Property from a Private Collection
CIRCLE OF SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS | Portrait of a gentleman, probably Peter van Hecke; and Portrait of a lady, probably his wife, Clara Fourment
Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP
Property from a Private Collection
CIRCLE OF SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS
Portrait of a gentleman, probably Peter van Hecke; and Portrait of a lady, probably his wife, Clara Fourment
a pair, both oil on panel
each: 113.5 x 89.5 cm.; 44¾ x 34⅞ in.
The former (Gentleman): The panel is formed of four vertical planks which are slightly bowed. They were formerly cradled but are now supported by vertical battens along the joins.The paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Retouching is visible to the naked eye along the aforementioned joins, as well as to a repaired, vertical split with associated retouching running just left of centre from the upper margin down to the sitter's right temple. There are a handful of pin-prick losses in the lower and centre left part of his cape and his proper right hand. Although there is no lifting or flaking some areas of the painting have developed a distinct network of craquelure. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms retouching along the joins and further reveals careful, fine lines of retouching through the sitter's face, ruff and particularly the upper half of his torso to disguise the appearance of craquelure. There are two more concentrated areas of retouching in the centre of his chest each approx. 2 x 5 cm. There are small, scattered retouchings in the background as well as strengthening to the fur lining of the curtain upper right.
The latter (Lady): The panel is formed of three vertical planks which are very slightly bowed. This panel was likewise formerly cradled but is now supported along each join by small, vertical battens. The paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Retouching is again visible along the aforementioned joins and the paint surface has also developed a distinct network of craquelure in areas, particularly in the sitter's face and in the centre of the background. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms the retouching along the joins, as well as retouching to a restored small, vertical split running from the centre of the upper margin approx. 12 cm. long. There are some small areas of retouching scattered in the background and some fine lines of retouching to disguise the appearance of craquelure in the sitter's left cheek and forehead, as well as in the lower part of her dress and left wrist.
Both paintings have retouchings scattered around the margins and are in overall good condition and ready to hang in their current 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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Baron von Grote, Berlin;
With Hackenbroich, Brussels;
Freiherr Max von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1843–1940), Frankfurt am Main, by 1926 (as Van Dyck);
Forced sale by the above to the city of Frankfurt am Main, 11 November 1938;
Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, inv. no. SG 879 and 880 (as Van Dyck);
Restituted to the heirs of Max von Goldschmidt-Rothschild and their trustee Hans Brautigam, 1948;
On the Brussels art market, circa 1950;
Where acquired and then anonymously sold, New York, Christie's, 8 June 2011, lot 12, where acquired by the present owner.
Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Ausstellung von Meisterwerken alter Malerei aus Privatbesitz, Summer 1925, nos 58–59 (as Van Dyck).
O. Götz, Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Alter Malerei aus Privatbestitz, exh. cat., Frankfurt 1926, pp. 20–21, cat. nos 58–59, reproduced pl. LXXI (as Van Dyck, lent by Max von Goldschmidt-Rothschild);
H. Vlieghe, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. XIX, Portraits II, London 1987, pp. 116–19, under cat. nos 107–08, reproduced figs 125–26 (as '?Rubens', listed provisionally as copies, since not seen in the original);
P. Sutton and M.E. Wiesemen, The Age of Rubens, exh. cat., Boston 1993, p. 255, under cat. nos 15a–15b, note 13 (as copies).
This pair of portraits repeat the compositions of the original panels by Rubens (dated to circa 1630) that are now in the collection of the Mauritshuis, The Hague.1 The identification of the sitters as Peter van Hecke the Younger (1591–1645) and Clara Fourment (1593–1643), the older sister of Rubens' second wife, Hélène, dates at least to the late 19th century when Max Rooses first published Rubens' prototypes,2 although most likely stems from a much older tradition. The couple were part of Rubens' intimate circle and Rubens was godfather to one of their children. Peter and Clara were born into two of the wealthiest and most powerful families of silk, tapestry and diamond merchants in Antwerp. Peter would successfully continue his family business and Clara herself dealt in the lace trade.
A preparatory black chalk drawing by Rubens for this portrait of Peter van Hecke is in the collection of the British Museum, London.3
1 Inv. nos 1131 and 1132; see Vlieghe 1987, pp. 116–19, cat. nos 107 and 108.
2 M. Rooses, L'œuvre de P.P. Rubens, vol. IV, Antwerp 1890, pp. 192–93, cat. no. 966.
3 Inv. no. 1895-5-9-48; see Vlieghe 1987, p. 118, cat. no. 107a.