Property from the Collection of Stan Battat
FERDINAND BOL | A PORTRAIT OF A LADY, HEAD AND SHOULDERS, WEARING PEARL JEWELRY, POSSIBLY JOHANNA DE GEER
Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD
Property from the Collection of Stan Battat
Dordrecht 1616 - 1680 Amsterdam
A PORTRAIT OF A LADY, HEAD AND SHOULDERS, WEARING PEARL JEWELRY, POSSIBLY JOHANNA DE GEER
oil on canvas
18¼ by 13¼ in.; 46.4 by 33.5 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This work has not been recently restored. The paint layer is quite dirty, with airborne dirt and yellowed varnish. There seems to be no abrasion to the features of the face, and the chest and dress are similarly well preserved. There are some cracks in the forehead and in the cheeks that could be retouched. Above and to the right of the head, there is a pattern of cracking that may indicate a non-original varnish or possibly retouches that are currently not visible under ultraviolet light. While the left side of the background seems to be in good condition, the top and right side may require retouching if the work is cleaned.
"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."
Possibly the Dukes of Leuchtenberg;
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Ahern, Hollywood, acquired before 1934,
Thence by descent to Mrs. Holt Haywood, Jr., North Carolina and New York;
By whom anonymously sold, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 14 November 2006, lot 98;
Los Angeles, Los Angeles Museum of Art, on exhibition, 1937;
Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, on loan, September 1963 - 1971.
E. de Jongh, "Grape symbolism in paintings of the 16th and 17th Centuries," in: Simiolus, no. 7, 1974, pp. 166 - 191;
North Carolina Museum of Art, Calendar of Art Events, no. 2, November 1963, reproduced, p. 7;
A. Blankert, Ferdinand Bol, 1616-1680, Rembrandt's Pupil, 's-Gravenhage 1976, p. 266, cat. no. A 169-1;
A. Blankert, Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680). Rembrandt's Pupil, Groningen 1982, p. 152, cat. no. 170, reproduced plate 181;
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, Landau/Pfalz 1983, vol. I, p. 309, under cat. no. 151.
Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembrandt’s most talented students, specialized in elegant portraits like the present, which dates stylistically to the first half of the 1650s. This woman with softly modeled features is shown half-length and looking to the left out of the picture plane. Her societal status is confirmed by her richly adorned costume and the pearls she wears on her ears and neck. Although this may be a fragment, even on this small scale, Ferdinand Bol’s distinct style is clearly recognizable.
The same sitter, in a comparable pose and costume, recurs in a double portrait of An Elegantly Dressed Couple in a Landscape (fig. 1), also dated by Blankert and Sumowski to the early 1650s, presently on loan to the Dordrechts Museum from the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE).1 Around the time that this painting last appeared at auction, side by side comparison between the two revealed the superior quality of the present painting. Thus, it is probable that the present portrait is a fragment of a larger, now lost, double portrait, whose composition is recorded by the replica at the RCE.
The large double portrait shows a woman holding a bunch of grapes, traditional symbols of fertility, suggesting that it is a marriage portrait. Jan Bialostocki recognized the figures in the RCE portrait as Hendrick Trip (1607-1666) and his first wife, Ceclia Godin (1607-1637).2 If Bialostocki is correct in identifying the male sitter as Trip, the dating suggests his companion is his second wife, Johanna de Geer (1629-1691), whom he married in 1646, shown here in her early 20s. Further support of this possible identification arises when comparing the present work with Bol's 1661 portrait of Johanna de Geer with her daughter Caecilia; both female sitters share similar high cheekbones, high hairlines, small chins, and eyebrows.
1. Inv. no. NK 1487, oil on canvas, 116 by 146 cm. Blankert 1982, pp. 152-153, cat. no. 169.
2. J. Bialostocki, 'Au sujet de deux portraits de Ferdinand Bol', in Bulletin Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, no. 6, 1957, p. 50.
3. Oil on canvas, 126 by 97 cm, signed and dated 1661, Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv. no. M. Ob. 556.