BARTHOLOMÄUS BRUYN THE YOUNGER | A DIPTYCH: PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, AGED 44, BEHIND A WOODEN LEDGE, WEARING A FUR-TRIMMED BLACK COAT, HOLDING HIS GLOVES AND A LETTER; AND PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, AGED 42, BEHIND A WOODEN LEDGE, IN FUR-TRIMMED BLACK DRESS WITH PEARL-STUDDED BELT, HOLDING A BOOK
Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 USD
Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 USD
BARTHOLOMÄUS BRUYN THE YOUNGER
Cologne circa 1530 - 1607/10
A DIPTYCH: PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, AGED 44, BEHIND A WOODEN LEDGE, WEARING A FUR-TRIMMED BLACK COAT, HOLDING HIS GLOVES AND A LETTER; AND PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, AGED 42, BEHIND A WOODEN LEDGE, IN FUR-TRIMMED BLACK DRESS WITH PEARL-STUDDED BELT, HOLDING A BOOK
inscribed above the man, upper center: ANNO 1535. AETATIS. 44
inscribed above the woman, upper center: ANNO 1535. AETATIS. 42
oil on panel, shaped tops, in an engaged diptych frame
each panel: 22¼ by 16 in.; 56.5 by 40.6 cm.
The panels are flat and stable and each consist of a single plank; the left panel has a supporting beam on the reverse to repair an old crack vertically down the center. Portrait images read well through an old varnish with details of the clothing retained. The left panel has some slight frame abrasion on all edges and an old repaired crack running vertically through the center that is not distracting. The right panel has slight frame abrasion on all edges and one pinpoint of loss above the woman's head. Under UV inspection, both panels are difficult to read under a thick, milky varnish. Paintings may benefit from cleaning; we recommend consulting a restorer for advice on these 16th century panels. Offered in an engaged diptych giltwood frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
His sale, Copenhagen, Winkel & Magnussen, 1944, lot 16;
Offered for sale Copenhagen, Bruun Rasmussen, International Auktion 688, 4 December 2000, lot 1465, as Attributed to Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder (where unsold);
Sold New York, Christie's, 3 October 2001, lot 29, as Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder.
In 2008, Kurt Löcher attributed this pair of portraits to Bartholomäus (Barthel) Bruyn the Younger and dated them to circa 1560,1 probably on the basis of the style and modeling, which are more consistent with the work of the younger Bruyn than of his father. The inscribed dates may be a later addition: they coincide with Bruyn the Elder's career, but the costumes of the couple can be dated later by comparison. The woman's horned headdress and sleeves with wide openings are similar to those worn by a woman in another anonymous portrait by Bruyn the Younger dated to the 1560s in the Art Institute of Chicago.2 It is possible that Bruyn the Younger was reproducing or "updating" an original pair commissioned from his father, which would explain the discrepancy between the costume and handling and the 1535 inscription.
1. Offered London, Christie's, 9 July 2008, lot 194A, as Barthel Bruyn the Younger (where unsold).
2. Bruyn the Younger, Portrait of a Woman with a Prayerbook, 1560-70, oil on panel, 46.6 by 33.3 cm. See Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 2008, pp. 338-40.