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Čís. položky 24 -


Habsburg Court Painter, 17th Century


Portrait of Archduke Albrecht VII of Austria (1559–1621),
oil on canvas, 116.5 x 84.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
acquired at Robinson, Fisher & Co, London, 12 May 1915;
by descent to the previous owner;
from whom acquired by the present owner

In 1609 Albrecht VII of Austria and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia appointed Rubens as court painter. One of Rubens main missions was to disseminate the images of the archducal couple in a literal sense and thus promote the state’s official iconography. Based on previous models like those by Otto van Veen and Frans Pourbus the Younger, Rubens gave life to a direct portrait in which the archduke appears dressed either in a completely black suit or with silvery embroidered sleeves. The present model is known in different formats – full-length, three-quarter-length, and bust-length – and was subject to many versions by Rubens and his workshop, where artists as important as Van Dyck and Gaspar de Crayer were employed.

Here Albert is painted to knee-length, in three-quarter view and with his eyes fixed on the spectator. He wears a doublet and trunk-hose, and a short cape over his shoulders; also, a starched lace cartwheel ruff and cuffs to match. On his breast is the chain of the Golden Fleece, of which order he became a member in 1599. His left-hand rests on the hilt of his sword, on a table to the left his famous plumed hat. The background consists of a velvety curtain which reflects the light in broad stripes. We know that this type has been invented by Rubens before 1615 as an engraving by Jan Harmensz. Muller dating from that year indicates (see H. Vlieghe, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. 19-2, New York 1987, fig. 7). Hans Vlieghe suggests that most of the known replicas were executed after the engraving whereas no autograph version of that type by Rubens has survived (see H. Vlieghe, Ibid., 1987, p. 38, cat. no. 60). A likely explanation is that the lost prime version by Rubens could have been sent abroad as diplomatic gift to political allies. The various court painters and their studios would have had to rely on the engraving, thus.

Given the differences in modelling and brushstroke of the present painting with respect to those made by Rubens himself, we can conclude that the present work was executed by one of the collaborators in the direct orbit of the archducal court. The painters under contract were mostly talented and trained artists who in many cases habitually reproduced models of high renown for the sake of dissemination. All the portraits of the Archduke were executed to spread the image of the powerful governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Another version given to the workshop of Rubens is conserved in the National Gallery, London (inv. no. 3818).

Archduke Albrecht was born the fifth son to Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. He grew up at the Spanish court and pursued an ecclesiastical career at an early age. After the dynastic union with Portugal, Albrecht became the first viceroy of the kingdom and its overseas empire in 1583 and later, in 1595, he became governor general of the Spanish Netherlands. When he was engaged to the Spanish Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia in 1598, the Pope released Albrecht from his duties towards the church. Isabella, a daughter of King Philipp II of Spain and thus a granddaughter of Emperor Charles V, brought the Spanish Netherlands with her as a dowry. The couple resided in Brussels from 1599 onwards. The archduke died there in 1621, and his widow continued to officiate as a regent until her own death in 1633. Both were considered important promoters of the arts and sciences, earning particular merits in this respect as patrons of Peter Paul Rubens.

Expert: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo Dr. Alexander Strasoldo
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

10.11.2021 - 16:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 50.000,- do EUR 70.000,-

Habsburg Court Painter, 17th Century


Portrait of Archduke Albrecht VII of Austria (1559–1621),
oil on canvas, 116.5 x 84.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
acquired at Robinson, Fisher & Co, London, 12 May 1915;
by descent to the previous owner;
from whom acquired by the present owner

In 1609 Albrecht VII of Austria and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia appointed Rubens as court painter. One of Rubens main missions was to disseminate the images of the archducal couple in a literal sense and thus promote the state’s official iconography. Based on previous models like those by Otto van Veen and Frans Pourbus the Younger, Rubens gave life to a direct portrait in which the archduke appears dressed either in a completely black suit or with silvery embroidered sleeves. The present model is known in different formats – full-length, three-quarter-length, and bust-length – and was subject to many versions by Rubens and his workshop, where artists as important as Van Dyck and Gaspar de Crayer were employed.

Here Albert is painted to knee-length, in three-quarter view and with his eyes fixed on the spectator. He wears a doublet and trunk-hose, and a short cape over his shoulders; also, a starched lace cartwheel ruff and cuffs to match. On his breast is the chain of the Golden Fleece, of which order he became a member in 1599. His left-hand rests on the hilt of his sword, on a table to the left his famous plumed hat. The background consists of a velvety curtain which reflects the light in broad stripes. We know that this type has been invented by Rubens before 1615 as an engraving by Jan Harmensz. Muller dating from that year indicates (see H. Vlieghe, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. 19-2, New York 1987, fig. 7). Hans Vlieghe suggests that most of the known replicas were executed after the engraving whereas no autograph version of that type by Rubens has survived (see H. Vlieghe, Ibid., 1987, p. 38, cat. no. 60). A likely explanation is that the lost prime version by Rubens could have been sent abroad as diplomatic gift to political allies. The various court painters and their studios would have had to rely on the engraving, thus.

Given the differences in modelling and brushstroke of the present painting with respect to those made by Rubens himself, we can conclude that the present work was executed by one of the collaborators in the direct orbit of the archducal court. The painters under contract were mostly talented and trained artists who in many cases habitually reproduced models of high renown for the sake of dissemination. All the portraits of the Archduke were executed to spread the image of the powerful governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Another version given to the workshop of Rubens is conserved in the National Gallery, London (inv. no. 3818).

Archduke Albrecht was born the fifth son to Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. He grew up at the Spanish court and pursued an ecclesiastical career at an early age. After the dynastic union with Portugal, Albrecht became the first viceroy of the kingdom and its overseas empire in 1583 and later, in 1595, he became governor general of the Spanish Netherlands. When he was engaged to the Spanish Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia in 1598, the Pope released Albrecht from his duties towards the church. Isabella, a daughter of King Philipp II of Spain and thus a granddaughter of Emperor Charles V, brought the Spanish Netherlands with her as a dowry. The couple resided in Brussels from 1599 onwards. The archduke died there in 1621, and his widow continued to officiate as a regent until her own death in 1633. Both were considered important promoters of the arts and sciences, earning particular merits in this respect as patrons of Peter Paul Rubens.

Expert: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo Dr. Alexander Strasoldo
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 9.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Alte Meister I
Datum: 10.11.2021 - 16:00
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 29.10. - 10.11.2021