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    Sale 3066

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - including Dutch Impressionism

    15 - 16 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 92

    Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck (Haarlem 1600/03-1662)

    Portrait of François Dermout (b. 1626), three-quarter length, seated in a black coat with white cuffs and collar; and Portrait of his wife Cornelia Dermout, née Hammius, three-quarter length, seated in a black dress with white cuffs and a lace trimmed collar, with a pearl bracelet, necklace and earrings, a quill in her hand

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck (Haarlem 1600/03-1662)
    Portrait of François Dermout (b. 1626), three-quarter length, seated in a black coat with white cuffs and collar; and Portrait of his wife Cornelia Dermout, née Hammius, three-quarter length, seated in a black dress with white cuffs and a lace trimmed collar, with a pearl bracelet, necklace and earrings, a quill in her hand
    the first signed and dated 'Joh. vSpronck a° 1651'; the second 'Joh. vSpronck / a° 1651' (both lower left)
    oil on canvas
    83.9 x 66.7 cm.
    (2)a pair


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    Haarlem born, Verspronck was probably a pupil of his father Cornelis Engelbrechtsz. (c.1574-1650) and possibly Frans Hals (1580-1666), before joining the Haarlem’s painters’ guild in 1632. He regularly borrowed Hals’ poses but adapted these to form his own distinct style. His oeuvre consists of approximately a hundred works, most of which are portraits of Haarlem citizens or those closely connected to the city.
    Despite being one of the leading portrait painters in the seventeenth-century Haarlem, Verspronck’s name rarely appears in contemporary documents. The family was almost certainly Catholic, which most probably ensured him the patroonship of the members of the Catholic community. It did, however, not prevent him from obtaining commissions from Calvinists as well. He appears to have made a good living as a portrait painter, judging from documents that indicate that he was able to lend money to his relatives on several occasions.

    François Dermout, son of Johannes Dermout and Sara Maes, was a merchant in Amsterdam. He married Cornelia Hammius, daughter of Cornelis Hammius and Aeltje Jacobdr., in 1646. Her sister, Maria, and her husband Andreé Villepontoux were depicted by Verspronck in the same year as the present lot (The Mauritshuis, The Hague). As pointed out by Rudolf Ekkart (op. cit.) both pendant portraits show how Verspronck developed his concept of portraiture by circa 1650, with his sitters involved in an activity: Dating to this period, the present portraits rank among the best examples of the artist’s later work. Dermout is presented half-length, seated sideways on a chair, his gaze directed towards the viewer. With his right arm resting on the back of the chair, he gestures with his hand as though he is about to speak. Cornelia’s pose more or less mirrors that of her husband, but one of her hands rests against her body, while the other holds a quill. The sober, yet refined colour scheme and subtly modulated backgrounds are characteristic of Verspronck, as are the thinly applied, painterly brushstrokes that enliven the surface of the fabrics and the sitters’ hands and faces.

    Provenance

    François Dermout (b. 1626) and Cornelia Dermout; and by descent to their son, Jan Dermout, also known as Derramout; and thence by descent to the children of his sister-in-law Anna-Maria du Peyrou, née Villepontoux;
    Jan Andries Munter (d. 1785);
    by descent to the children of his half-brother Willem Munter;
    Susanna Sophia van Limburg Stirum, née Munter (1800-1855).
    A. Lestoque, Denver.
    with John Nicholson, New York, where purchased by Carel Goldschmidt, Mount Kisco/ Huletts Landing, in 1965;
    His deceased sale; Christie's, Amsterdam, 7 May 1997, lot 46.
    with Douwes, Amsterdam.
    Private collection, The Netherlands; consigned to the following sale; Sotheby's, London, 9 July 2015, lot 114.


    Literature

    R.E.O. Ekkart, Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck, Haarlem. 1979, pp. 52-53 and 188, reproduced cat.


    Exhibited

    Denver, Denver Art Museum, Exhibition of 16th and 17th Century Painting, 1943, no. 6.
    Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck: Leven en Werken van een Haarlems portretschilder uit de 17e eeuw, 15 September - 25 November 1979, pp. 52-3 and 113, nos. 82-3, pp. 188-9, ill.
    Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, on loan 1979-1994 .