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Title The Turkish Ambassador
Alternative Title Man in a Turban
Collection University of Liverpool Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Gelder, Aert de (Dutch painter, 1645-1727)
Date Earliest probably 1680
Date Latest probably 1700
Description Aert de Gelder (1645-1727) was trained in Rembrandt's workshop, and was the master's last pupil. He produced a relatively small number of paintings, probably because he was already wealthy. The thick brushstrokes, paint swirls, and the use of the brush end to form the tassels of the man's hat in this work, are all typical of de Gelder's technique derived from his teacher. During the 1680s and 90s, de Gelder produced many portraits in this colouring; around 1700 he changed his palette for lighter tones. He also made several portraits of men wearing turbans, reflecting seventeenth-century interest in Eastern costume.
Current Accession Number 3383
Subject portrait (Turkish Ambassador)
Measurements 101.5 x 77 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Mrs E. D. Fairfax Horsfall 2000.
Provenance Possibly bought by Captain Frank Rushby, 1900-1910; Betty Horsfall by 1980.

Unable to examine reverse.

Mrs E. D. or Betty Horsfall lived at Milling House, Aylburton, Nr. Lydney, GLOS, GL15 6BY, in the Forest of Dean. In the 1980 inventory of Mrs Horsfall's property which she proposed to bequeath to the University, it is listed in the drawing room as Man in a Turban, see donor file held at University Art Gallery.

For this subject in de Gelder's work see, J. W. von Moltke, Arent de Gelder, Dordrecht 1645-1727, Doornspijk, 1994, cat. nos 90, L157, L159, pp. 102, 144,145.

Mrs Horsfall bequeathed her collection and an endowment to set up a fund to help members of the University travel for the collection or study of botanical specimens. She was a keen botanist, but had been denied the possibility of studying the subject at University because her father felt university education was unbecoming for ladies. She wanted the University of Liverpool Botanic Gardens at Ness to rival those at Kew in terms of its collection and research.

Much of the Horsfall collection was put together by Captain Frank Rushby. He died in March 1915. He lived at Erleigh Court, Reading, see note in donor file held at the University Gallery.

In the light of receipts held at the University Gallery, Frank Rushby collected much of the furniture, silver, glass, Japanese prints, oriental rugs and tapestries that make up the Horsfall collection from dealers in London and the South mainly between 1900-1910. There is no receipt for the painting, although the subject accords with Rushby's tastes. In the 1980 inventory, he is listed as the collector of the antique furniture, suggesting that the painting may have come from another source.

Rights Owner University of Liverpool Art Gallery and Collections
Author Dr Phillippa Plock



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