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Hans von Aachen (1552 - 1615)

Lot 107: - Hans von Aachen , Cologne 1552 - 1615 Prague Portrait of a gentleman, bust length oil on canvas


July 10, 2008
London, United Kingdom

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oil on canvas


measurements note 50.3 by 40.4 cm.; 19 3/4 by 15 7/8 in.


Hitherto unrecorded and unpublished, this portrait is a rare addition to Von Aachen's oeuvre. It is one of a number of bust-length portraits of very similar size and format which Von Aachen painted throughout his career, from his stays in Italy as well as at the courts of Augsburg, Munich and Prague. While his earliest portraits and those painted in Italy unsurprisingly reflect Italian and specifically Venetian models, more sober presentation marks those painted in Prague, where a large numbers of portraits of officers engaged in the Turkish wars were painted for the Rudolphine court. Von Aachen was first appointed Kammermaler von Haus aus (a court painter who is not bound to be present at court) by the Emperor Rudolph II in 1592, and thereafter maintained strong connections with the imperial court, acting and travelling extensively both as art advisor and diplomatic envoy, for which services he was knighted in 1605. The present portrait can be compared, for example, in its confident brushwork and sympathetic depiction of character to Von Aachen's portrait of the sculptor Giovanno Bologna (1546-1611) today in the Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai.υ1 This is an early Italian work from around 1585-90, and a similar date of execution seems possible for the present work. We are grateful to Dr. Eliska Fucikova for her help with the cataloguing of this portrait. The loan of this painting has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition of the works of Hans von Aachen to be held in Prague, Vienna and Aachen in 2010. 1. Inv. no. 1625. Canvas, 54 by 42.7 cm. Reproduced in J. Jacoby, Hans von Aachen 1552-1615, Munich and Berlin 2000, p. 256, no. 99, fig. 103.

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Old Master Paintings Day Sale

July 10, 2008, 12:00 PM GMT

London, United Kingdom

For Sale from Sotheby's