Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Rotterdam 1620 - 1676
THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST
signed and dated lower left: Jacobus Lois fecit : 1647.
oil on oak panel, the reverse stamped twice with an anonymous panel maker's mark
unframed: 94.6 x 79.7 cm.; 37¼ x 31⅜ in.
framed: 120.5 x 104.5 cm.; 47½ x 41¼ in.
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The panel is cradled, flat and stable. The paint surface is clean with a clear and even varnish. There is a very faint surface crack with tiny associated losses starting at the lower margin, just right of centre, that runs half way up the panel. Further faint surface cracks in the lower right corner are approx. 10 cm. long. There are discoloured vertical lines of retouching which run the height of the panel presumably along panel joins; one 10 inches from the left margin, and the other just right of centre. Inspection under UV light confirms the aforementioned lines of restoration and reveals further retouchings; fine vertical lines throughout the sky and figures flesh tones, all presumably to minimilise the effect of the panel grain. More concentrated retouchings are in the trees and sky, centre right, and an area in the water below Christ, approx. 10 x 7 cm., as well as spot retouching scattered throughout.
In overall fair condition with the colours well preserved.
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.
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 2 February 1951, lot 162, for £14 to Bell;
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 4 October 1996, lot 108, when acquired.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Jezus in de Gouden Eeuw, 9 September 2000 – 7 January 2001, unnumbered;
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, cat. no. 53.
L. van der Zeeuw, Rotterdamse Meesters uit de Gouden Eeuw, exh. cat., Zwolle 1994, p. 287, reproduced;
A. Blankert et al., Jezus in de Gouden Eeuw, exh. cat., Zwolle and Rotterdam 2000, pp. 78–79, reproduced in colour;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 71, cat. no. 53, reproduced in colour;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 4, Historien und Allegorien, Münster/Hamburg/London 2010, pp. 214–19, cat. no. 33, reproduced in colour.
Jacob Lois appears to have been a man of diverse talents. Apparently a lifelong citizen of Rotterdam, he is known to have been a merchant, painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, historian, collector, and he co-owned two dying business with his brother, Samuel, as well as holding a number of public offices, including captain of the local militia.
Lois is known through very few paintings, two of which - including the present lot - are in the SØR Rusche Collection (the other painting, Portrait of a woman with a book, will be offered in September). A pair of portraits, signed and dated 1645, in which the sitters are dressed as a shepherd and shepherdess, are in the Schielandshuis, Rotterdam.
The reverse of this panel is stamped twice with the mark of a panel maker who is yet to be identified. He is known to have been active in the Rotterdam and Delft areas during the second and third quarters of the 17th century. The same mark has been found on panels used by Anthonie Palamedesz. (1601-73), Herman Saftleven (1601-81), and on the reverse of the marine painting by Justus de Verwer, offered in this sale (lot 20).
2 Sale, Phillips, London, 8 December 1992, lot 116.
3 National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, inv. no. 1508; https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/5394/christ-preaching-boat?search=1508&search_set_offset=17