Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
WILLEM VAN MIERIS
Leiden 1662 - 1747
CERES AND BACCHUS
signed and dated upper left: W. van Mieris. F. Anno. 1701
oil on oak panel
unframed: 19.3 x 15.9 cm.; 7½ 6¼ in.
framed: 32.7 x 29.3 cm.; 13 x 11½ in.
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The bevelled panel is uncradled, flat and stable. The paint surface is mostly clean and the varnish clear and even. The craquelure of Ceres' blue cloak is slightly more pronounced. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a thick varnish under which some small retouchings are visible along the edges and in the dark pigments upper left, but the work appears in otherwise good 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.
Hendrik Sorgh, Amsterdam;
His sale, Amsterdam, Magnus, 28 March 1720, lot 51, for 50 Florins (with pendant, lot 50);
Pieter van Copello, Amsterdam;
His sale, Amsterdam, 6 May 1767, lot 44, for 19 Florins (with pendant, lot 45) to Kok;
W. van de Lely, Burgemeester of Delft, Delft;
His posthumous sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley, 14 December 1772, lot 15 (with pendant, lot 14);
J.E. Fiseu, Amsterdam;
Her posthumous sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley, 30–31 August 1797, lot 132, for 70 Florins (with pendant, lot 133);
John Maitland, M.P. (d. 1831), Woodford Hall, Essex;
By whom sold, London, Christie's, 2 April 1801, lot 60a, for £10.10s. (with pendant, lot 60b) to Williamson;
Sale (The Property of Sir John Boyd, Bart., Deceased, and Other Properties), London, Peter Coxe, 7 May 1805, lot 70, for £19.19s.;
Her posthumous sale, London, Christie's, 20 March 1835, where unsold at £12.12s.;
Mrs. Golding Palmer, London;
Her posthumous sale, London, Christie's, 28 July 1916, lot 42, for £29.8s. to Scharer;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, 18 May 1917, lot 147, for £7.7s.;
A. von Betham-Hollweg, Berlin;
With Volker Westphal, Berlin, 1985 (when exhibited at Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Orangerie '85. Deutscher Kunsthandel im Schloss Charlottenburg, 12 – 29 September), from whom acquired.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, cat. no. 84.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné..., vol. X, Esslingen 1926, pp. 119–20, cat. no. 56;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 92, cat, no. 84, 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. 246–49, cat. no. 39, reproduced in colour.
Until the sale in 1801, this painting was always sold (as consecutive lots) along with a pendant depicting Flora with a Shepherd. That painting was sold London, Sotheby's, 5 July 1995, lot 96, when the present works whereabouts was described as having been last known in 1917.
Willem van Mieris was the son of Frans van Mieris the Elder, the leading member of the family of artists working in Leiden. Leiden was the centre of the fijnschilder tradition of painting, developed by Gerard Dou, and practised by artists including Van Mieris, Gabriel Metsu and Godfried Schalcken. Fijnschilder - literally ‘fine painting’ - is the term that, in the 19th century, came to define these meticulously-executed paintings with their exquisite details and smooth surfaces, typically painted on a small scale, with some features purportedly executed with brushes made from a single hair.
The favoured subjects of these artists were generally genre scenes, depicting so-called everyday activities or characters. Having trained in his father’s workshop, Willem van Mieris, a member of the third generation of Leiden school painters, treated a wider range of subjects and was particularly interested in the idealisation of the female nude, following his study of classical sculpture. This preoccupation is clearly reflected here in the elegant figure of Ceres.