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Willem de Poorter (Haarlem 1608-after 1649)
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Willem de Poorter (Haarlem 1608-after 1649)

The healing of the blind Tobit

Details
Willem de Poorter (Haarlem 1608-after 1649)
The healing of the blind Tobit
oil on panel
201/8 x 26 in. (51 x 66 cm.)
Provenance
William Smith; Christie's, London, 7-8 June 1819, lot 119, as 'Dou' (91 gns. to Emmerson).
George Morant; Phillips, London, 18 May 1832, lot 36, as 'Dou' (231 gns. to Emmerson on behalf of Yates).
Lord Ribblesdale, Gisburne Park, Lancashire.
with Daniel Katz, Dieren, 1939.
J. Walter; Sotheby's, London, 24 June 1970, lot 94.
with K. Waterman, Amsterdam, as 'Dou'.
Linda and Gerald Gutterman; Sotheby's, New York, 14 January 1988, lot 29, as 'Willem de Poorter' (sold $52,250).
Literature
W. Martin, dissertation, The Life and Work of Gerrit Dou, Leiden, 1901, as Dou.
C. Hofstede de Groot, Verzeichnis der Werke, etc., I, Esslingen and Paris, 1907, p. 341, no. 2, as Dou.
W. Martin, 'Austellung altholländischerBilder in Pariser Privatbesitz', Monatschefte für Kunstwissenschaft, IV, 1911, pp. 433-502, no. 2, as Dou. W. Martin, Gerard Dou. Des Meisters Gemälde, Stuttgart-Berlin, 1913, p. 179, as Dou.
A. Pigler, Barockthemen, Budapest-Berlin, 1956, I, p. 190, as Dou.
K. Bauch, Der frühe Rembrandt und Seine Zeit. Studien zer geschichtlichen Bedeutung seines Frühstils, Berlin, 1960, p. 266, no. 188, as 'probably not by Dou'.
R. Klessman, in the catalogue Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig. Die Holländischen Gemälde, Brunswick, 1983, p. 174, under no. 262, as Dou.
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, Landau-Pfalz, 1983, IV, p. 2408, no. 1613, p. 2426, illustrated, as Willem de Poorter.
Exhibited
Amsterdam, Bijbelsche Kunst, 1939, no. 681, as 'Dou'.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale Room Notice
An attribution to Jan van Staveren was suggested by Willem van der Watering in an amendment to a card in the R.K.D.

Lot Essay

Considered to be by Gerrit Dou since the beginning of the last century, the present panel was first published as the work of Willem de Porter by Professor Werner Sumowski in 1983 (loc. cit). This picture can be regarded as one of the finest examples of de Poorter's output from the 1630/40s when he was working most closely under the influence of Rembrandt and Gerrit Dou.

Although there is no documentation to support the assumption, it seems highly probable, judging by the number of small-scale biblical and history paintings produced by the artist in the 1630s, that de Poorter received his training in the Leiden workshop of Rembrandt alongside Gerrit Dou. The present panel is indebted to Rembrandt's picture of the same subject, of 1636, the surviving fragment of which is in the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Its original landscape format is known through an old copy in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick, and their compositions are fundamentally the same: the figure group positioned at a window on the left side, still life elements in the lower corners and a recession into space in the centre. The level of sophistication displayed in the present picture through its dramatic Rembrandtesque lighting and meticulous Dou-like handling would suggest a date of circa 1640.

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