View full screen - View 1 of Lot 339. Self portrait with a sunflower.
339

Follower of Sir Anthony van Dyck

Self portrait with a sunflower

The Property of a Gentleman

Follower of Sir Anthony van Dyck

Follower of Sir Anthony van Dyck

Self portrait with a sunflower

Self portrait with a sunflower

The Property of a Gentleman

Follower of Sir Anthony van Dyck

Self portrait with a sunflower 


oil on canvas

unframed: 65.5 x 77.9 cm.; 25¾ x 30⅝ in.

framed: 81.8 x 94.8 cm.; 32¼ x 37¼ in.

The following condition report is provided by Henry Gentle who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:


The painting is lined. The lining is of some age and has a degraded tacking edge.

There is a loss of tension.


The paint layer is raised in some areas and unstable, with minor recent loss, as can be detected to the lower left and lower right shadows in raking light.


The paint layer is generally well preserved with vigorous and energetic brushwork visible to the sky and jacket, and preserved impasted highlights, especially the details of the gold chain.


Some paint thinness to the more vulnerable areas, such as the moustache, beard and hair can be seen, along with minor abraded loss to the dark shadow of the sitter’s proper right hand and the sunflower where canvas texture has become visible.


Removal of the degraded and discoloured varnish would improve tonal variation and reveal paint that retains chromatic intensity.


Many areas of the painting are in a good preserved 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. 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.

Henry Joseph Buchan (1813–1891), Wilton House, Bedford Place, Southampton;
Thence by inheritance to Miss Buchan, West Sussex, by whom gifted in 1955 to
Dr Gerald Smyth (d. 1999);
Thence by inheritance to the present owners.
O. Millar, in Van Dyck. A complete catalogue of the paintings, S. Barnes et al. (eds), New Haven and London 2004, p. 432, under no. IV.4.

An early copy of the painting in the collection of the Duke of Westminster, Eaton Hall, Cheshire.1 The striking composition is presumed to date from Van Dyck's first years at the court of Charles I, where he arrived in 1632, and may have been designed to represent the artist's relationship with the King and his view of himself in the court circle. The gold chain that he draws out from his chest may be that given to Van Dyck by Charles I, in accordance with the warrant of 20 April 1633, appointing him 'principal painter'; though it is also an attribute of 'Pittura' ('Painting' personified).


The sunflower, a rare and expensive plant at the time, was a symbol of devotion, though whether it reflects the artist's feeling towards his sovereign and patron, to God, or to his own practice, is open to interpretation. A number of other early copies exist, including those at Berkeley Castle, Ham House and formerly at Ickworth, Suffolk.


1 https://rkd.nl/explore/images/122743