• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2135

    Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

    28 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 23

    Jan de Bray Haarlem c. 1627-1697

    The Bath of Bathsheba

    Price Realised  


    Jan de Bray Haarlem c. 1627-1697
    The Bath of Bathsheba
    signed and dated 'JDBray 1676' (on the column, center left)
    oil on canvas
    50 x 73 in. 127 x 185.4 cm.

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    This fully signed and dated Bathsheba by Jan de Bray comes from late in the artist's career, during the period when he was most strongly influenced by a public taste for classicizing trends in painting. However, unlike some of de Bray's later works which are criticized for their rigidity, this painting is elegantly and dynamically composed, with natural movement in both Bathsheba's sudden gesture and the trickling stream of water poured into the bath by her maid. Though de Bray is not known to have traveled to Italy - indeed, he spent the entirety of his career in his native city of Haarlem, apart from a two-year sojourn in Amsterdam - the sensual pose of the nude Bathsheba and the atmospheric effects of the sfumato technique have led several scholars to suggest that de Bray may have encountered Florentine art late in life.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Professor and Mrs. Clifford Ambrose Truesdell