11 December 2009,
London, South Kensington
Price realised GBP 10,625
GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000
English School, 17th Century
Portrait of a bibliophile, half-length, seated in a library with a folio, a seal in his left hand
inscribed 'HISTOR. THE FIFTH' (on the book)
oil on canvas
43¼ x 58 in. (109.7 x 147.3 cm.)
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Freddie de Rougemont
The inscription 'HISTOR. THE FIFTH' on the folio in this portrait could relate to a reprint of Shakespeare's Henry V by the likes of a stationer such as Robert Allot or Thomas Cotes (both of whom published the Second Folios of Shakespeare's plays in the 1630s).
The costume of the sitter would appear to date to around the 1630s-1640s, but the handling of the paint itself would suggest that the picture is likely to date to the second half of the 17th Century. The still-life element of the picture also bears some comparison to the work of the Pseudo-Roestraten who was active in the late 17th Century, and was so-named by Fred Meijer, on the basis of the obvious stylistic affinities he shared with Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraten (Haarlem 1629/30-1700 London). Both artists were clearly popular among English collectors; the latter is thought to have worked on commissions for the Marquess of Lothian and Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
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