• Old Masters auction at Christies

    Sale 12109

    Old Masters

    26 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 77

    Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Amsterdam 1621-1674)

    Portrait of the artist's father, Jan Pietersz van den Eeckhout (1584 - 1652), half-length

    Estimate

    Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Amsterdam 1621-1674)
    Portrait of the artist's father, Jan Pietersz van den Eeckhout (1584 - 1652), half-length
    signed and dated 'AE 66 / G-B Eeckhout / 1651' (upper left)
    oil on canvas, laid down on board
    34 5/8 x 27 ½ in. (87.8 x 69.9 cm.)


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    Although Gerbrand van den Eeckhout painted his father on several occasions, this intimate portrait is distinguished from the others as it is a highly personal, almost candid likeness. Painted a year before Jan's death, it the only known portrait in which the artist's father does not wear a hat, allowing the viewer to see the sitter as he would have appeared in his home, at ease with his family. A goldsmith by profession, Jan dramatically elevated his family’s social status two years after the death of his first wife, Grietje Claesdr Lydecker, when in 1633 he married Cornelia Dedel (1594-1660), the daughter of a successful and wealthy director of the East India Company in Delft.

    In the late 19th or early 20th century, this portrait was part of the collection of Edward Rogers Wood (1866-1941) and his wife Euphemia (1867-1950). Both Edward Wood and his brother Frank P. Wood were prominent Canadian financiers and art collectors, whose distinguished collections of Old Master paintings numbered among the earliest and most important of their kind in Toronto. To this date, Frank P. Wood remains the single most generous donor to the Art Gallery of Ontario, having gifted masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Anthony van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough, Titian, Jacob van Ruisdael, to name just a few. The present painting hung in the dining room of the Wood home (fig. 1), which was later donated to the University of Toronto and then transferred to Glendon College (York University).

    In a letter dated dated 17 March 2001, Professor Werner Sumowski confirmed the attribution to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and noted that the present work was among the best he knew by the artist.

    Provenance

    G.N. Marten, Great Britain, 1893.
    with Lawson Peacock, London, 1921.
    Mr. Edward Rogers Wood (1866-1941) and Mrs. Euphemia Wood (1867-1950), and by inheritance to her nephew, and by descent to the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a distinguished Canadian Collection


    Literature

    A. Bredius, 'De "Old Masters" in de Royal Academy, 1893', De Nederlandsche Spectator, 10, 1893, pp. 77.
    J.G. van Gelder, 'Gerbrand van den Eeckhout als portrettist', Kunsthistorische medelingen van het Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie 4, 1949, pp. 15-17, fig. 2.
    V. Manuth, Mit den Augen des Sohnes: Gerbrand van den Eeckhouts Porträts seines Vaters, in E. Buijsen, Ch. Dumas, V. Manuth, eds., Face Book: Studies on Dutch and Flemish Portraiture of the 16th-18th Centuries, Leiden, 2012, pp. 276-277, fig. 6.


    Exhibited

    London, Royal Academy, Exhibition of works by the Old Masters and by the Deceased Masters of the British School, 1893, no. 79.