MICHIEL VAN MUSSCHER
Rotterdam 1645 - 1705 Amsterdam
Three quarter-length portrait of an artist seated at his writing table
signed lower left in the carpet: Michiel v. Musscher. Pinxit / Anno 1693.
oil on canvas
43 x 38 cm.; 17 x 14⅞ in.
The canvas has an old relining. The paint surface is stable with no major damages. The varnish is even but a little discoloured. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals very little; the varnish fluoresces opaque making early restoration hard to analyse. There are only a few small spot retouchings in the face, hand and drapery visible. Otherwise in seemingly good overall 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."
L.W. von Gans, Frankfurt;
His sale, Frankfurt, Hugo Helbing, 7 May 1929, lot 63;
Martin Sternberg, Amsterdam;
By whom sold, Amsterdam, Frederick Muller, 25 October 1932, lot 510;
Dr. J.A. van Dongen, Amsterdam;
By whom sold, Amsterdam, Frederick Muller, 18 June 1957, lot 829;
Willem Russell, Amsterdam, by 1970;
Acquired by 1995.
Amsterdam, Historisch Museum, 17e-eeuwse schilderijen uit de verzameling Willem Russell, 20 June – 13 September 1970, no. 59;
Lemgo, Weserrenaissance-Museum Schloss Brake, Portraits - Niederländische Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, 18 March – 6 August 1995;
Rotterdam 2008, no. 88.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
H. van Hall, Portretten van Nederlandse beeldende kunstenaars, Amsterdam 1963, p. 223, cat. no. 1476.3;
P.J.J. van Thiel, 'Michiel van Musschers vroegste werk naar aanleiding van zijn portret van het echtpaar Comans', in Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, vol. 17, 1969, p. 3, footnote 21;
W. Russell, 17e-eeuwse schilderijen uit de verzameling willem russell, exh. cat., Amsterdam 1970, p. 82, cat. no. 59, reproduced;
P.J.J. van Thiel, 'Andermaal Michiel van Musscher: zijn zelfportretten', in Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, vol. 22, 1974, p. 147, footnote 10;
O. Ydema, Carpets and thier datings in Netherlandish Painting 1540-1700, Leiden 1991, p. 85, reproduced;
Raupp 1995, pp. 106–07, cat. no. 39, reproduced in colour;
Rotterdam 2008, p. 94, cat. no. 88, reproduced in colour.
This portrait has historically(1) been described as a self portrait of the artist but, due to the canvas hanging on the wall behind the sitter, has more recently been referred to as a portrait of a landscape painter (the identity of whom is as yet unidentified). Pieter van Thiel, in his 1974 article addressing Musscher's self portraits (see Literature), wrote that this unidentified 'writing' artist must also have been a collector, as the landscape hanging behind him appears to be of an earlier date than that of this portrait, certainly before 1650.(2)
1 It was last referred to as a self portrait of Michiel van Musscher in the exhibition catalouge of the Willem Russell collection, published in 1970 (see Literature).