ATTRIBUTED TO NICOLAES MAES
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, THREE-QUARTER LENGTH
Bears signature and date bottom left, oil on canvas
49 x 38 1/2 in. (124.5 x 97.8cm)
Collection of the Marquess of Dufferin, London.
Lawrie & Co., London, sale of January 28, 1905, lot 93.
Collection of Mr. Thatcher M. Adams, New York, New York, 1920.
D.G. Dery, New York, 1923.
Collection of Emil Winter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, sale of January 15-17, 1942, lot 452.
Collection of Julius Weitzner.
Munkacsi, New York.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, sale of November 12, 1952, lot 53.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Private Collection, Florida.
Sotheby's, New York, sale of January 15, 1987, lot 25.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. George Farkas, New York, New York.
A Gift from the above.
New York University Art Collection, New York, New York.
"Hudson-Fulton Exhibition," Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, September-November, 1910.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner, Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Old Dutch Masters Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Connection with The Hudson-Fulton Celebration, an exhibition catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1910, no. 61, p. 218 (illustrated as "Portrait of a Man").
Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, Macmillan and Co., Ltd., London, 1908-1927, Vol. VI, no. 399a, p. 569 (as "A Man of Rank").
Born in Dordrecht in 1634, Nicolaes Maes became a pupil of Rembrandt (1606-1669) at the age of sixteen and trained in his studio until 1653. Although he became famous for his numerous genre scenes, the artist soon shifted away from them and moved towards society portraiture in the 1650s, developing his very own style both inspired by the energy of his Master's first works and the elegance of fellow Flemish artists such as Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641).
Maes moved to Amsterdam in 1674, established his workshop and quickly became a dramatically popular artist in the city. Indeed, as the Dordrecht based painter and writer Arnold Houbraken (1660-1719) wrote: "So much work came [Maes's] way that it was deemed a favor if one person was granted the opportunity to sit for his portrait before another, and so it remained for the rest of his life."
Toward the end of his life, Maes' technique became increasingly grounded in the French mode of portraiture developed by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674) and relayed to the northern Netherlands by artists such as Adriaen Hanneman (c.1601-1671) and Jan Mijtens (c.1614-1670). Such is the case in the present work, which depicts an unknown wealthy gentleman in front of an abstract seascape, his right hand mysteriously resting on a stone pedestal: a rather unique composition in Maes' body of work, paired with a wonderful rendition of fabric and sharp observation of the sitter's individual physiognomies.
We wish to thank Ms. Sabine Craft-Giepmans at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, also known as R.K.D., for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.