• Old Masters and 19th Century A auction at Christies

    Sale 2840

    Old Masters and 19th Century Art

    13 April 2010, Amsterdam

  • Lot 75

    Circle of Quinten Massijs I (Leuven 1456-1530 Antwerp)

    Portrait of Guillaume de Croy (1458-1521), bust-length, in a fur-lined coat

    Price Realised  


    Circle of Quinten Massijs I (Leuven 1456-1530 Antwerp)
    Portrait of Guillaume de Croy (1458-1521), bust-length, in a fur-lined coat
    oil on panel
    34.6 x 26.5 cm.

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    Guillaume de Croy, Lord of Chièvres (1458-1521), was born into nobility as the second son of Philippe de Croy. He bought the Lordships of Beaumont and Chièvres from his father in 1485.
    He was elected a Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1491 and in 1494 he became part of the Court of Philip the Handsome (1478-1506). After Philip's death Guillaume became part of the regency council and held chief responsibility for the finances of the Low Countries, as well as being supreme commander. In 1509 he became chief tutor and first chamberlain of the infant archduke Charles V (1500-1558) which proved to be his most important achievement and would make him an influential man in international politics. Charles V was soon dependent on Guillaume for advice and gave him many titles, such as the Duchy of Sora and Arce and Baron of Roccaguglielma. However, Charles finally broke with his advisor's influence when he went to war against France, which the pro French Guillaume had tried to prevent.
    Guillaume was said to have been poisoned by protestant followers of Martin Luther in 1521. He was succeeded by his other nephew Philippe II de Croy.

    A version of the present lot, dateable to circa 1510, is in the Koninklijke Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, as 'South-Netherlandisch School'.

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    William R. Hearst;
    Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, deacquisitioned in 1967.
    with Gallery Weiss, London, where bought by the present owner in 1988.