Bartholomeus Bruyn I (Wesel or Cologne 1493-1555 Cologne)
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Bartholomeus Bruyn I (Wesel or Cologne 1493-1555 Cologne)

Portrait of Maria Pastoir, née Unverdorben, aged 30, three-quarter-length, in a black dress and white headdress with a jewelled belt, a pink in her right hand

Details
Bartholomeus Bruyn I (Wesel or Cologne 1493-1555 Cologne)
Portrait of Maria Pastoir, née Unverdorben, aged 30, three-quarter-length, in a black dress and white headdress with a jewelled belt, a pink in her right hand
inscribed and dated 'ANNO DNI.1544./æTATIS SVE. 30.' (upper left)
oil on panel, upper corners made up
17¾ x 13 7/8 in. (45.1 x 35.3 cm.)
Provenance
Grand Duchess Olga of Russia (1822-1892), wife of King Charles I of Wurttemberg (1823-1891), by whom bequeathed to
P. von Baldinger, Stuttgart.
With Steinmeyer, Paris, 1914.
M. van Gelder, Chateau Zeecrabbe, Uccle.
Dr. Hans Wetzlar; Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 9 June 1977, lot 92 (to Dreesmann).
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-23).
Literature
A. Woltmann, Holbein und seine Zeit, Leipzig, 1844, II, p. 348.
Catalogue of the Van Gelder collection, II, no. 135.
H. Westhoff-Krummacher, Barthel Bruyn der Ältere als Bildnismaler, Munich, 1965, pp. 131-2, no. 49, illustrated p. 133.
Exhibited
Laren, Singer Museum, De Kunst van het Verzamelen, 1966, no. 10.
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.

Lot Essay

The sitter was the daughter of Ratsherr (Councillor) Heinrich Unverdorben and Gertrude Kikius; born in 1493 (despite the inscription, which may have been altered, see Westhoff-Krummacher, loc. cit.), she was still alive by 1577. Her husband, Johannes Pastoir (1506-c. 1568) was Schultheiss (Mayor) of Deutz, on the outskirts of Cologne; the couple lived in the Budengasse. Maria's portrait was originally painted as a pendant to that of her husband (fig. a; formerly in the Galerie für alte Kunst, Gräfeling, Munich), and the shaped top of the latter portrait would presumably have been mirrored by the original shape of the present picture.

The artist was one of the leading artists of sixteenth-century Cologne; he founded an important school of portraiture in the city, which had, until then, no indigenous tradition in that field. His portraits, mostly of the patrician citizens of Cologne - mayors, public officials, businessmen and scholars - are lively and expressive, painted without flattery or idealism; the present picture is a good example of that honest, yet respectful treatment with which Bruyn portrayed his fellow citizens - an attitude that was perhaps unsurprising given that Bruyn was himself active in Cologne's civic affairs, elected in 1549 and 1553 to the City Council. His portraits were worked up from preliminary sketches, often taken in a single sitting, of which a few survive, including six in the Louvre, Paris (see Westhoff-Krummacher, op. cit., pp. 186-193). The majority of his sitters are, like the present picture, placed waist-length against a green or blue background, although occasionally he included drapery, architectural elements or a landscape, as in the Portrait of Arnold von Brauweiler, Mayor of Cologne of 1535 (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum).
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