CORNELIS VAN POELENBURCH | Recto: Saint Peter standing in an italianate landscape; Verso: a rocky cave landscape
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
CORNELIS VAN POELENBURCH
Utrecht 1594/95 - 1667
RECTO: SAINT PETER STANDING IN AN ITALIANATE LANDSCAPE; VERSO: A ROCKY CAVE LANDSCAPE
recto: signed lower right on the boulder: C.P.
oil on copper
unframed: 15.2 x 12.2 cm.; 6 x 4¾ in.
framed: 22.4 x 19 cm.; 8¾ x 7½ in.
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Property from the SØR Rusche Collection is available to view at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, 13 – 18 September (weekdays 9am – 4.30pm; weekend 12-5pm).
The copper plate is flat and stable, and painted on both sides.
Recto: Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a handful of small spot retouchings scattered around the margins, and in a more concentrated area in the lower left corner. There are some older pin-prick retouchings in the sky, and to a larger area in the cloud upper right, measuring 1 x 1 cm. In overall good condition.
Verso: The thinly painted surface has been retouched fairly extensively around all four margins extending at least an inch into the composition. There are also retouchings in the sky and in parts of the upper area of the cave. In overall moderate condition.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
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John Henderson Esq., England, by 1882;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 18 February 1892, lot 371, for 10 Guineas to Wagner;
Henry Wagner, London;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 16 January 1925, lot 91, for £2-2s. to De Boer;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 14 November 2007, lot 96, where acquired.
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al, At Home in the Golden Age, exhib. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 103, cat. no. 102, reproduced in colour;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 4, Historien und Allegorien, Münster/Hamburg/London 2010, pp. 328-33, cat. no. 54, reproduced in colour;
N.C. Sluijter-Seijffert, Cornelis van Poelenburch 1594/5-1667: The paintings, Amsterdam 2016, pp. 122 and 319, cat. no. 91, reproduced in colour.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 102.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
Cornelis van Poelenburch was one of the first Dutch artists to travel to Rome in the early 17th century and to incorporate the influence of Italian painting into his work. Indeed, he was one of the founder members of the Bentveughels - the society of Dutch and Flemish artists working in the city.
While in Rome, Poelenburch was also greatly influenced by the work of Adam Elsheimer, a German artist residing there until his untimely death in 1610. This little double-sided painting on copper is particularly reminiscent of Elsheimer's series of saints, also on a small scale and painted on copper, now mostly at Petworth House, Sussex, which Poelenburch himself reproduced in copies, today in the Pitti Palace, Florence. This figure of Saint Peter resembles the figures of both Saint Peter and Paul in Elsheimer's series,1 although he looks to the right, and is set in a wider landscape. The work most certainly post-dates Elsheimer's series, and probably hails from Elsheimer's return to Holland in the mid-1620s.
The painting, executed with the refinement of a miniature, is also typical of Poelenburch's own conceptions of single religious figures, which he tended to depict in meditation or lamentation, rather than as part of a narrative. The landscape on the reverse of this painting is considered by Nicolette Sluijter-Seijffert, author of the most recent catalogue raisonné, to be most probably by Poelenburch himself (indeed it also bears his monogram), though its thinner execution prevents a more definitive attribution.