Old Masters Week featuring Renaissance - New York, January 2014


Portrait of a gentleman, half-length, in a cloak and bejeweled hat

This striking picture is a rare, early masterpiece by Rembrandt’s gifted and accomplished pupil, Ferdinand Bol. Like that of his teacher, Bol’s œuvre largely consists of history pictures, portraits, and genre figures dressed in exotic costumes. The influence of Rembrandt’s palette, technique and compositions is most compelling in Bol’s earliest signed and dated works, of which Portrait of a gentleman, circa 1642, is a prime example. Light falling from the left powerfully models the sitter’s features as it exposes subtle wrinkles around the eyes, individual bristles of facial hair, and gently closed lips. Reflecting the influence of Rembrandt’s portraiture, these naturalistic details are enhanced by the thoughtful, somewhat melancholy gaze of Bol’s sitter, which adds a psychological dimension to the picture.

Portrait of a gentleman is being offered this season by the heirs of Nathan & Benjamin Katz, the renowned 20th century dealer-connoisseurs who orchestrated the purchase of some of the greatest Old Master paintings from illustrious collections throughout Europe. Portrait of a gentleman was one of several works acquired by the brothers in the dispersal of the renowned collection of Sir Francis Cook, which also comprised such treasures as Velasquez’s Old Woman Cooking Eggs, Turner’s The Fifth Plague of Egypt, and the recently rediscovered Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci.

Lot Information