11 December 2002
Justus Sustermans (Antwerp 1597-1681 Florence)
Portrait of a gentlemen, three-quarter-length, in crimson robes of office, resting his right hand on a chair with a letter, and gloves in his left hand
oil on canvas, octagonal made up to a rectangle
45 7/8 x 34 5/8 in. (116.3 x 88 cm.)
Anon. Sale, Dorotheum, Vienna, 17 September 1968, lot 122, where acquired by a relation of the present owner.
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G. Martin, The Flemish School 1600-1900, National Gallery Catalogues, London, 1970, p. 253, under no. 3227.
As Martin proposes (loc. cit.), the present picture appears to be the primary treatment of a portrait best known by the version in the National Gallery, London, that he ascribed to Sustermans while acknowledging the possibility that it was an old copy. The identity of the sitter is unknown although the red costume suggests that he may be Genoese, a notion that is bolstered by the fluent handling in evidence here. Sustermans worked in Genoa in 1649.
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