Though the subject of this royal portrait has proven elusive to scholars, a clue to his identity is the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck. A likely candidate for the sitter is Philipp Ludwig Wenzel von Sinzendorf, a Viennese diplomat who was appointed a Knight of the Golden Fleece by Charles VI. Some scholars believe the portrait to be Austrian, possibly by Jacob van Schuppen who was known to create reduced versions of his formal portraits. Alternatively, it been suggested that the portrait is by a French artist and depicts Philippe II, duc d'Orléans, who became a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1701.
The canvas has been relined and is stable. There is a thick varnish which has yellowed slightly, so the work is darker in appearance but could likely be brightened with a cleaning. The details in the costume and colors appear to be well-preserved. There is a craqueleure pattern throughout but it is stable and not distracting. Ultraviolet light reveals a milky varnish and some strengthening in the background as well as a few areas of the red costume. This repainting is minimal and not evident to the naked eye. Offered in a carved giltwood frame. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.