View full screen - View 1 of Lot 26. Portrait of a man smoking a pipe (The Sense of Smell).
26

Circle of Jacob Adriaensz Backer

Portrait of a man smoking a pipe (The Sense of Smell)

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 USD

Property from a New York Estate

Circle of Jacob Adriaensz Backer

Circle of Jacob Adriaensz Backer

Portrait of a man smoking a pipe (The Sense of Smell)

Portrait of a man smoking a pipe (The Sense of Smell)

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 USD

Lot sold:

7,560

USD

Property from a New York Estate

Circle of Jacob Adriaensz Backer

Portrait of a man smoking a pipe (The Sense of Smell)


oil on panel

panel: 28 ⅜ by 23 ¾ in.; 72 by 60.5 cm.

framed: 37 by 33 in.; 94 by 83.8 cm. 

This panel has been cradled and seems stable. The surface of the painting is under a very glossy varnish, slightly yellowed. Overall the painting appears to be in quite nice state with beautiful creamy application of the paint throughout the composition. The glazes seem to be intact for the most part. The thick glossy varnish renders the UV somewhat ineffective, although some restorations appear to be visible along the join, a 1/3rd of the way from the left edge underneath his hand, his proper right shoulder. But overall there doesn't seem to be much. Offered in a 20th century gilt Regènce style frame.


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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

With J. Vermeulen, Amsterdam, 1919;
With Jacques Goudstikker, Amsterdam, acquired from the above 1919, stock number 700 (as the Smoker) until May 1940 when Aryanised by Reichsmarschall Herman Göring and transferred to Alois Miedl;
Anonymously sold by Alois Miedl, Munich, Kunstversteigerungshaus Adolf Weinmüller, 30 January 1941, lot 2, for RM 8.000 (as portrait of Brouwer, by Jacob Backer);
There acquired by Bank Lützig, Amsterdam;
Recovered by Monuments Officers and taken to the Munich Central Collecting Point, November 20, 1945 (inv. no. 15512);
Returned to the Dutch Government, 18 June 1946;
Mr. Duijvedijk, Scheveningen;
Possibly, anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Frederick Muller, 13-19 March 1951, lot 2 (as J.A. Backer);
Possibly, anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 21 December 1960, lot 115 (as Backer);
Daan Cevat, Guernsey;
With W.S. ten Bosch, The Hague, 1965;
Morris I. Kaplan, Chicago;
By whose estate sold, London, Sotheby's, 12 June 1968, lot 6 (as Jacob Adriaensz. Backer);
Stuart Kaplan;
By whom anonymously sold, New York, Sotheby's, 16 June 1977, lot 29 (as Jacob Adriaensz. Backer);
There acquired by a private collector;
Restituted to the heir of Jacques Goudstikker in 2020.
K. Bauch, Jacob Adriaensz Backer, Berlin 1926, pp. 30 and 82, cat. no. 70, reproduced, plate 19;
K. Bauch, Der frühe Rembrandt und seine Zeit; Studien zur geschichtlichen Bedeutung seines Frühstils, Berlin 1960, p. 252, note 22;
H. van Hall, Portretten van Nederlandse beeldende kunstenaars. Repertorium, Amsterdam 1963, p. 51, cat. no. 300-15 (as a Portrait of Brouwer);
A. Czobor, Rembrandt and his Circle, Budapest 1969, under cat. no. 22;
I. Geismeier, Die Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. Geschichte der Sammlung von Ihren Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart und wissenschaftlicher Katalog der holländischen und flämischen Gemälde des 17.Jahrhunderts in dieser Sammlung, Dissertation Humboldt Universität, Berlin 1972, vol. II, p. 9;
I. Geismeier, Holländische und flämische Gemälde des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts im Bode-Museum, Berlin 1976, p. 12;
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, vol. V, Landau-Pfalz 1983, p. 3078, cat. no. 1992, reproduced p. 3121 (as Jacob Adriaensz. Backer, datable to circa 1633-1635);
I. Ember and M. Chiarini, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck: Italiensehnsucht nordischer Barockmaler-Meisterwerke aus dem Museum der bildenden Künste Budapest, exhibition catalogue, Wuppertal 1995, p. 86;
E. van de Wetering, et. al., The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt, Amsterdam 2001, exhibition catalogue, p. 382, note 1 (as Jacob Adriaensz. Backer);
S. Boyer and F. Guillaume, Peintures flamandes,hollandaises et allemandes du Musée Calvet, Avignon, Avignon 2006, pp. 22, 25;
P. van den Brink, Jacob Backer (1608/9-1651), Digital Catalogue, Zwolle 2008, cat. no. C32, reproduced (under section of rejected paintings).
Amsterdam, Maatschappij Voor Beeldende Kunsten, Collection Goudstikker d'Amsterdam, 14 December 1919 - 4 January 1920, no. 3;
The Hague, 43e tentoonstelling van teekeningen, beeldhouwwerken, enz. in de kunstzalen van het Schilderkundig Genootschap Pulchri Studio, November 1920no. 6;
Copenhagen, Udstilling af aeldre og nyere Hollandsk malerkunst, 1922;
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Paine Art Center, 1963 (according to the 1968 sale catalogue). 

This painting of a man smoking a pipe—a representation of the allegory of smell—seems to be a period copy after a now lost original by Jacob Adriaensz Backer that once formed part of a series of five works, each illustrating one of the senses. The original series included Backer’s Old Man Holding a Mirror Fragment (Allegory of Sight)1 and his Drinker (Allegory of Taste),2 both of which are today in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, as well as probably his Violin Player (Allegory of Hearing) in the Szépmüveszéti Múzeum, Budapest.3 His Allegory of Touch has not been located, and his Allegory of Smell is known only through the present copy. This series by Backer seems to have proven successful. In addition to the present painting, copies are known of the Allegory of Taste and the Allegory of Hearing,4 suggesting that there were likely several complete series of senses made after Backer’s original set made by members of his workshop, circle, later imitators.  


Throughout the twentieth century, this portrait was published by art historians such as Bauch and Sumowski as an original work by Jacob Adriaensz Backer, and at times it was supposed that the model for the young man smoking was Adriaen Brouwer.  


1. Van den Brink 2008, cat. no. A29. Oil on panel, 71.5 by 60 cm, inv. no. 935B. http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=871547&viewType=detailView

2. Van den Brink 2008, cat. no. A30. Oil on panel, 71.5 by 60 cm, inv. no. 935A. http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=870501&viewType=detailView 

3. Van den Brink 2008, cat. no. A31. Oil on panel, 73 by 62 cm, inv. no. 68.11. https://www.mfab.hu/artworks/the-violinist-the-allegory-of-hearing/

4. At least three versions are known of the Allegory of Taste, one by Backer's workshop in a private collection and three others by various hands. See Van den Brink 2008 under cat. no. A30 (a,b,c). Of the Allegory of Hearing, one workshop copy was offered at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 21 October 2014, lot 78, and another later copy on the market in France in 2012.