Jacob Ochtervelt (Rotterdam 1634-1682 Amsterdam)
Property from the estate of the late Herbert Norman Constantine (lots 137 and 138)
Jacob Ochtervelt (Rotterdam 1634-1682 Amsterdam)

The Visit

Jacob Ochtervelt (Rotterdam 1634-1682 Amsterdam)
The Visit
oil on canvas
70.4 x 58.6 cm.
C. J. Nieuwenhuys; Christie's, London, 10 May 1833, lot 24, as 'Hugterveld' (10 gns. to Lord Dunford for Northwick).
Albert Levy collection.
J.M. Dennison, Brixton; Christie's, 21 March 1919, lot 155, as 'G. Terburg', 700 gns. to the following,
Mr Hugh Blaker, Isleworth, Middlesex; Christie's, London, 18 July 1924, lot 68.
with W.E. Duits, London, 1945-46.
Mrs R. A. Constantine, Yorkshire, from 1946.
E. Plietzsch, Jacob Ochtervelt, Pantheon, 20, 1937, p. 372, note 1.
The Burlington Magazine, 87, December, 1945, p. v., advert Duits, ill.
E. Plietzsch, Hollandische und flamische Maler des XVII Jahrhunderts, Leipzig, 1960, p. 66.
S. D. Kuretsky, The Paintings of Jacob Ochtervelt, 1634-1682, Oxford, 1979, pp. 89-90, no. 85, fig. 99.
London, Arcade Gallery, Baroque Painting of Flanders and Holland, 15 June-14 July 1945, no. 22.
Nottingham, Central YMCA, Dutch and Flemish Art, 10-29 September 1945, no. 38.
Bristol, Red Lodge, Dutch Old Masters, March 1946, no. 20.
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. 30.

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Kimberley Oldenburg
Kimberley Oldenburg

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Lot Essay

A gentleman visits the object of his worship. He has just entered the well-appointed room and gracefully bows, his hat already doffed. The eager interest that can be read on off the suitor’s face elicits a subdued smile on the face of the young woman. Although we are left to guess the outcome, Ochtervelt does give us hints. The encounter takes place in front of an imposing four-poster bed. Although the curtains are closed, their blazing red, echoed in the woman’s bodice, the velvet upholstering of the chair at the extreme right, and in the costly oriental carpet, heralds the glow of love and passion. The small lapdog, which obediently raises its paw, amusingly parallels the gentleman, whose pose reveals a submissive attitude towards the lady. Similarly, a sensitive beholder will recognize the bunch of grapes on the silver bowl as an allusion to the fruits of the cavalier’s courting efforts.

Based on the lady’s fashionable garb, especially the extremely short sleeves of her bodice and her hair-style with corkscrew curls, Ochtervelt’s painting can be dated rather precisely to the early 1670s, an enormously productive chapter in the artist’s career. Several scholars have noted Gerard ter Borch’s famous The Suitor’s Visit of circa 1658 (fig. 1) as an inspirational model. Ochtervelt certainly knew Gabriel Metsu’s Hunter Visiting a Lady of circa 1658-60 as well (fig. 2) and adopted several elements in his own interpretation of the theme. Time and again Ochtervelt tried to emulate the paintings of his fellow genre painters Ter Borch, Metsu as well as Frans van Mieris and even Johannes Vermeer, and this painting is a beautiful example. The delicate lighting, the elegance of the figures and loose technique of the present work impart an almost rococo-like charm.

We are grateful to Eddy Schavemaker for his help in cataloguing the present lot.

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