Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Haarlem 1591 - 1656
A MOTHER SEARCHING HER CHILDREN FOR NITS, A CHILD STOKING A FIRE TO THE LEFT
oil on oak panel, circular
unframed: diameter: 38.1 cm.; 15 in.
framed: 53.5 x 53.5 cm.; 21 x 21 in.
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The panel is uncradled flat and stable. The paint surface is stable with a clear and even varnish. On inspection under ultra violet light retouchings scattered throughout the back ground are visible, mostly to mask the horizontal wood grain, and a retouching to a small damage at the upper left. There are other small scattered retouchings in the figures, but in otherwise the picture is in good overall 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.
Adolf Wollenberg (1874–1950/51), Berlin, by 1925;
His sale, Berlin, R. Lepke, 17 March 1932, lot 197, for 3050 Reichsmark (as Jan Miense Molenaer);
Curt Bohnewand (b. 1888), Berlin and Rottach-Egern;
His postumous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 28 March 1969, lot 3 (as Dirk Hals);
Carl Schünemann, Bremen, 1969;
From whom acquired in 1970.
Berlin, Royal Akademie der Künste, Gemälde alter Meister aus Berliner Besitz, July – August 1925, no. 255 (as Jan Miense Molenaer);
Berlin, Galerie Schäffer, Die Meister des Holländischen Interieurs, April – May 1929, no. 30;
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 57.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
Akademie der Künste, Gemälde alter Meister aus Berliner Besitz, exh. cat., Berlin 1925, p. 43, cat. no. 255 (as Jan Miense Molenaer);
B. Von Kurt Erasmus, Die Meister des Holländischen Interieurs, exh. cat., Berlin 1929, p. 17, cat. no. 30;
C. Bohnewand, Aus der sammlung Curt Bohnewand, Munich 1952, p. 25;
E. Plietzsch, Randbemerkungen zur holländischen Interieurmalerei am Beginn des 17. Jahrhunderts, in Jahrbuch Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, 1956, p. 185, reproduced fig. 148;
E. Plietzsch, Holländische und Flämische Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts, Leipzig 1958, p. 27, reproduced fig. 11;
F.F. Hofrichter, Judith Leyster. A woman painter in Holland's Golden Age, Doornspijk 1989, p. 53, under cat. no. 22, reproduced fig. 144;
S. Jäkel-Scheglmann, Zum Lobe der Frauen..., doctoral diss. thesis, Heidelberg 1994, p. 53, reproduced fig. 31;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 2, Genre, Münster/Hamburg/London 1996, pp. 110–13, cat. no. 25, reproduced in colour;
B. Nehlsen-Marten, Dirk Hals 1591–1656; Oeuvre und Entwicklung eines Haarlemer Genremalers, Weimar 2003, p. 317, cat. no. 387, reproduced p. 409, fig. 230;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 74, cat. no. 57, reproduced in colour.
The cleaning of a child's hair by its mother was a common subject, often employed as one of a series of genre scenes elucidating maternal virtue.
Dirck Hals was born and worked in Haarlem. He was the younger brother of Frans Hals, whose influence is visible in Dirck's painterly and colourful technique. In the late 1620s he worked with the architectural painter Dirck van Dalen, and is recorded in Leiden in the 1640s. Dirck popularised the 'merry company' scenes and his influence spread beyond Haarlem and reached Amsterdam painters including Pieter Codde and Willem Duyster. When exhibited in Berlin in 1929 this painting is recorded as having been signed and dated at the right: D. Hals/ 1631. Hofrichter (see Literature) dates this panel by Hals to circa 1633.
This painting was in the collection of the great pre-war Berlin architect Adolf Wollenberg who left Berlin in 1933 (following the sale of much of his collection at Lepke in 1932, see Provenance), and went into exile in Paris, and later in London.