• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2788

    Old Master Pictures

    6 May 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 180

    Johanna Vergouwen (Antwerp 1630-1714)

    A double portrait of two boys, full-length, dressed as knights, one holding a flute, the other on a hobby-horse holding a whip, both standing on a balcony

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Johanna Vergouwen (Antwerp 1630-1714)
    A double portrait of two boys, full-length, dressed as knights, one holding a flute, the other on a hobby-horse holding a whip, both standing on a balcony
    signed and dated 'Joanna vergouven F. 1668.' (centre right)
    oil on canvas
    152.2 x 200.1 cm.


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    Only this double-portrait and one other work by the female artist Johanna, or Jeanne, Vergouwen are known to us. The other work is in the Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City. This copy after Anthony van Dyck's Samson and Delilah is dated 1673. As early as 1661 in the Gulden Kabinet by Cornelis de Bie, Vergouwen is mentioned as a copyist after Rubens and Van Dyck.

    Traditionally the two young boys were identified as the twins Hendrick and Everhard Kockman at three-and-a-half years old. However, these two children, whose father was the Catholic mayor of Zwolle, Herman Franciscus Kockman and his wife, were already born in 1660, thus being eight years old at the time Vergouwen signed the present portrait. It is highly likely that the two boys represent another wealthy twin couple (exh. cat. Haarlem, op. cit., p. 270).
    The theatrical decor of the terrace with its high columns, red curtain, classical balustrade and the extensive landscape beyond reminds strongly of the 17th century Antwerp tradition of family portraiture.

    The two brothers are dressed-up as young knights, indicated by their armour, large chemises and attributes such as the sword in its scabbard and the hobby-horse. The hats with ostrich feathers confirm that the twins are boys, and not girls. It has been suggested that children in a war-like appearance portrayed on horses indicates that their father was a highly-ranked military officer.

    Johanna Vergouwen, was the daughter of the decorative painter and gilder Louis Vergouwen and his wife Maaike Verwerff, who, in turn, was daughter of the artist Hans Verwerff. She had one elder sister, Maria who was married to Michiel Angel Immenraet. In circa 1658-9 Johanna became a member of the Antwerp guild. She is also known to have been active as an art dealer.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Provenance

    Baron van Hugenpoth tot Aerdt; Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 14 March 1972, lot 211.
    Museum Huys Anno 1624, Hoorn.


    Pre-Lot Text

    The Property of J.E. de Visser, Hoorn (lot 180)


    Literature

    J. van Trigt, Kinderen kijken u aan, Baarn, 1979, p. 47, illustrated and front cover.
    K. van der Stighelen en M. Westen, Elck zijn waerom. Vrouwelijke kunstenaars in België en Nederland 1500-1950, Gent, 1999, p. 29.
    E. Duverger, 'The Antwerp painter Joanna Vergouwen (1630-1714)', in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Antwerp, 2000, p. 44, fig. 1.


    Exhibited

    Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum and Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Kinderen op hun mooist. Het kinderportret in de Nederlanden 1500-1700, 7 October 2000-22 April 2001, pp. 269-70, cat. 75, illustrated.