Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Netherlandish School DPG605

DPG605 – Self-portrait?

17th century, oil on Eastern Baltic oak panel, 62.2 × 48.9 cm

Fairfax Murray Gift, 1917.

PGC Minutes, 16 Feb. 1917, p. 18; Hall 1921 and 1922, no. 605 (Dutch School; Portrait of an Artist by Himself); Cook 1926, no. 605 (Dutch School); Schneider 1932, pp. 68, 148, no. 247 (Jan Lievens, Self-portrait?); Cat. 1953, p. 19 (Dutch School; Self-portrait); Van Hall 1963, p. 187, 1271.5 ([Jan Lievens]: Self-portrait?); Schneider & Ekkart 1973, pp. 68, 148, 334, no. 247 (Jan Lievens, Self-portrait (?)); Murray 1980a, p. 304 (Jan Lievens, Self-portrait); Sumowski 1983–94, iii, pp. 1808, 1926, no. 1287 ([Jan Lievens] Self-portrait); Beresford 1998, p. 77 (attributed to Jan Cossiers); Tyers 2014, pp. 43–5; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 317–18 (Flemish/Dutch School); RKD, no. 298481: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/298481 (Sept. 4, 2020).

Aberystwyth 1947, no. 15 (Dutch School; Self-portrait).

Three-member Eastern Baltic oak panel; dendrochronology gave a terminus post quem of c. 1631. Buff ground. Fluent, bravura brushwork, areas of the hair incised with brush handle. The panel slopes inwards on the right-hand side. There is evidence of past woodworm infestation, relating to a crack on the front. At some point the panel was thinned and fitted with a cradle on the reverse. By the early 20th century the crack that had developed was serious and size was poured into the crack in 1927 to deal with this. The crack was ‘touched out’ by ‘J. W. G.’ in 1930 and the panel restored in 1952–5 by Dr Hell. It was cleaned and restored in 1989–96. As part of this treatment, it was examined in 1993 by Melanie Caldwell, Courtauld Institute of Art: the cradle was removed, the split re-joined, lost wood replaced, filled and in-painted. The back bears the remains of an old paper label: ‘E…’

Infrared photographs taken in 2014 revealed underdrawing around the oval of the face and lips, although examination with a microscope suggests these outlines were strengthened in previous retouching campaigns.

1) Anthony van Dyck, Sir Endymion Porter and Anthony van Dyck, c. 1633, canvas, 119 x 144 cm (oval). Prado, Madrid, P001489 [1].1
2) Lucas Vorsterman I after Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Anthony van Dyck, engraving for Icones principum virorum (Antwerp, 1645/6), 248 × 157 mm. RPK, RM, Amsterdam, RP-P-OB-33.106 [2].2
3) Peter Paul Rubens, Self-portrait in a Circle of Friends from Mantua, 1600–1608, canvas, 77.5 x 101 cm. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, 248.3
4) Lucas Vorsterman I after Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Jan Lievens, engraving for Icones principum virorum (Antwerp, 1645/6), 245 x 151 mm. RKD, The Hague [3].4
5) Jan Lievens, Self-portrait, monogrammed IL, c. 1627, panel, 52 x 40.5 cm. SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, KMSsp413 [4].5
6a) Robert Walker, Self-portrait, canvas, 64 x 54.2 cm, Sotheby’s, 23 Nov. 2006, lot 20 [5].6
6a.I) Copy or replica of 6a (previously said incorrectly to be copy of DPG605), canvas, 63 x 48 cm (present whereabouts unknown; coll. Dr Franz Oppenheimer, Berlin; sale Lepke, Berlin, 7 Nov. 1916, lot 106 (68 x 53 cm; 16,000 DM), with ill.; coll. George von Dadelsen, Munich).7
6a.II) 18th-century copy of 6a (previously said incorrectly to be copy of DPG605), canvas, 65.5 x 45.5 cm; coll. Schönborn-Weisentheidtschen Galerie in Pommersfelden, cat. 1894, no. 163 (as attributed to ‘Ant. van Dyck’).8
6b) Robert Walker, Self-portrait, c. 1645, canvas, 73.7 x 61 cm. NPG, London, NPG753 [6].9

Netherlandish School, 17th century
panel (oak), oil paint 62,2 x 48,9 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG605

Anthony van Dyck
Double portrait of Endymion Porter (1587-1649) and Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), to be dated 1633
canvas, oil paint 119 x 144 cm
Madrid (Spain), Museo Nacional del Prado, inv./cat.nr. 1489

Lucas Vorsterman (I) after Anthony van Dyck
Portrait of Anthony van Dyck, 1630-1646
paper, engraving 248 x 157 mm
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./cat.nr. RP-P-OB-33.106

Lucas Vorsterman (I) after Anthony van Dyck
Portrait of Jan Lievens (1607-1674)
paper, copper engraving 245 x 151 mm
The Hague, RKD – Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis (Collectie Iconografisch Bureau)

When this was gifted to Dulwich in 1917 it was described as a self-portrait by a Dutch artist c. 1640, possibly by Jan Miense Molenaer (1609/10–68).10 It remained as Dutch school until Schneider tentatively described it as a self-portrait by Jan Lievens (1607–74), subsequently including it in the artist’s catalogue raisonné as showing the influence of Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641). Indeed, the pose is similar to that of Van Dyck’s self-portraits, such as Sir Endymion Porter and Anthony van Dyck (c. 1635, Related works, no. 1) [1] and the one engraved by Lucas Vorsterman I (1595/6–1674/5) for the Icones principum virorum (Antwerp, 1645/6; Related works, no. 2) [2]. It also resembles the pose of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in his Self-portrait in a Circle of Friends from Mantua (1600–1608; Related works, no. 3).

