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 Unknown , A Man

Core Record

Title A Man
Alternative Title Herman Boerhaave at the Age of Forty
Collection Wellcome Library
Artist Unknown
Previously attributed to Werff, Pieter van der (Dutch painter, 1665-1722)
Date Earliest about 1700
Date Latest about 1722
Description This painting was at one time recorded as being a portrait of Herman Boerhaave but it does not bear any resemblance to other known portraits of him. The sitter is dressed in robes with a landscape view in the distance. An artist's name inscribed on the reverse indicate that the painting has been attributed to Pieter van der Werff, a Dutch painter. He and his brother Adriaen are both known to have painted portraits at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Current Accession Number 45557i
Former Accession Number P 134/1947
Subject figure; landscape; interior; portrait (Herman Boerhaave?)
Measurements 30.4 x 24.3 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas (laid on panel)
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Henry Solomon Wellcome 1936.
Provenance Sale, Foster, London, 10 August 1918, lot 132 as Herman Boerhaave at the Age of 40; in the collection of Henry Solomon Wellcome, 10 August 1918.
Notes This painting is oval in shape. The accession card records that this might be a portrait of Boerhaave. It has the name 'Van der Werf' crossed out on the accession card but it is the name that appears on the reverse of the canvas. Pieter van der Werff frequently painted works in oval and his eyes appear very 'black' as in this example. The treatment of the drapery is also close to examples in the Witt. None of the examples of the oval works at the Witt show any landscape details and all are nearly double in size. The painting could not be found in the auction catalogue as there was no Foster's auction on 10 August 1918 (HME 657). The days either side were also checked but nothing found. The Thompson Reports which record in detail Wellcome's purchases through his agent do not exist for this date.
Rights Owner (c) The Wellcome Trust
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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