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    Sale 7714

    Old Master & British Pictures

    24 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 29

    Pieter Thijs (Antwerp c. 1624-1677)

    Portrait of Herman Joseph van der Porter, Abbot of Saint Michael's, Antwerp, three-quarter-length, seated, in the Norbertine habit, with his episcopal mitre

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Pieter Thijs (Antwerp c. 1624-1677)
    Portrait of Herman Joseph van der Porter, Abbot of Saint Michael's, Antwerp, three-quarter-length, seated, in the Norbertine habit, with his episcopal mitre
    inscribed 'Par Le Roi Au Reverend Père en Dieu [...] Sieur et ...en a...me Da[vid?] Herman Joseph van der Porter Abbé de [St] Michel à Anvers' (centre right, on the letter)
    oil on canvas, unframed
    47 3/8 x 36 7/8 in. (120.4 x 93.8 cm.), including an addition of 2¾ in. (7 cm.) to the upper edge, and an addition of 2¾ in. (7 cm.) to the left edge


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    We are grateful to Dr. Hans Vlieghe for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs.
    Herman Joseph van der Poorter of Bois-le-Duc (Den Bosch) was Abbot of Saint Michael's from 1676 to 1681. The Norbertine or Premonstratensian monastic order (the 'White Canons') was founded in 1120 by Saint Norbert of Xanten, and enjoyed a special veneration in Antwerp, for it was there that Saint Norbert defeated the eucharistic heresy of Tanchelm and founded the Abbey of Saint Michael. In 1624 Rubens completed an Adoration for the upper-choir altar of the Abbey church (now Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten). The Abbey was partly demolished by Napoleon during the French Revolution in 1797 to make way for a military shipyard, and during the Belgian Revolution in 1830 the rest of the old Antwerp landmark was destroyed.

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