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In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives


This discussion is now closed. It has been recommended that the sitter continues to be regarded as anonymous. The painting record will remain unchanged on Art UK, though it will now feature a link to this Art Detective discussion. A discussion on this topic could be opened again in the future. If you have a compelling suggestion for the sitter of this painting, with evidence, please propose a discussion via the painting's page on Art UK. Thank you to all who participated in this lengthy discussion — the longest, to date, that Art Detective has seen!

For those viewing the discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to its conclusion. He looks like a man of business or politics, possibly an intellectual or scholar, or perhaps an artist, but not an aristocrat.

Has the air of a self-portrait, although obviously not of Rubens, although of his period This person is too modestly dressed to be titled. The role is what is making this man notable, his talent.

Reminds me of the Van Dyck portrait of Cornelis van der Geest in the National Gallery, but probably In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives the composition and the ruff. There was a librarian who lived in the period who resembles the man in the painting. Abraham Gorlaeus - The painting could even have it's origins with a copper plate engraving by De Gheygin.

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Significantly if they all knew each other and in terms of their interest in the ideas of printing. It's helpful and saves much time if people can give us links or images so we can see what they're referring to. While he is a possibility, the resemblance is hardly definitive. May I suggest Jan Brueghel the elder ? The Wellington Collection Catalogue suggests a date ofa comparable portrait, thought not with the sketchy background, is in the collections of R Crosby Kemper, Kansas City, he died in and I'm not sure where the painting is now.

This is cited in Michael Jaffe's Catologo Completo of This painting has a sound provenance, once part of the Spanish Royal Collection and part of a haul of paintings captured at the Battle of Vitoria in June from a fleeing Joseph Bonaparte. This painting can be found in the royal inventory of the Palace in Madrid where it hung as one of a pair in the King's dressing room.

The Philadelphia portrait also looks like Jan Brueghel the elder. Still does not answer the question of who he is, but could this be a painting by Rubens of him as a young man? The nature of the portrait, its informality and air of familiarity, suggests this was someone Rubens knew personally, such as another artist or a close patron. It also looks more like a sketch than a finished picture. The portrait looks like an older Nicholaas Rockox bergomaster of Antwerp who I believe was depicted on the right wing of Rubens triptych 'Presentation in the temple' Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp.

Rockox and Rubens were friends, but the resemblance to known portraits of him is not convincing. Another possibility is a member of the Moretus family, which ran the famous Plantin Press in Antwerp and had close ties to Rubens. I do not believe this is Brueghel the Elder. The known portrait of him by Rubens shows much softer, kindlier eyes. The eyes and nose are very similar but the time frame is correct. If Rubens had painted Horace Vere it would have been towards "In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives" his life accounting for his appearance in senior years, his beard now looking thinner.

She attached earlier portrait for comparison. The eyes and nose are very similar and the time frame is correct. If Rubens had painted Horace Vere it would have been towards the end of his life accounting for his appearance in senior years, his beard now looking thinner. See attached earlier portrait for comparison. Could it be Jan I Moretus? Besides the similarities of the face, to me, Rubens is very detailed and would not miss even the slightest detail that is In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives when also comparing the ears I find a definite similarity of the shape and structure of the ears.

Nicola's suggestion above is interesting, though I should point out that were the dates of van Dyck, not of Marten Pepijn correctly But though there are physical similarities, I fear it doesn't work. Van Dyck's portrait of Pepijn is datedand his age given as 58 in fact it should have been If our Rubens portrait were also Pepijn, it would show him a decade younger, give or take. Although the beard is longer and fuller, I find it hard to believe that the face in the van Dyck is the same man at least eight years later than he appears in ours - even allowing for a different artistic eye.

While I am not certain, there appears to be some resemblance between this Rubens picture and van Dyck's etching of the Flemish landscape painter Joos de Momper the Youngerwhich would have been made later than the Rubens in the s and would thus show an older de Momper. Here is the etching: Juan Luna published a book on the Palacio Real de Madrid collection as of If someone has access to this publication it may list our painting, and hopefully the subject. I do not know his original source.

