EMANUEL DE WITTE | INTERIOR OF A GOTHIC CHURCH LOOKING DOWN THE AISLE TOWARD THE CHOIR, WITH A FAMILY BEGGING FOR ALMS
Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 USD
Property from a Private Collection
EMANUEL DE WITTE
(Alkmaar circa 1617 - 1691/2 Amsterdam)
INTERIOR OF A GOTHIC CHURCH LOOKING DOWN THE AISLE TOWARD THE CHOIR, WITH A FAMILY BEGGING FOR ALMS
bears signature: Emmanuel / [W]itte
oil on panel
19⅞ by 14 in.; 50.5 by 35.5 cm.
The panel consists of 2 boards joined vertically, both of which are beveled on every side, although the smaller panel has a more pronounced bevel at the top and right sides from the reverse. Panel is stable and has a small convex warp visible at the bottom left edge where there is a slight gap between the panel and the frame. Other than the join which is barely visible to the naked eye, another thin crack about 2 inches from the right edge runs from the bottom edge to 1/3 of the height of the panel. A detailed interior scene reads well under clear varnish. Some of the paint layer is thin allowing the ground to show through, but this is due to the painting technique. Under UV inspection, minor retouching is visible surrounding the join and the crack as well as a few small scattered dots in the lower quadrant and at the top edge to address frame abrasion. An older campaign of retouching is slightly visible under the varnish and consists of scattered strokes throughout, concentrated in the upper background. Painting can certainly hang as is. Offered in a carved ebonized wood 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.
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 15 October 1998, lot 60;
Around 1660, Emanuel de Witte began painting imagined churches based on real examples, and he repeated certain figures and motifs such as the woman begging for alms at left. Although fabricated, De Witte's scenes evoke a particular moment in time, enlivened by additions like the dog relieving itself at lower right. Ilse Manke describes a very similar view toward the choir, with the same begging woman and the same dimensions, but with an organ in the background . Marijke de Kinkelder of the RKD confirmed the attribution in 1997 and dated the painting to the 1660s.
1. I. Manke, Emanuel de Witte, 1617 - 1692, Amsterdam 1963, p. 112, no. 144.