PIETER VERELST | A TRONIE OF AN OLD WOMAN SEATED, HOLDING SPECTACLES IN HER RIGHT HAND
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
Dordrecht 1618 - circa 1668 ?
A TRONIE OF AN OLD WOMAN SEATED, HOLDING SPECTACLES IN HER RIGHT HAND
oil on oak panel
unframed: 75 x 61.8 cm.; 29⅝ x 24⅜ in.
framed: 108 x 94 cm.; 42½ x 37 in.
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The panel is uncradled, is constructed of three vertically joined planks. There are strips of canvas adhered to the reverse along the panel joins, which are indeed visible under raking light. Otherwise there are no major damages visible and the panel appears to be stable with a clear and even varnish. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals scattered retouchings along the panel lines, very few in the face of the old woman, rather more in her hands. The varnish fluoresces opaque making earlier restoration harder to analyse but it may be assumed that there is some earlier strengthening throughout the background. In seemingly 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.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 90.
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Pieter Verelst was the father of three painter sons: Simon, Herman and Johannes. He was a pupil of the great Leiden painter Gerard Dou, and the Dordrecht artist Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp, but the present painting owes most to the example of Rembrandt’s tronies - character studies, rather than true portraits.
Inspired by Rembrandt (and no doubt reacting to market demand for these subjects) Verelst focuses here on the rendering of the old lady’s skin, as well as the rich fabrics she wears - key preoccupations in paintings of this type by Rembrandt and Jan Lievens circa 1630. Verelst appears to have depicted the same model in a painting of 1648 (Berlin, Staatens Museum für Kunst, Gemäldegalerie), and it is likely that this painting dates from around the same period.