Cornelis van Poelenburgh
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.
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.
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.
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