Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Dutch School DPG401

Leiden School
DPG401 – St Paul

1630s; canvas, 52.7 x 42.5 cm

Cartwright Bequest, 1686 (no. 194, £1, 'St palus head in a black frame filited with gould’).

Sparkes & Carver 1890, p. 33, no. 57 (no attribution); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 114, no. 401; Cook 1914, pp. 233–4 (Artist unknown); Cook 1926, pp. 217; Cat. 1953, p. 47; Murray 1980a, p. 302 (Unknown); Beresford 1998, p. 307 (possibly Flemish); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 322 (Leiden School; 1630s); RKD, no. 275037: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/275037 (April 4, 2017).

London 1987–8, p. 24, 49, no. 30 (N. Kalinsky; Flemish, early 17th century).

The appearance and condition are poor. The canvas has an old lining. The paint is cupped and raised in some parts, but secure. There is dark old restoration and the varnish is very dark. Previous recorded treatment: 1988, raised paint secured, losses filled and inpainted, Area Museums Service for South Eastern England.

1a) Jan Lievens, Bearded Man with a Beret, panel, 53.5 x 46.3 cm. NGA, Washington, Gift of George M. and Linda H. Kaufman, 2006.172.1 [1].1
1b) Jan Lievens, A Tronie: Study of the Head and Shoulders of an Old Bearded Man wearing a Cap, c. 1629, panel, 60.1 x 47.8 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Sotheby’s, 7–8 July 2010, lot 19, with provenance and literature; several other versions mentioned) [2].2
1c) Jan Lievens, Praying Capuchin Friar, monogrammed and dated L/1629, panel, 96.5 x 86.5 cm. Marquess of Lothian, Monteviot [3].3
1d) Jan Lievens, Bearded Old Man, panel, 54 x 42 cm. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, 243 [4].4
2a) Jacques des Rousseaux, St Peter, panel, 60.8 x 45.3 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Clovis Whitfield, London, 2010). Previous attributions: Pieter de Grebber and Jan Lievens [5].5
2b) Jacques des Rousseaux, Young Man with a Gorget, monogrammed and dated JR.Ao.1630 [JR in ligature], panel, 65 x 54 cm. Private collection [6].6

The (indistinct) halo above the old man’s head makes DPG401 most likely to be the ‘St palus head’ – i.e. ‘St Paul's head’ – in the Cartwright inventory. Jan Lievens (1607–74) worked with his contemporary Rembrandt (1606/7–69) in that city from c. 1626 to 1631. At first Lievens was the initiator of the stylistic and thematic developments of their works, and he was the more famous and advanced of the two.7 Lievens showed talent for painting on a life-size scale; his compositions suggest the influence of the Caravaggisti. Lievens produced several tronies of similar old men (Related works, nos 1a–1d; [1-4]). Tronies are literally ‘faces’, the 17th-century Dutch and Flemish genre showing an (exaggerated) facial expression, a stock character in costume, or a genre painting in a portrait format (see also under Follower of Rembrandt, DPG628).8

Jacques des Rousseaux (c. 1600–before 5 March 1638) was born in northern France. His family then moved to the north (like many Huguenots) – in their case to Leiden, where they lived in the 1630s, and where Jacques died. According to Sumowski he was probably a pupil of Rembrandt.9 Bruyn however considered that if there was any influence, it was from Lievens rather than from Rembrandt.10 Des Rousseaux was an independent master from about 1630.His tronies are stylistically very close to those of Lievens (Related works, nos 2a, 2b) [5-6]. Des Rousseaux may be the more likely author of DPG401 because of a certain softness in the treatment, but both the condition of the picture and uncertainty about his œuvre make ‘Leiden School, 1630s’ the safest attribution at present.

Lievens and Rembrandt during their time together in Leiden (c. 1626–31) both produced paintings of the Apostle Paul, St Jerome, St John on Patmos, prophets and evangelists, which for their Leiden clients, possibly professors at Leiden University, epitomized devout scholarship.11 The saints in Cartwright’s collection – St Jerome by the Monogrammist I.C. (DPG410), St John (lost), and this St Paul (DPG401) – probably had the same significance for the London collector some fifty years later.

