FRANCISZEK SMIADECKI | Portrait of an elegant lady, half-length, in a blue dress
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
active in Stockholm and England circa 1650 - after 1664
PORTRAIT OF AN ELEGANT LADY, HALF-LENGTH, IN A BLUE DRESS
signed with monogram lower right: FS.
oil on copper, an oval
unframed: 10 x 7.4 cm.; 4 x 2⅞ in.
framed: 18.5 x 16 cm.; 7¼ x 6/14 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 small copper plate is flat and stable, the paint surface is a little dirty, with a slightly corrupted varnish at the far margins. There appears to be a degree of wear in the darker tones of the blue dress at the base of the oval, but otherwise in overall seemingly good condition with little intervention visible. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals some retouching to the right margin; at the upper left corner around her bow; a spot retouching under her right eye; under her curls of her hair at the left; and a few others scattered in the right-hand side of her blue dress. These are all well executed and no further work is required, and the painting is in overall good 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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Sir Philip Tyrwwhitt, Bt., Stainfield, Lincolnshire;
E.H. Lawrence (his collection label on the reverse);
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 10 May 1971, lot 260 (as Pieter van Slingelandt), where acquired.
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 5, Stilleben und Tierstücke, Münster/Hamburg/London 2004, pp. 310-13, cat. no. 73, reproduced in colour;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M.J. Bok et al, At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 57, cat. no. 38, reproduced in colour.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 38.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
Little is known of the life of Franciszek Smiadecki. Seemingly of Polish or Russian descent, he may have trained in Stockholm with Alexander Cooper, the brother of the English miniaturist Samuel Cooper. Around 1660 he travelled to England. Though many of his works are unsigned, a handful of highly-accomplished miniatures, such as the present painting, are signed with the monogram F.S., initials that have been historically ascribed to Smiadecki.
This work was at one time ascribed to the Leiden fijnschilder Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt, whose finely-rendered works were similarly celebrated for their brilliance and distinguished detail. The sitter's costume, which can be dated to about 1660, was popular in both England and the Netherlands.