Jan van Bijlert (1597/8-1671)
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Jan van Bijlert (1597/8-1671)

A youthful lutanist

Jan van Bijlert (1597/8-1671)
A youthful lutanist
oil on canvas
105.5 x 82.9 cm including additions along left and right edges
Acquired at a sale at Frederik Muller, Amsterdam in the 1920's by the father of the present owner.
P.Huys Janssen, Jan van Bijlert, 1998, p.139, no.105, plate 46 (where dated to circa 1625/30 and with incorrect provenance).
Special notice

Christie's charge a buyer's premium of 20.825% of the hammer price for lots with values up to NLG 200,000. If the hammer price exceeds the NLG 200,000 then the premium is calculated at 20.825% of the first NLG 200,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of NLG 200,000.

Lot Essay

The present picture belongs to a group of Caravaggesque pictures of mostly life size half length figures, engaged in a single act, mostly music-making, which the painter executed in the second half of the 1620's, under the influence by his fellow townsmen Hendrick Terbrugghen and Dirk van Baburen.
To the group belong pictures such as a man playing the cello of which the present location is unknown; a man playing the violin with R. Green, London, 1995; a man holding a tankard, present location unknown; a man with a flute, in the Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw and a bagpipe player, in an Irish collection (P.Huys Janssen, op.cit., nos.101/5 and no.106, plates 62,42/5).
These are characterised by strong chiaroscuro. The colour scheme is generally restraint, dominated by two or three tints. In the present composition the focus is on the red of the cloak, the brown of the lute and the pale tone of the flesh.
As pointed out by P.J. Huys Janssen, loc.cit., the present picture may have had a pendant, like the pendants of a man playing the lute (private collection, Zürich) and a woman holding a flute (Art Gallery of New South Wales; P.Huys Janssen, op.cit., nos.124/5, plates 60/1).


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