MICHIEL VAN MUSSCHER | PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH, IN A JAPANESE ROBE, STANDING BEFORE A GARDEN, A STATUE OF MERCURY BEYOND
Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 GBP
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
MICHIEL VAN MUSSCHER
Rotterdam 1645 - 1705 Amsterdam
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH, IN A JAPANESE ROBE, STANDING BEFORE A GARDEN, A STATUE OF MERCURY BEYOND
oil on canvas
unframed: 113.5 x 90.8 cm.; 44¾ x 35¾ in.
framed: 137 x 113.5 cm.; 54 x 44¾ in.
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The canvas is lined and the paint surface secure and stable with a clear and even varnish. There are no major damages visible to the naked eye. Inspection under ultra violet light reveals fairly sparse retouchings - most are concentrated along the margins, some others are scattered in the background (most notably around the statue of Mercury), very few in the sitters robe, and a handful in his face including one more significant one on his upper lip.
In very 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.
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 10 February 1928, lot 97 (as Caspar Netscher, and signed and dated 1682), for £19–19s to Lawson;
Anonymous sale, Prague, Hugo Feigla, 13 December 1935, lot 50 (as Attributed to van Musscher);
With Franke, Leipzig, 1940;
Anonymous sale, Cologne, Van Ham, 28–31 October 1987, lot 1646 (as van Musscher), when acquired.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 152.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. I, Portraits, Münster/Hamburg/London 1995, pp. 104–05, reproduced in colour (as van Musscher);
M.E. Wieseman, Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-century Dutch painting, Doornspijk 2002, p. 385, cat. no. C243 (as signed and dated 1682, and closer to van Musscher than to Netscher);
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 138, cat. no. 152, reproduced in colour (as van Musscher).
Born in Rotterdam, Michiel van Musscher received an eclectic training – initially with the obscure history painter Martin Saagmolen in 1660; then with the Leiden history and portrait painter Abraham van den Tempel from 1661; next with Gabriel Metsu, whose work was to have a profound influence, in 1665; and finally in Haarlem under Adriaen van Ostade in 1667. By 1668 he had settled in Amsterdam, where he developed a successful practice as a portrait painter, portraying his sitters in landscape settings, as here, or in opulent interiors.
When this painting was offered in 1928 the portrait bore a beard and a moustache; by the time it was sold again in 1935, these features had been removed. We are grateful to Dr. Robert Gerhardt for his help in the cataloguing of this lot.