Old Masters

Old Masters

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 93. MASTER OF THE 1540S | Portrait of a man.

MASTER OF THE 1540S | Portrait of a man

Auction Closed

May 8, 12:10 PM GMT


30,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from a Private Collection


Active in Antwerp 1541 - 1551

Portrait of a man

inscribed upper left: A- 1520

and upper right: AETATIS. SVAE/ 29

oil on oak panel

65.5 x 47.5 cm.; 25¾ x 18¾ in.

Art market, London, 1925;

Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 20 January 1983, lot 59, where acquired by a foundation;

By whom anonymously sold ('The Property of a Foundation'), London, Sotheby's, 7 July 2011, lot 135, where acquired by the present owner.

M.J. Friedländer, Die Altniederländische Malerei, vol. XIII, Berlin 1936, p. 163, no. 256;

M.J. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. XIII, Leiden 1975, p. 94, no. 256, reproduced pl. 126.

So-named by Max J. Friedländer on account of the dates on a large number of his pictures (the earliest of which is dated 1541, the latest 1551),(1) this anonymous master was, along with Anthonis Mor and Willem Key, one of the leading exponents of portraiture during the middle part of the sixteenth century. His style is however more akin with that of Joos van Cleve, of whom he is considered a follower, and whose death in 1540 coincides with this master's first dated work a year later.

Friedländer reproduces the work in his 1975 revised edition with a photograph taken in 1925, showing the picture before the addition of '20' as the last two digits of the date, so these were added subsequently, perhaps to facilitate an attribution to an earlier portraitist such as Holbein or van Cleve. The upper right hand inscription is shown fuller, giving the sitter's age as AETATIS. SVAE/ 29. The 29, presumably a later addition, has been removed in a subsequent cleaning.

1 Friedländer 1975, p. 93, no. 240, reproduced plate 122; and p. 94, no. 254, reproduced plate 126.