The Property of a Gentleman
PHILIPS WOUWERMAN | A grotto with travellers unloading a wagon, a gypsy fortune-teller, a blacksmith and other figures
Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 GBP
The Property of a Gentleman
Haarlem 1619 - 1668
A grotto with travellers unloading a wagon, a gypsy fortune-teller, a blacksmith and other figures
signed with monogram lower left: PL· W
oil on canvas
46.5 x 52 cm.; 18¼ x 20½ in.
The canvas has a firm relining, the paint surface is relatively clean, and the varnish is slightly discoloured. The paint surface is rather flat, with a slight degree of wear, notably in the darker pigments of the cave. There is a handful of superficial scratches, upper left, with associated discoloured retouching - the longest of which measures 7 cm. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a very milky varnish, beneath which it is almost impossible to discern previous intervention, save for a small area in the rear of the horse; a small area in the background to the left of this; an area in the rocks, upper centre, 2 x 3 cm.; to a few fine, vertical lines above this; and to a few small spots in between the figures, centre and lower right. The painting is in seemingly overall fair condition and is ready to hang in its 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."
Possibly William J. Tripp, Cotham, near Bristol;
Mr and Mrs Edgar Assheton Bennett, London, 1930;
Private collection, Paris;
With Eugene Slatter, London, 1944–45;
With Brian Koetser, London, 1969–70 (advertised in Apollo, October 1969, p. 331; and in The Connoisseur, June 1970, p. 129);
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 27 June 1975, lot 70;
Anonymous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 23–26 November 1983, lot 1743;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 16 November 2005, lot 92;
With Rafael Valls Limited, London, 2006.
London, Eugene Slatter, Life and Still Life in 17th century Netherlands, 29 November 1944 – 13 January 1945, no. 47;
London, Brian Koetser Gallery, Exhibition of paintings by Old Masters, 7 October – December 1969, no. 16;
London, Rafael Valls, Recent acquisitions, 2006, no. 40.
Possibly J. Smith, A catalogue raisonné... Supplement, London 1842, p. 224, cat. no. 249;
Possibly C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné..., vol. II, London 1908, p. 555, cat. no. 928 (with corresponding description, but differing dimensions and on panel);
B. Schumacher, Philips Wouwerman (1619–1668). The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, Doornspijk 2006, vol. I, pp. 340–41, cat. no. A432, reproduced vol. II, plate 403.
Dr Birgit Schumacher (see Literature) notes that this is a late work by Wouwerman, with some participation of the studio, datable to around 1665.