Govaert Flinck (Cleve 1615-1660 Amsterdam)
Property of a Private Collector
Govaert Flinck (Cleve 1615-1660 Amsterdam)

An old man at a casement

Govaert Flinck (Cleve 1615-1660 Amsterdam)
An old man at a casement
signed and dated 'G. flinck f. 1646' (lower left)
oil on panel
27 5/8 x 24 in. (70.2 x 61 cm.)
with several red wax seals bearing the monogram 'XJ' or the Cyrillic letters '??', of a design probably dating from c. 1860-1870 (on the reverse)
Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky (1710-1775), merchant, financier, art dealer and collecting advisor to Frederick the Great, Berlin, by 1764, when recorded as 'Rembrand', '1. alter Mann, der mit dem Kopf auf der linken hand ruht. Extra fein gemahlt', (28 x 23 inches), priced at 600 Reichstaler; by whom sold in 1764 en bloc with 316 other paintings to
Catherine II the Great, Empress of Russia (1729-1796), founder of the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, as Rembrandt, recorded in an inventory made after her death, in 1797, no. 3654, and by descent to her grandson,
Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia (1796-1855), The Imperial Collection at the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, possibly sold in 1854 (Prevot, Saint Petersburg, 6 June 1854 and following days, lot 636, as '??????. ?????? ???????' ('Flinck. Head of an old man.'), the dimensions incorrectly given as 6.3 x 5 vershki) or by descent to his son,
Alexander II, Emperor of Russia (1818-1881), by whom sent to Moscow in 1862 with 200 other pictures from The Hermitage, for the picture gallery of the newly-established Moscow Public and Rumyantsev Museums.
Acquired by Wilhelm Friedrich Mertens (c. 1870-1957) or by his son,
Wilhelm Mertens (1899-1938), both Saint Petersburg until 1917-1918, and subsequently Leipzig, certainly by 1932, and by descent to the following
Private collection, Europe; Christie's, London, 6 December 2011, lot 13.
with Jean-Luc Baroni, London, 2014, where acquired by the present owner.
J.E. Gotzkowsky, 'Specification meiner allerbesten und schönsten Original Gemählden bestehen in 317 Stück nebst den allergenauesten Preißen', circa 1764, MS, Berlin, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, I. HA., Rep. 11, no. 171-175 Russland D, Interzessionalia 1751-1765, fol. 253 recto, no. 18, as 'Rembrand', '1. alter Mann, der mit dem Kopf auf der linken hand ruht Extra fein gemahlt', 2 feet 4 inches by 1 foot 11 inches, 600 'Rthlr'.
J. von Stählin, 'Vornehmste Stücke aus dem an Ihren Kays. Maj. Verkauften Gotzkowsky Cabinet aus Berlin', circa 1764, MS, Saint Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Federation Academy of Sciences, Fund 170, opis' 1, delo 68, ff. 1a-4, reprinted in A.I. Uspensky, ????????????? ?????? ['The Imperial Palaces'], ??????? ?????????????? ??????????? ???????????????? ????????? ????? ?????????? ??????? II [Notes of the Imperial Nicholas II Moscow Archoeological Institute], XXIII, 1913, part 2, p. lii, and in K. Malinovsky, ed., ??????? ????? ??????? ?? ???????? ?????????? ? ?????? [The Writings of Jacob Stählin on the Fine Arts in Russia], Moscow, 1990, II, p. 99, as 'Rembrandt. An old man, whose head is resting on his left hand', 2 feet 4 inches by 1 foot 11 inches, 600 Thalers.
Count J.E. Münnich, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux qui se trouvent dans les Galeries, Salons et Cabinets du Palais Iméprial de S.Pétersbourg, commencé en 1773 et continue jusqu'en 1785, 1773-1785, MS, Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Archives, Fund I, opis' VI-A, delo 85.
(Possibly) Count J.E. Münnich, Catalogue des tableaux qui se trouvent dans les Galleries et dans les Cabinets du Palais Impérial de Saint Pétersbourg, Saint Petersburg, 1774 (reprinted P. Lacroix, 'Musée du Palais de l'Ermitage sous le règne de Catherine II', in Revue universelle des arts, XIII, pp. 164-179, 244-258, XIV, 212-225, XV, 47-53, 107-123), as one of nos. 57, 'Rembrand. Le Portrait d'un vieillard', 88, 'Rembrand. La Tête d'un vieillard', 914, 'Rembrand. Portrait d'un vieillard', 1882, 'Rembrand. Portrait d'un vieillard' or 1887, 'Govaert Flinck. Portrait d'homme'.
F.I. Labynsky et al., ??????? ????????, ?????????? ? ????????????? ??????? ????????, ? ??????????? ? ????????? ???????... [Catalogue of the Paintings Kept in the Imperial Hermitage Gallery, the Tauride and Marble Palaces...], 1797, MS, Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Archives, Fund 1, opis' VI-A, delo 87, no. 3645, the dimensions given as 15.34 x 13.12 vershki (68.2 x 58.3 cm.).
(Probably) Notice sur les principaux tableaux du Musée Impérial de l'Ermitage à Saint-Pétersbourg, Saint Petersburg and Berlin, 1828, pp. 56 and 136, in room no. 11, the 'Salle de Rembrandt', as Rembrandt, 'un rabbin juif qui se résigne à payer'.
(Possibly) Livret de la Galerie Impériale de l'Ermitage de Saint-Pétersbourg : contenant l'explication des tableaux qui la composent, avec de courtes notices sur les autres objets d'art ou de curiosité qui y sont exposés, Saint Petersburg, 1838, p. 127, in 'Salle XI', as Rembrandt.
(Possibly) Baron N.E. Wrangel, 'L'Empereur Nicolas I et les arts', ?????? ???? [Starye gody], VI, September-November 1913, p. 124, no. 636 under the 1854 sale, ‘??????. ?????? ???????’ ('Flinck. Head of an old man.'), the dimensions incorrectly given as 6.3 x 5 vershki and the inventory number incorrectly given as 3121, or as one of the other 1,217 lots.
C. Frank, 'Die Gemäldesammlungen Gotzkowsky, Eimbke und Stein: Zur Berliner Sammlungsgeschichte während des Siebenjährigen Krieges', in M. North, ed., Kunstsammeln und Geschmack im 18. Jahrhundert, Berlin, 2002, pp. 189-190, note 221, as 'Ehem. Ermitage, 1862 nach Moskau abgegeben'.
T. Ketelsen and T. von Stockhausen, The Provenance Index of the Getty Research Institute: Verzeichnis der verkauften Gemälde in deutschsprachigen Raum vor 1800, Munich, II, p. 1305, under 1764/00/00.
N. Schepkowski, Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky: Kunstagent und Gemäldesammler im friderizianischen Berlin, Berlin, 2009, pp. 462 and 577, 'Laut Prof. Gotzkowsky wurde das "Bildnis eines alten Mannes" 1862 nach Moskau verkauft'.
To be included in T. van der Molen's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Govaert Flinck.
Berlin, Galerie Dr. Schäffer, Hundert Seltene Holländer, April-May 1932, no. 39, 'Flinck, Govaert - Bildnis eines alten Mannes - Bez. und datiert 1646'.

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