters of Utrecht: 17-19th Century Paintings from the Collection of Centraal Museum Utrecht, exhibition catalogue, Utrecht 1994-95, p. 37, reproduced fig. 6;

I. Baldriga and S.D. Squarzina, eds., "Caravaggio e i Paesi Bassi settentrionali," in 'Fiamenghi che vanno e vengono non li si puol dar regola.' Paesi Bassi e Italia fra Cinquecento e Seicento: pittura, store e cultura degli emblemi, Rome 1995, pp. 126, 140, 171;

L.J. Slatkes., Baburen, Dirck (Jaspersz) van in The Dictionary of Art, vol. III, London 1996, p. 8;

L. Lorizzo, "Et in Arcadia ego. Iconograpfia e significato di alcuni dipinti pastorali olandesi del XVII secolo," in Tracce per lo studio della cultura figurative fiamminga e olandese dal XV al XVII secolo, Rome 1997, p. 209;

C. Brown, Utrecht Painters of the Dutch Golden Age, London 1997, pp. 42-3;

G. Seelig, Abraham Bloemaert (1566 - 1651). Studien zur Utrechter Malerei um 1620, Berlin 1997, pp. 117 note 202, 147 note 274, 195 note 444, 309;

M. Westermann, "Theater and Theatricality," in Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia, New York 1997, p. 381;

L.M. Helmus, ed., Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht during the Golden Age, exhibition catalogue, San Francisco 1997, pp. 35, 38, 293, 309, 430, note 3, reproduced p. 309, fig. 1;

M.J. Bok, "De verwanten van de kunstschilder Dirck van Baburen," in De Nederlandsche Leeuw vol. 115, nos. 1-3, 1998, col. 52, reproduced in color fig. 1;

L.J. Slatkes, "Utrecht and Delft: Vermeer and Caravaggism," in Vermeer Studies, Washington 1998, p. 82;

H. Seifertová and A.K. Ševčík, in Hollandia ego... Holländische Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts und frühen 18. Jahrhunderts aus den Sammlungen der Nationalgerie Prag, Prague 1998, p. 32;

J.R. Judson and R.E.O. Ekkart, Gerrit van Honthorst 1592 - 1656, Doornspijk 1999, p. 160;

T. Ketelsen et al., Die Sammlungen der Hamburger Kunsthalle II. Die niederländischen Gemälde 1500 -1800, Hamburg 2001, p. 37;

A. Blankert, "Hendrick ter Brugghen and Dutch Caravaggism," in Selected Writings on Dutch Painting, Zwolle 2004, pp. 156, 161-2, 176, reproduced fig. 171;

V. Sgarbi et al., Caravaggio e l'Europa; il movimento caravaggesco internazionale da Caravaggio a Mattia Preti, exhibition catalogue, Milan/ Vienna 2005, p. 362;

J.A.L. de Meyere, Utrechtse schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw; honderd schilderijen uit de collectie van het Centraal Museum te Utrecht, Utrecht 2006, pp. 10, 242, reproduced fig. 55.1;

M. de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy; Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt's Paintings, Amsterdam 2006, pp. 231-2;

D.A. de Witt, Jan van Noordt; Painter of History and Portraits in Amsterdam, Montreal-Kingston 2007, pp. 53-54;

L.J. Slatkes and W. Franits, The Paintings of Hendrick ter Brugghen 1588 - 1629, Amterdam/Philadelphia 2007, pp. 142 note 8, 252 note 2, 270 note 1;

J. Bikker, Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam; Volume I--Artists Born between 1570 and 1600, Amsterdam 2007, p. 57;

A.K. Ševčík, ed., National Gallery in Prague. Dutch Paintings of the 17th and 18th Centuries: Illustrated Summary Catalogue, Prague 2012, p. 201;

W. Franits, The Paintings of Dirck van Baburen, ca. 1592/93 - 1624, Amsterdam 2013, pp. 54-56, 154-158, reproduced p. 312, pl. 31.

Denver Art Museum, Baroque Art: Era of Elegance, 3 October - 15 November 1971, no. 87; 

Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Nieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw. Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten / Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen, 13 November 1986 - 12 January 1987; February - 12 April 1987, no. 37;

Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Het Gedroomde Land: Pastorale schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw, 29 May - 29 August 1993, no. 4; 

Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Saints and Sinners, Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and His Dutch and Flemish Followers, 27 September - 13 December 1998, no. 5.

This monumental canvas, in which the shepherd Daifilo kneels before the Persian princess Granida, is the earliest treatment of this subject in Western art. Dirck van Baburen here fomented a surge of pastoral and literary-based works in Netherlandish painting that would continue in the ensuing decades. The subject is taken from Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft's Granida (Act 1, Scene 3), completed in manuscript in 1605 and first published in 1615, just eight years before this painting was executed. 

