Portrait of a Man

Follower of Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish, about 1399-1464)

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The sitter’s straight nose, pointed chin, long fingers, and vertically seamed doublet emphasize the portrait’s elongation of forms, which were inspired by the elegant Gothic figures created by the Flemish master Rogier van der Weyden.

This painting is one of three closely related portraits of the same young aristocrat. A coat of arms in one of the paintings indicates that he came from the Bruges-based Van Themseke family, noted for its wealth and prominence at court.

(Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, France);{1} Eduard Friedrich Weber [1830-1907], Hamburg, Germany, in 1897.{2} Marczell von Nemes [1866-1930], Munich, Germany, by 1930.{3} Probably Countess Vetter von der Lilie, Vienna, Austria;{4} (E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York, New York);{5} Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes [1877-1958}, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1934; Clowes Fund Collection, Indianapolis, Indiana, since 1958, and on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1971; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields in 2018.

{1} A red oval wax seal on the stretcher bar can be deciphered to read: Galerie Sedelmeyer Paris.”
{2} A paper label, once on the verso of the painting, bears a round ink stamp which can be deciphered to read: Galerie Weber, Hamburg. It also bears the hand-written date "1897" as well as the inventory number "969". Eduard Weber did not own a gallery but amassed a large and important private collection which he called the Galerie Weber. This painting is not included in any of the published posthumously in Berlin in 1912 with other parts of this collection. However, correspondence in June 2013 with Carla Schmincke, author of the 2004 Hamburg University dissertation Sammler in Hamburg: Der Kaufmann und Kunstfreund Konsul Eduard Friedrich Weber (1830-1907), revealed that in an unpublished inventory of Weber's collection, which she viewed in 2000 in the possession of a Weber heir, since deceased, nos. 967 to 971 were all purchased at Charles Sedelmeyer's Gallery in Paris.
{3} The early Netherlandish art scholar, Max Jakob Friedländler, knew of three versions of this portrait: one formerly in the Cardon collection, Brussels (see RKD photo, Kunstwerknummer 104196); another, one in the Von Hollitscher collection, Berlin (see RKD photo, Kunstwerknummer 232913), and the Clowes Collection painting, which had belonged to Marczell von Nemes in 1930 (see Friedländer's notes on RKD photo, Kunstwerknummer 232912). Friedländler was very familiar with the von Nemes collection; he wrote the introduction to the 1931 posthumous auction collection catalogue as well as an obituary in Pantheon, vol. 7 (1931), p. 32.
{4} Art historians who documented the Clowes Collection, in 1968 (Mark Roskill, unpublished manuscript in Clowes Archive) and in 1973 (A. Ian Fraser, A Catalogue of the Clowes Collection, Indianapolis Museum of Art) both note that the painting came through Silberman Galleries from Countess Vetter von der Lilie, Vienna, but this had not been corroborated. A custom's stamp on the stretcher bar reads "Bundesdenkmalamt Wien" indicating that painting did pass through Vienna where the Silberman brothers had a gallery.
{5} Bill of Sale, dated 6 October 1934, from A. Silberman in Clowes Archive.

Object Information

Follower of Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish, about 1399-1464)
creation date
about 1450
oil on canvas
14 x 10 in. (canvas)
approximately 20 x 16 x 1-1/2 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Seal, red oval wax on the stretcher bar: Galerie Sedelmeyer Paris.”
Label, paper adhered once on the verso of the painting bears a round ink stamp and handwritten date: Galerie Weber, Hamburg | 1897 [handwritten] | 969 [inventory number]
Stamp at verso on stretcher bar: [Customs]
accession number
credit line
The Clowes Collection
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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