Pickhardt saw similarities between the facial features of this sitter and those of Lievens as depicted by Van Dyck in his Icones engraved by Vorsterman (Related works. no. 4) [3] and the artist’s self-portrait in the National Gallery of Denmark (Related works, no. 5) [4], but concluded that the ‘interpretation as a self-portrait by Lievens remains to a certain extent doubtful’.11

Vlieghe disagreed with the attribution to Lievens, saying that the brushwork is free in some areas and that the face has features that suggest the work of Jan Cossiers (1600–1671). That attribution was accepted by Beresford.12 Cossiers was based in Antwerp and trained with Cornelis de Vos (1584–1651). In the 1630s he was employed by Rubens. He became one of the leading painters of religious subjects after Rubens’s death in 1640.

Lloyd DeWitt suggested that the Dulwich painting was a sketch by the British artist Robert Walker (1599–1658) in preparation for his self-portrait on canvas sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 (Related works, no. 6a) [5].13 Sotheby’s attributed that work to Walker based on its similarity to his self-portraits in the National Portrait Gallery in London (Related works, no. 6b) [6] and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. While there are similarities between the Sotheby’s work and that at Dulwich, any resemblance between them and the Walkers in London and Oxford is minimal, and only involves the sitters’ Van Dyckian poses. The former are more lively and spontaneous, the latter somewhat wooden in pose. Interestingly, there were two copies after the Sotheby’s painting at the time in the collections of Dr Franz Oppenheimer and Graf von Schönborn (the latter attributed to Van Dyck in 1894), which Schneider listed incorrectly as copies of the Dulwich picture (Related works, nos 6a.I and 6a.II).

DPG605 is sketchily painted, especially in the coat and collar, but some areas of the face such as the nose and forehead are more detailed. The paint of the lace edges of the collar is freely applied, but with a confident hand. The relationship with the Sotheby’s painting remains unclear, but rather than the Dulwich painting being a sketch for that it is more likely that this is a damaged, unfinished self-portrait by an as yet unknown, but accomplished, Flemish (or Dutch?) artist, who was familiar with the work of Rubens and Van Dyck.

Jan Lievens
Self-portrait, c. 1627
panel, oil paint 52 x 40,5 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMSsp413

Robert Walker (1599-1658)
canvas, oil paint 64 x 54,2 cm
Sotheby's (London (England)) 2006-11-23, nr. 20

Robert Walker (1599-1658)
Self-portrait by Rober Walker (1599-1658), c. 1645
canvas, oil paint 73,7 x 61 cm
London, National Portrait Gallery, inv./cat.nr. NPG753


1 RKD, no. 120551: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/120551 (Sept. 4, 2020); see also https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/endymion-porter-and-anthony-van-dyck/4f405157-fc39-45bd-a82f-6e70e978968b (Sept. 4, 2020); Millar 2004, pp. 342–3, no. IV.6.

2 RKD, no. 298482: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/298482 (Sept. 4, 2020); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.192343 (Sept. 4, 2020); Turner 2002 (vol. 2), p. 38, no. 59-3(6); Schuckman 1993, p. 152, no. 152-3(6).

3 RKD, no. 194591: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/194591 (Sept. 4, 2020); Jaffé 1989, p. 150, no. 24 (1602 or 1604); Huemer 1977, pp. 163–6, no. 37.

4 RKD, no. 213533: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/213533 (Sept. 4, 2020)

5 RKD, no. 54535: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/54535 (Sept. 4, 2020); Schnackenburg 2016, pp. 258, 261, no. 75.

6 RKD, no. 298484: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/298484 (Sept. 4, 2020). According to Schneider there were two replicas or copies of DPG605, but they seem to have been made after this picture auctioned at Sotheby’s. See Related works, nos 6a.I and 6a.II.

7 Schneider & Ekkart 1973, p. 148, wrongly under no. 247 (DPG605). See Festschrift 1914, p. 151, with ill. and quote by Bredius: Allerdings bin ich fest überzeugt, dass das bewusste Porträt […] ein später, sehr gutter Lievens ist, mit van Dyck und Rembrandts Einfluss. Charakter: der schwarze Ton; er hat nie das eigentliche Rembrandthalbdunkel; ist immer schwarz; aber die van Dycksche Eleganz. Bredius. (However, I am firmly convinced that the portrait you mean […] is a later, very good Lievens, with Van Dyck and Rembrandt’s influence. Character: the black tone; he never has the actual Rembrandt semi-darkness; is always black; but Van Dyck's elegance. Bredius.)

8 Schneider & Ekkart 1973, p. 148, wrongly under no. 247 (DPG605); see Frimmel 1894, p. 67, no. 163 (65 x 45 cm).

9 RKD, no. 272032: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/272032 (Sept. 4, 2020).

10 PGC Minutes, 16 Feb. 1917, p. 18.

11 Letter from Dr H. Pickhardt to Professor Peter Murray, 4 Nov. 1977 (DPG605 file).

12 Letter from Hans Vlieghe to Richard Beresford, 3 July 1997 (DPG605 file).

13 See note 6 above; email from Lloyd DeWitt to Ian Dejardin and Xavier Bray, 27 June 2012 (DPG605 file).

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