Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Breda circa. 1640 - 1707 London
TROMPE-L’ŒIL WITH A PORTRAIT OF ERASMUS
signed lower right: E. Collier fe.
oil on canvas
unframed: 33.2 x 28 cm.; 13⅛ x 11 in.
framed: 44 x 39 cm.; 17¼ x 15¼ in.
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The canvas is lined, the paint surface is relatively clean and the varnish only slightly discoloured. There is some frame abrasion along the lower edge. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a thick varnish underneath which some retouchings are visible: scattered in the background (mostly to disguise the appearance of craquelure), and most notably in the figure's torso and the dark pigments of the central paper. In overall fine 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.
With J. Rosenthal, Amsterdam, 1965;
Anonymous sale, Lucerne, Galerie Fischer, 2 June 1981, lot 398, when acquired.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 128.
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E. Gemar-Költzsch et al., Holländische Stillebenmaler im 17. Jahrhundert, Lingen 1995, vol. II, p. 254, cat. no. 80/14, reproduced;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 5, Stilleben und Tierstücke, Münster/Hamburg/London 2004, pp. 90–93, cat. no. 14, reproduced in colour;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 121, reproduced in colour fig. 128.
This trompe l’œil depiction of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the great Dutch humanist and renaissance scholar, reproduces a print made after the famous portrait of Erasmus by Hans Holbein the Younger. Collier included such a print in many of his works. He was clearly fascinated by the idea of mechanical reproduction, which called into question the very role of the artist – an issue raised in his own works, designed to trick the viewer. Erasmus himself wrote on the subject of deceitful appearances, and Collier’s preoccupation with his image was undoubtedly a deliberate reference.