The Property of a European Private Collector
ATTRIBUTED TO FRANS FLORIS THE ELDER
Antwerp 1519/20 - 1570
Head of a female figure
oil on oak panel, unframed
46.1 x 32 cm.; 18⅛ x 12⅝ in.
The panel is uncradled, and is formed of two vertical planks, one only 3 inches wide on the right-hand side, which is very slightly bowed. There are losses along this join, along the upper margin, in the lower left corner, and in the top of the figure's head dress caused by flaking. There is some very fine surface abrasion over the figure's eyes and top of her forehead. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a spot retouching in the figure's cheek, and another couple of spot retouchings in the background to the left, but the panel appears to be otherwise untouched. In overall fair condition.
"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."
This painting bears much similarity with the Head of a woman, recorded in a private collection in Schipluiden,(1) which itself relates to the head of Mary in a now lost painting of the Holy Family at a table, with Elizabeth and John, known today only through a print.(2) Carl Van de Velde dates that painting, and consequently the Schipluiden head, to circa 1556–58.
1 C. Van de Velde, Frans Floris (1519/20–1570). Leven en Werken, Brussels 1975, vol. I, p. 248, cat. no. 103, reproduced fig. 46.
2 Van de Velde 1975, vol. I, p. 399, cat. no. 24, reproduced fig. 173.