Jacob Adriaensz. Backer (Harlingen 1608-1651 Amsterdam)
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A standing woman to the right

A standing woman to the right
with inscription 'Ter Borch' (lower right)
black and white chalk on gray (formerly blue) paper
14 1/8 x 7 1/8 in. (35.8 x 18.1 cm.)
Anatole France (1844-1924), Paris (according to the 1992 catalogue, inscribed on the detached mount).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 27 June 1974, lot 89.
Maida and George Abrams, Boston.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Amsterdam, 25 November 1992, lot 560, where acquired by the present owner.
W. Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, I, New York, 1979, pp. 66-67, no. 26, illustrated.
P.C. Sutton, The Martin and Kathleen Feldstein Collection, privately published, 2020, pp. 112-113, no. 30, illustrated.
Washington, National Gallery of Art, and elsewhere, Dutch Drawings from American Collections, 1977, no. 44.
Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis and Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Jacob Backer (1608/9-1651), 29 November 2008-7 June 2009, no. 44, illustrated (cat. by T. Döring).

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Lot Essay

This sheet, executed in Backer's characteristic technique combining black and white chalk in a soft and controlled manner, is a particularly fine and large example of the artist's figure studies. In these drawings the artist demonstrates his talent as a figure draughtsman, but also his ability to render different fabrics. As observed by Werner Sumowski, the same figure as depicted here seems to be shown in a drawing in the British Museum. Sumowski dates both sheets to around 1640-45 (see Sumowski, op. cit., no. 29, illustrated). The drawing may furthermore be grouped with two sheets showing women turned to the left in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich (inv. 13401 and 13706; see Sumowski, op. cit., nos. 34 and 62) and another version of the present composition in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig (inv. Z 366; see Amsterdam and Aachen, op. cit., p. 182, fig. 1). Döring has suggested that the present drawing might be a study for the standing figure in the lost Crowning of Mirtillo (ibid., p. 52, fig. 50).

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