View full screen - View 1 of Lot 31. Self-portrait.

Property of a descendant of William Beckford & The Dukes of Hamilton

Cornelis van Poelenburgh


Lot Closed

January 14, 02:34 PM GMT


5,000 - 7,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property of a descendant of William Beckford & The Dukes of Hamilton

Cornelis van Poelenburgh

Utrecht 1594/95 – 1667


signed with monogram lower right: C.P.

oil on copper

unframed: 17.2 x 13.5 cm.; 6 3/4 x 5 1/4 in.

framed: 30.3 x 26.7 cm.; 11 7/8 x 10 1/2 in.

Please note the expanded condition report, which reads as follows: The copper plate is flat and stable, the paint surface is relatively clean, and the varnish has darkened somewhat. There are small losses (probably as a result of frame abrasion) around all four margins, and some discoloured retouching is visible to some small restored losses in the top of the curtain, upper left. A pentimento is visible just to the right of the sitter's collar, and there also appears to be a pentimento to his index finger; there is some abrasion around the hand, here, where an area of the copper plate has become visible beside the artist's hand. Inspection under ultraviolet light is impeded by the milky varnish, but confirms the above and also reveals a handful of pinprick retouchings in the artist's black clothing. The majority of the composition, however, appears to be untouched and in overall very good condition.
By repute William Beckford (1760-1844);
His daughter Susan Euphemia, Duchess of Hamilton (1786-1859);
Her granddaughter, Lady Mary Louise (1884-1957), only child and principal heir of William Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton, who married in 1906 James Graham (1878-1954), Marquis of Graham, who in 1925 succeeded his father as 6th Duke of Montrose;
Thence by descent.
Beckford inventory (B/4998), as a pendant with lot 32;
N.C. Sluijter-Seijffert, Cornelis van Poelenburch (ca. 1593-1667), doctoral diss., Leiden 1984, p. 245, cat. no. 191;
H.-J. Raupp, Künstlerbildnis und Künstlerdarstellung in den Niederlanden im 17. Jahrhundert, Hildesheim, Zürich and New York 1984, p. 126, note 404, reproduced p. 411, fig. 55;
J. Wood, 'Orazio Gentileschi and some Netherlandish artists in London: the patronage of the Duke of Buckingham, Charles I and Henrietta Maria', in Simiolus, vol. 28, no. 3, 2000-2001, reproduced p. 116, fig. 17;
N.C. Sluijter-Seijffert, Cornelis van Poelenburch 1594/5-1667. The paintings, Amsterdam 2016, pp. 26, 155, 190 (note 65), and 375, cat. no. 255, reproduced.

This self-portrait was probably painted in circa 1640, during Poelenburgh’s stay in England, when he was working for Charles I, between 1637-41, for whom he produced small cabinet pieces. The King paid Poelenburgh’s rent for his house in Westminster, and the artist received an annual allowance of £60, a not inconsiderable sum, equal to that received by other painters serving the court. Poelenburgh was one of the most-sought after and commercially successful artists of the 17th-century both in Britain and in his native Utrecht.

This portrait would appear to be Poelenburgh’s only known self-portrait. His likeness is also recorded (at a slightly younger age), however, in Van Dyck’s Iconography, the series of engraved artist’s portraits, which date from 1636.1