The Property of a Lady
FOLLOWER OF SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS
STUDY OF A BLACK WOMAN WEARING A CAP
oil on paper, laid on canvas
unframed: 52.6 x 39.4 cm.; 20¾ x 15½ in.
framed: 71.7 x 58.1 cm.; 28¼ x 22⅞ in.
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Property from Various Owners is available to view at the Sotheby’s Greenford Park warehouse, 13 and 16 – 18 September (10 - 4pm), by appointment.
The paper is laid down on a canvas with a very firm relining. The paint surface is relatively clean and the varnish only slightly discoloured. There are a handful of visible wrinkles in the paper running horizontally from the centre of the right margin, and it is just possible to discern what was perhaps an old fold running the width of the centre. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals quite extensive spot retouchings throughout the background, most concentrated in the centre of the left margin, but the figure remains largely untouched save for restoration to a damage in her veil and chest on the left measuring 6 x 2 cm., and a handful of spot retouchings in her nose, headdress, around her earring, and in the lower right corner.
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.
Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
Sir Robert Henry Edward Abdy, 5th Bt. (1896–1976), London and Paris;
Thence by inheritance.
This painting is closely related to two drawings connected with Rubens and his circle, which depict the same model wearing the same cap. The first is a black chalk study attributed to Rubens in full, in a private collection in Paris, formerly owner by Alfred Normand.1 It depicts the woman's head in profile, inclined at an angle towards the viewer, looking out to the left of the picture frame, as in the present work. The second drawing is executed in bodycolour, heightened with white over black chalk, attributed to Rubens' circle, in the British Museum, London (inv. no. 1897,0410.13).2 In that drawing, the model has a slightly softer expression, with her head tilted to a different position again.