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Painting Title Bathsheba
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Dutch School
Previously attributed to Bor, Paulus (Dutch painter, ca. 1601-1669)
Previously attributed to Everdingen, Cesar van (Dutch painter, 1617-1678)
Date Earliest about 1630
Date Latest about 1660

A half-length nude figure is seen in profile. looking to the left. The subject is taken from the Bible (Samuel 2.11): Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David saw her having a bath, immediately desired her and later made her pregnant. Failing to convince Uriah to come back from the campaign (so he could meet his wife and than be convinced that the child is his), David had Uriah killed in the battle and made the widowed Bathsheba his wife. David's action was displeasing to God, who accordingly sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king David confessed his sin and expressed repentance.

The painting is undoubtedly a fragment of a larger work. Iconographically it probably follows Pieter Lastman's Bathsheba of 1619 (Hermitage, Petersburg), in which Bathsheba is depicted as being bathed by her servants, a pose transformed by Rembrandt in his Bathsheba of 1643, (Metropolitan Museum, New York), and Bathsheba in the Bath of 1654 (Louvre, Paris). However, the composition also seems to be very close to the print Woman Sitting Half Dressed Beside a Stove created in several versions by Rembrandt in 1658, so the actual subject of YORAG : 851 may still open to interpretation.

Current Accession Number YORAG : 851
Subject religion (Bathsheba); figure; interior
Measurements 104.7 x 71.7 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by F.D. Lycett Green through the National Art Collections Fund 1955.
Provenance Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 1920, lot 88 as by C. van Everdingen, purchased by Leggatt's; C. D. Rotch sale, purchased by Arcade Gallery London; purchased by Benedict Nicholson 1949; purchased by F.D. Lycett Green 1955.
Principal Exhibitions Arcade Gallery, London 1954, no. 18 as Jan de Brey; F.D. Lycett Green Gift, York City Art Gallery, 1955, no. 134 as Dutch School.
Publications PREVIEW. City of York Art Gallery Quarterly, 35, July 1956, vol. IX, p. 355; York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. I: Foreign Schools 1350-1800, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1961, pp. 48-49, pl. 46 as by Paulus Bor; Nicholson, B., The International Caravaggesque Movement, New York 1979, p. 25 as by Haarlem School; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 264 as by Dutch School.
Notes The painting has been variously attributed in the past to Caesar van Everdingen or Paulus Bor. Salomon de Bray, Pieter de Grebber, Adriaen Backer and Jan de Bray were also considered, and Dr. Paul Huys-Janssen of Noordbrabants Museum 's-Hertogenbosch suggested Johannes de Veer (c. 1610-1662). Nevertheless, none of the proposed attributions seem to be convincing enough to be finally accepted, so the painting remains described as by an unknown Dutch artist working in Haarlem.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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