SHOWS, AUCTIONS & EXHIBITIONS
London Art Week: Rare Jacobean Portrait at The Weiss Gallery
A rare and magnificent full-length portrait by the iconic Jacobean artist William Larkin of Mary, Lady Vere, a member of one of England’s leading 17th century Puritan families, will be one of the highlights of a superb exhibition of Old Master paintings to be held by the leading international dealers The Weiss Gallery during London Art Week, which will take place from 28 June to 5 July 2013.
Other important paintings in the exhibition at The Weiss Gallery at 59 Jermyn Street, London SW1 will be An Unknown Genoese Lady, an early work by Sir Anthony van Dyck dating from his Italian period, few of which are ever seen on the open market, and a newly-discovered study by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Tronie of an old man was recently found in a European private collection where it had been for over fifty years.
London Art Week is an exciting joint venture that unites Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings and Sculpture Week (formerly Master Drawings London). The new collaboration will provide a coherent platform, sharing advertising and creating a new online portal through which the individual websites can be accessed. More than 50 specialist dealers across the fine art disciplines and the major London auction houses will take part in this new initiative.
Mary, Lady Vere by William Larkin is the first full-length portrait by this great Jacobean artist ever to come on the market, and has been in a French private collection for many years. It compares in quality to Larkin’s most famous series, the nine full-length portraits, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Suffolk, now with English Heritage, (usually hung at Kenwood House in Hampstead, but currently on display at the Holburne Museum in Bath). The Weiss portrait portrays a member of one of England’s leading 17th century Puritan families. Mary married Sir Horace Vere, a brave and popular professional soldier considered to be the greatest military commander of his time. Sir Horace, who died in 1635, forged his reputation fighting in the Netherlands against the Spanish.
An Unknown Genoese Lady by Sir Anthony van Dyck was painted circa 1621-1627 during the interesting transitional period which connects the last works of his first Flemish period with the earliest of his Italian period when he was much influenced by Rubens. The pregnant sitter is Genoese and Van Dyck’s portraits of the Italian nobility are recognized as one of the supreme achievements of Western portraiture and the high point of his career.
Tronie of an old man is a vigorous and arresting study of an elderly man’s head. It was painted circa 1615-1618 and is a completely new addition to the known work of Rubens. Its attribution has been confirmed by Prof. Dr. Arnout Balis, Chairman of the Rubenianum in Antwerp, which is dedicated to the study of 16th and 17th century Dutch art, particularly the work of Rubens, Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. The painting’s execution, with its streaky imprimatura, is typical of Rubens. It was probably painted from life and the unknown sitter, with his pronounced nose and tousled greying hair and beard, may well have been deemed appropriate for portraying a characterful apostle, saint or bystander. As yet no finished work has been identified that includes this study, but the sitter appears in drawings by Rubens.