Leiden School
St. Paul, 1630s
canvas, oil paint 52,7 x 42,5 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG401

Jan Lievens
Bearded man with a beret, c. 1630
panel, oil paint 53,5 x 46,3 cm
Washington (D.C.), National Gallery of Art (Washington), inv./cat.nr. 2006.172.1

Jan Lievens
Study of the Head and Shoulders of an Old Bearded Man wearing a Velvet Cap, c. 1629
panel (oak), oil paint 58 x 47 cm
Sotheby's (London (England)) 2010-07-07 - 2010-07-08, nr. 19

Jan Lievens
Praying Capuchin Friar, dated 1629
panel, oil paint 96,5 x 86,5 cm
upper left : L / 1629
Private collection

Jan Lievens
Bust of a bearded grey-haired man, c. 1629
panel, oil paint 54 x 42 cm
center right : L
Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, inv./cat.nr. 243

Jacques des Rousseaux
St Peter, c. 1630-1638
panel, oil paint 60,8 x 45,3 cm
London, art dealer Whitfield Fine Art

Jacques des Rousseaux
Portrait of a Young Man wearing a Gorget, dated 1630
panel, oil paint 65 x 54 cm
Private collection


1 RKD, no. 282699: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/282699 (April 4, 2017); Wheelock 2008, pp. vi (fig.), 120–21, 290, no. 20 (V. C. Treanor); Gifford 2008, p. 46 (figs 8, 9); Sumowski 1983–94, iii (1986), pp. 1799, 1892, no. 1253.

2 RKD, no. 115193: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/115193 (April 4, 2017); Sumowski 1983–94, iii (1986), p. 1796, under no. 1240 (Bremen).

3 RKD, no. 116228: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/116228 (April 4, 2017); Sumowski 1983–94, iii (1986), pp. 1795, 1877, no. 1238; purchased in 1629 in Holland by Lord Robert Kerr.

4 RKD, no. 19487: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/19487 (April 4, 2017); Sumowski 1983–94, iii (1986), pp. 1801, 1902, no. 1263. A very similar tronie of an old man (after Lievens?) is in the MH, The Hague (no. 85), RKD, no. 4093: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/4093 (April 4, 2017); Buvelot 2004, pp. 184–5, no. 85.

5 RKD, no. 283707: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/283707 (April 10, 2017); Clark & Whitfield 2010, pp. 156–9; Sumowski, iii, 1986, pp. 1798, 1885, no. 1246.

6 RKD, no. 284050: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284050 (April 27, 2017); Brown, Van Camp & Vogelaar 2019, p. 29 (fig. 23), as Self-portrait with Gorget; Sumowski 1983–94, iv, (c. 1989), pp. 2506, 2511, no. 1675b.

7 Wheelock 2008, pp. 2–3.

8 On tronies see Gottwald 2011, Hirschfelder 2008 and Van der Veen 1997.

9 On p. 28 in the recent Leiden catalogue Vogelaar follows Sumowski, but on p. 268 he mentions Des Rousseaux under the three artists of whom it was confirmed that they had been apprenticed to Rembrandt in Leiden, Brown, Van Camp & Vogelaar 2019.

10 Bruyn 1995, p. 103 (in his review of Sumowski, iv). In the 2019 Leiden catalogue not only Rembrandt is mentioned but also Dou, ‘who was influential at the Leiden studio during Rembrandt’s absence’, Brown, Van Camp & Vogelaar 2019, p. 268, no. 133, Self-portrait by Jacques des Rousseaux (C. Vogelaar). Lievens is not mentioned here. Des Rousseaux’s tronies are stylistically very close to those of Lievens (Related works, nos 2a, 2b) [5-6]. Des Rousseaux may be the more likely author of DPG401 because of a certain softness in the treatment, but both the condition of the picture and uncertainty about his œuvre make ‘Leiden School, 1630s’ the safest attribution at present.

11 D. DeWitt in Wheelock 2008, pp. 88–9, no. 4 (another St Paul, Lievens); see also Vogelaar 1991, p. 105.

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