Granida, daughter of the King of Persia, has lost her way while hunting, and stumbles into Daifilo and Dorilea, pastoral lovers exchanging cross words. Baburen depicted the moment when Granida has revealed her royal identity to Daifilo, who kneels to offer her a bowl of water. Daifilo immediately falls in love with Granida and spurns his former lover Dorilea, who cowers in the background. Daifilo follows Granida to court and, after several further twists and turns in the story, the pair escape to lead a sweet pastoral life together. 

The painting is almost certainly identifiable with an entry from the last will and testament of an Utrecht nobleman, Pieter van Hardenbroeck (1593 - 1658), from 1656.1 Hardenbroeck, who left the painting to his lawyer Jan de Wijs, probably commissioned it to commemorate his love for Agnes van Hanxelaer, a former nun who fled her convent in 1623 and entered a secret relationship with Hardenbroeck, whom she eventually married in 1628. According to text from the will, which claims that Hardenbroeck “is counterfeited himself” in the painting, it is likely that Hardenbroeck was the model for the figure of Daifilo. The story of his elopement echoes the story of Granida which is full of intrigue and also ends in elopement.2

Pastoral portraiture, inspired by pastoral literature and theater, became quite popular in the second quarter of the seventeenth century, and portraits historié were particularly beloved by the Dutch elite. Baburen here proved himself as a skilled interpreter of erudite texts; in fact, the shell Daifilio uses to offer Granida water does not appear in the script itself, but is mentioned by Hooft in the explanatory introduction, suggesting that Baburen read the text thoroughly.3

Baburen repeated the composition on at least one other occasion which survives only in two fragments: one depicting Granida was sold London, Christie's, 25 April 2001, lot 53, while the other depicts the shepherdess Dorilea.4 This subject was tackled soon afterwards by a host of the most significant artists in the Netherlands, notably by the so-called Utrecht Caravaggisti whose leading master, Gerrit van Honthorst, treated a later episode of the play in 1625 in a work now in the Centraal Museum, Utrecht (fig. 1). Not only the subject but also the costuming in this picture suggests an artistic exchange with Honthorst. Wayne Franits has pointed out that Granida’s Prussian blue robe with yellow trim also appears in the recently discovered Concert by Honthorst, also dated 1623 and now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.5 Achilles also wears a very similar robe in Baburen’s last painting, the signed and dated 1624 Achilles Before the Dead Body of Patroclus, now in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel.6 Franits has suggested that Baburen and Honthorst could have shared this costume as a prop, a common practice in the Utrecht artistic community.7

Baburen painted the present work shortly after his return from Italy where he had been since circa 1611 after completing his apprenticeship with Paulus Moreelse in Utrecht. Although he is documented in several Italian cities, such as Parma (1615), he appears to have spent much of his time in Rome and it was there that he executed his most important works, often with the collaboration of David de Haen (d. 1622). The commission he received for the Pietà Chapel of S. Pietro in Montorio, which he completed between 1615-20, should be considered the apex of his career in Italy. Just as his Entombment, still in situ on the altar of the chapel there, reveals Baburen's close study of Caravaggio and in particular the latter's own treatment of that subject (Rome, Pinacoteca Vaticana), so too does the present work, specifically in the kneeling Daifilo whose soiled feet pointing out at the viewer and dramatic lighting recall the beggars of Caravaggio's Madonna di Loreto (Sant'Agostino, Rome). With the present work Baburen thus brought back to the north his Italian experience, adapting it to his newly invented pastoral themes and, in so doing, initiating a new language of Netherlandish painting that would be a dominant force throughout the ensuing decades.

1. Will drawn up by G. Vastert on 8 May 1656; original document in Utrecht, Municipal Archives, Ms. No. U 021 a 022; published with English translation in D.E.A. Faber, 1988, p. 143, note 2.

2. See Franits 2013, p. 155.

3. L.J. Slatkes in Braunschweig 1986-1987, p. 190, note 9.

4. See Franits 2013, pp. 156-7, cat. nos. A31A1 and A31A2, reproduced p. 313 plates 31a and 31b.

5. See Franits 2013, p. 155; Gerard van Honthorst, The Concert, 1623. Oil on canvas, 123.5 by 205 cm. Washington, DC, National Gallery of Art, 2013.38.1.

6. See Franits 2013, pp. 166-68, cat. no. A36, reproduced p. 320. Sold New York, Christie's, 4 October 2007, lot 123, for $937,000.

7. Franits 2013, p. 155; Dirck van Baburen, Achilles Before the Dead Body of Patroclus,  signed and dated 1624, oil on canvas, 204 by 287 cm. Kassel, Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, inv. no. M2008/1, GK 1238.