CIRCLE OF DIRCK HALS | ALLEGORY OF THE FIVE SENSES
Property from a Distinguished European Private Collection
CIRCLE OF DIRCK HALS
ALLEGORY OF THE FIVE SENSES
oil on canvas
16¼ by 26½ in.; 41.3 by 67.3 cm.
The canvas is lined, and is taught and stable on its stretcher. The overall image reads well beneath an old varnish, though it has been slightly pressed in the relining process. The scene retains its vibrant colors as well as much of its detail. Inspection under UV reveals a milky varnish that fluoresces unevenly in areas. There are scattered spots of restoration in the sky, as well as some scattered retouchings and strokes of strenghtening scattered here and there throughout the main scene, primarily concentrated in the darker shadows in costume and architectural features. For example, there is some strengthening in the hat of the seated figure at left, a spot of retouching around his left foot, in the shadows of the costume of the figure at center, and a few small spots in the architectural colonnade near the center of the right edge. There are a few pin dots of retouching in the face of the standing female figure at right, and it seems some attention has been paid to the face of the young standing page at center. The painting can certainly hang in its present state.
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.
Acquired in 1920 from a Russian collection;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Piasa, 27 June 2008, lot 31 (as Dirck Hals);
There acquired for $63,041.
In this vibrant and lively scene, a group of elegant figures are gathered in a garden, surrounded by opulent objects and a variety of animals. Together, they form an allegorical representation of the five senses: the man looking through binoculars (sight), the man playing the pipe (hearing), the woman with the flower (smell), the man with the pipe (taste), and the woman holding the wine glass (touch). Their costumes help to date the composition to the early 1620s, and their figural types compare closely to those found in the output of the young Dirck Hals. Almost all of these central figures reappear in a set of allegorical prints by Cornelis van Kittensteyn, made after Dirck Hals, examples of which are preserved in the Rijksmuseum.1
1. For example, see Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. nos. RP-P-1939-428 and RP-P-1939-430.