WILLEM CORNELISZ. DUYSTER | A young officer in profile
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
WILLEM CORNELISZ. DUYSTER
Amsterdam 1599 - 1635
A young officer in profile
oil on panel, oval
30.2 x 22.7 cm.; 11⅞ x 9 in.
The panel is uncradled, flat and stable. The paint surface is clean, and the varnish is clear and even. There is a small fine line of visible retouching to the right of the soldier's feet, approx. 2 cm. long. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a thick varnish, underneath which retouchings are visible scattered around the edge of the oval, in the background above his hat, and in pinprick retouchings scattered in the background. The figure itself appears to be untouched, and the painting is in overall good 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."
The Hague, Pulchri Studio, Sammlung Goudstikker, 3 – 31 October 1918, no. 11;
Amsterdam, Arti et Amicitiae, Collectie Goudstikker, November – December 1918, no. 20;
Arnhem, Artibus Sacrum, Collectie Goudstikker, May 1918, no. 8;
Rotterdam 2008, no. 3.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
This painting of a single, military figure standing in contemplation against an entirely plain background is a very rare image in Dutch art of this time, and all the more arresting as a result. One can almost draw parallels with the corresponding ideas, though entirely different styles, in the works of Diego Velázquez, and later Édouard Manet. Duyster specialised in military scenes and group portraits, and this figure reappears almost exactly in his painting in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, where the soldier considers a woman kneeling in remorse;(1) and a downward-looking cavalier is also found in Duyster's depiction of officers looking at jewellery, in the Kunstmuseum, Basel.(2) Another small full-length portrait of an officer by Duyster, also oval and of similar dimensions, was sold at Sotheby's Amsterdam, 11 November 1992, lot 1, though in that work a boy kneels to attend to the figure's boot and the background incorporates more details.
1 Inv. no. 1229; see J. Rosen, Soldiers at leisure: the guardroom scene in dutch genre painting of the Golden Age, Amsterdam 2010, pp. 17–18, reproduced in colour fig. 7.
2 Inv. no. 1340; see C. Geelhaar, Kunstmuseum Basel: the history of the paintings collection and a selection of 250 masterworks, New York 1993, p. 78, reproduced in colour fig. 54.