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    Sale 3066

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - including Dutch Impressionism

    15 - 16 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 138

    Eglon van der Neer (Amsterdam 1635/36-1703 Düsseldorf)

    A seated lady with her maid in an interior


    Eglon van der Neer (Amsterdam 1635/36-1703 Düsseldorf)
    A seated lady with her maid in an interior
    signed and dated 'Eglon van der Neer fc. / 1680' (lower left)
    oil on vellum, laid down on canvas
    44.5 x 36 cm.

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    Eglon van der Neer was trained by his father, the celebrated painter of moonlit and winter landscapes, Aert van der Neer, and then concluded his training with Jacob van Loo. He spent his first years of activity in Orange as a court painter to the governor of the principality before returning to his native Amsterdam in 1658. Here, he became highly successful as a painter of high life genre scenes, of which the present is an excellent example, and portraits. In 1687, Van der Neer was appointed court painter to the Spanish king Carlos II, but stayed in Brussels, where he had settled in 1680. Around 1696 the artist took up residence in Dusseldorf, accepting a position as court painter to Johann Wilhelm, the Elector Palatine, for whom he painted highly refined cabinet-sized landscapes and history paintings.

    An appropriate title for Van der Neer’s picture would be “The Beautiful Back”. A young lady à la mode in a low-cut dress shows us her seductive bare neck and shoulders. Van der Neer not only puts the beholder in the role of a voyeur, he uses the power of suggestion, triggering our fantasy to conjure the lady’s beautiful face. We find ourselves in the inner sanctum of a woman’s dressing room and have just caught a glimpse of the final rituals of her morning toilet. The lady’s fashionable and elaborate hairdo is already fit to flaunt, but her bodice is not yet entirely laced up. A maid brings a silver ewer and salver so she can wash her hands.

    For the present work, Van der Neer was inspired by a painting by Gerard ter Borch (fig. 1). As always, Van der Neer gave a new twist to the subject, rivalling his model in the rendition of shimmering satin and upgrading the setting almost to the point of transforming it into a palatial décor. Signed and dated 1680, this picture is one of Van der Neer’s last genre scenes. These, indeed, are the pinnacle of elegance and opulence and form a new and resounding contribution to the development of seventeenth-century genre painting. Van der Neer’s smooth and meticulous technique suits his subject matter perfectly. A slightly different version of our painting, signed and dated 1681, is in a Dutch private collection. Both are executed on vellum, an unusual support for Van der Neer (see: E. Schavemaker, op. cit., 2010, no. 91, p. 490, ill.).

    The present painting boasts an excellent provenance, having been possessed by such discriminating collectors as Jan Gildemeester, who also owned Ter Borch’s famous The Letter (presently The Royal Collection, London), and Johan Goll van Franckenstein.

    We are grateful to Eddy Schavemaker, who wrote the catalogue raisonné on Eglon van der Neer, for his help in cataloguing this lot.


    Léon Jean Joseph Dubois; Hôtel de Bullion, Paris, 31 March 1784, lot 60, as 'Gaspard Netscher' (240 livres to Chevalier).
    Jan Gildemeester, Amsterdam: Huis van Trip, Amsterdam, 11 June 1800, lot 156 (315 florins to B. Kooy).
    Arend van der Werff van Zuidland; his sale (†), Woonhuis, Dordrecht, 31 July 1811, lot 76 (210 florins to Molanus).
    Jurriaans, Amsterdam; Schley, Amsterdam, 28 August 1817, lot 42, 952 florins to the following,
    Johan Goll van Franckenstein; his sale (†), Huis met de Hoofden, Amsterdam, 1 July 1833, lot 56, 1,925 florins to the following,
    Willem Joseph van Brienen van de Groote Lindt (1760-1839), Amsterdam, and by descent to,
    Arnold Willem van Brienen van de Groote Lindt (1783-1854), and by descent to,
    Guillaume-Thierry-Arnaud-Marie, Baron de Brienen de Grootelindt, The Hague; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 8 May 1865, lot 21 (7,000 francs).
    Christophe van Loo; Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 23 May 1881, lot 21 (7,100 francs to Lepke).
    The Constantine Family, Yorkshire; Christie's, London, 14 May 1971, lot 120 (1,500 gns.).

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the estate of the late Herbert Norman Constantine (lots 137 and 138)


    J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters etc., VI, London, 1835, p. 174, no. 17; IX, 1842, p. 548, no. 3.
    J. Immerzeel, De levens en werken der Hollandsche en Vlaamsche kunstschilders, beeldhouvers, graveurs en bouwmeesters, van het begin der vijftiende eeuw tot heden, III, Amsterdam, 1843, p. 259.
    A.J. van der Aa, Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden, XIII, Haarlem, 1868, p. 106.
    C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the Seventeenth Century, etc., V, London, 1913, p. 487, no. 46.
    O. Ydema, Carpets and their datings in Netherlandish paintings 1540-1700, Zutphen, 1991, p. 168, no. 560, illustrated.
    R. Priem, 'The "most excellent collection" of Lucretia Johanna van Winter: the years 1809-1822, with a catalogue of the works purchased', Simiolus, XXV, 1997, pp. 178-9, notes 219-20, illustrated.
    E. Bergvelt, Pantheon der Gouden Eeuw. Van Nationale Konst-Gallerij tot Rijksmuseum van Schilderijen (1798-1896), Zwolle, 1998, p. 315, note 132.
    M.E. Wieseman, Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-century Dutch Painting, Doorsnpijk, 2002, p. 348, no. C52, under 'Studio productions and rejected attributions'.
    E. Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer (1635/36-1703): His Life and His Work, Doornspijk, 2010, pp. 489-90, no. 90, illustrated.


    Middlesbrough, Municipal Art Gallery, 29 September-22 October 1949.
    Scarborough, Municipal Art Gallery, Dutch and Flemish Masters from the Collection of Mrs. R.A. Constantine and family: Dutch Festival 1960, June 1960-1961, no. 31.