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Lot 149: Willem Adriaensz. Key (Breda c . 1515/6-1568 Antwerp)

Est: £15,000 GBP - £25,000 GBPSold:
Christie'sDecember 09, 2009London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


Willem Adriaensz. Key (Breda c. 1515/6-1568 Antwerp)
Portrait of a Robert de Croÿ, Bishop of Cambrai (d. 1556), bust-length, in a black hat and doublet, with a lace collar and a fur mantle
inscribed and dated 'ANυO DÑI 1547 ÆTA · SVÆ 56 ·' (along upper edge)
oil on panel
16 5/8 x 12 7/8 in. (42.2 x 32.7 cm.)
with the de Croÿ arms (upper left)

Artist or Maker


T. Borenius, 'Shorter Notices: A portrait by Willem Key', The Burlington Magazine, LXXXI, August 1942, p. 202 and 204, pl. B.
R. Faille, 'Iconographie des évêques et archevêques de Cambrai', in Mémoires de la Société d'émulation de Cambrai, XCIV, 1974, pp. 223-8.
A. Châtelet and J. Paviot, Visages d'antan: le Recueil d'Arras, 2007, p. 330-1.


Private collection, England, by 1942.


VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium
The attribution to Willem Key was first proposed by Dr. Gustav Glück as noted by Borenius in his article of 1942 (loc. cit.). Borenius proposed that the sitter might be Philippe II de Croÿ, Seigneur de Croÿ, Count of Porcéan and 1st Duke of Aarschot (1496-1549), on the basis of the coat-of-arms at the upper left of the portrait. Acknowledging that he did not have up-to-date biographical information for the Duke, Borenius could not have been aware that he would have been 51, not 56, in 1547. We are grateful to Mr. Jan van Helmont for confirming that these are indeed the de Croÿ arms, and for pointing out that the sitter is actually Robert de Croÿ, Duke-Bishop of Cambrai, who participated in the Council of Trent in 1546-7, publishing an account of it in 1551, and whose funerary monument is extant in the cathedral at Cambrai. A drawing related to this portrait appears in the Recueil d'Arras (Châtelet and Paviot, loc. cit.), and a medal which may be based on it is recorded as having been in the collection of Wilhelm Itzinger, Berlin.

Auction Details

Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours Day Sale

December 09, 2009, 10:30 AM GMT

8 King Street, St. James's, London, LDN, SW1Y 6QT, UK