Two Heads of Old Men; sketch-like and very grand. Look first at the eyebrows, always the eyebrows. They sort out the possibles from the not, unless one of the compared images is unskilled, because a good draughtsman will pay much attention to them.

Their shape endures well over time. In this case, the most distinguishing feature is the querulous upward kink in the right brow. It may be scar tissue, as it also seems to cause the underbrow to overlap the eyelid. If it is scar tissue, we have to hope it formed before any comparison was painted.

So, in my view: Either one artist was not accurate or these are certainly not the same man.

When they were asked to...

Best tell their collection! Although the right brow is querulous, it slopes heavily to the centre and the left eye matches this.

Are there images of further portraits as Jacinto indicates? However the right underbrow would be a bit of "cosmetic licence". Even the possible comparisons don't really convince me, though I do hope we find a frontal portrait of Rockox. A different In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives link for the van Dyck portrait of Pepijn at https: It changes my opinion to quite possible. Again I feel the right underbrow is cosmetically improved. Did van Dyck do this habitually or was he a "warts and all" man?

In another live discussion at https: In there, who should appear but Nicholaas Rockox, three-quarter face. I think he's a no. Both eyebrows have too much of an inward slope.

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Can somebody please pop round to Apsley House and find out definitively what colour the eyes are? They seem brown to me, but I've seen true colours in my local museum that bear little relation to the Art UK image. I ask this because the colour in the Van Dyck portrait of Pepijn seen in the As I explained above, I find it hard to believe that the Rubens shows the same man at least seven years earlier - the skin and lines around the eyes are surely of an older man, not a younger?

Additionally, by aligning more or less the eye and nose heights in the two portraits, some glaring physical differences have become apparent.

Most obvious is the visible ear - its height on the head is way In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives on the Rubens. Its appearance, too, is very different; and while ears do oddly sometimes change in shape and In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives with age, it is in the other direction - if they were the same man, the Rubens would again have to be the older version.

Note, too, that the mouth seems lower on the van Dyck - the sitter has a much greater nose to mouth distance, and possibly a longer chin. Moreover Pepijn's distinctly cleft nose in the van Dyck is not apparent in the Rubens. A Rubens Rockox Jan Moretus died inOur portrait is dated c. I guess this date has been pored over by scholars, but what do our own dress experts think? Rubens is more closely associated with Jan's son Balthasar, a lifelong friend, who was about 46 in Although one might build a case for him based In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives the lazy right eye, half-hidden in his known Rubens portrait e.

It's just a hunch but look at the facial expression and his right lug. I believe they were also friends and co-operated in painting. We have just two men left standing from those put forward so far.

Abraham Gorlaeus died in If not Jan Brueghel, it would have to be someone we either haven't thought of, or someone undocumented in the life of Rubens. What about Jan Brueghel's elder brother Pieter ? He's about 56 incloser to our portrait. Googling his name together with "Van Dyck", you'll find three etchings or drawings of him as an older man, at the Fitzwilliam, the Hermitage and Chatsworth. Maybe you know others? As one might expect, he bears similarities to Jan. In all three images there is something not correct about his right eye, and eyebrow structure similar to Jan and to our sitter.

He has less kindly eyes than Rubens' family portrait of Jan. Age has lined his face markedly. After revelations that an artist hid a Monica Lewinsky reference in an official portrait of Bill Clinton, Mark Hudson lists 10 more paintings with secrets. artist looking at the scene, one of them – generally presumed to be fresco has been debunked by scholars: St John the Evangelist is not.

Dance · Dating. In dating unknown works of art scholars become detectives.

In dating unknown works of...

By Dean Koontzs novels by Cassandra Vablatsky Death by Celia Carter Dickson The Little Red. This portrait at Apsley House is by Rubens, but the sitter is unknown. or politics, possibly an intellectual or scholar, or perhaps an artist, but not an aristocrat. . It can be difficult to date paintings using ruffs during this period.

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