Self-Portrait Aged 24, 1639, oil on panel, 65.8 x 54.4 cm, signed and dated, bottom right, “G. Flinck 1639,” National Gallery, London, inv. NG4068.
See Werner Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, 10 vols. (New York, 1979–92), 4:1896–97, no. 867.
This observation has already been made in Rembrandt’s Influence in the 17th Century (Exh. cat. London, Matthiesen Gallery) (London, 1953), 32, no. 33. See also David Bomford, ed., Rembrandt: Art in the Making (Exh. cat. London, National Gallery) (London, 1988), 82.
Titian, Portrait of Gerolamo (?) Barbarigo, ca. 1510, oil on canvas, 81.2 x 66.3 cm, National Gallery, London, inv. NG1944 (thought in Rembrandt’s time to be a portrait of the poet Lodovico Ariosto). Raphael, Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, ca. 1514–15, oil on canvas, 82 x 67 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. 611. See Peter Schatborn, “Rembrandt: Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Wall,” in Rembrandt by Himself, ed. Christopher White and Quentin Buvelot (Exh. cat. London, National Gallery; The Hague, Mauritshuis) (London and The Hague, 1999–2000), 170–72, no. 53.
For an in-depth discussion of the clothing in Rembrandt’s 1639 and 1640 self-portraits, see Marieke de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt’s Paintings (Amsterdam, 2006), esp. 175–79.
See Marieke de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt’s Paintings (Amsterdam, 2006), 176: this type of jerkin was called a paltrock; the smockwork and frills at the neck of the shirt were typical of fashion during the first thirty years of the sixteenth century.
For Flinck’s Anabaptist clients and his own joining of the Remonstrant community in 1651, the year in which his wife died, see the artist’s biography in this catalogue. For the discussion of chains in Rembrandt’s self-portraits, see Marieke de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt’s Paintings (Amsterdam, 2006), 168–69. De Winkel notes that chains worn around the shoulders were part of the “historicizing costume that was based on fashionable dress at the beginning of the sixteenth century.”
See the auction catalogue of Sotheby’s London, 9 December 2015, no. 31. The female portrait was exhibited in 1992, when it was with a private Swedish collector. See Bo Lundström, “Govert Flinck: Dam i fantasidräkt,” in Rembrandt och hans tid, ed. Görel Cavalli-Björkman (Exh. cat. Stockholm, Nationalmuseum) (Stockholm, 1992), 258, no. 87.
See the auction catalogue of Christie’s London, 16 July 1943, nos. 106–7.
See the note provided by Noortman Master Paintings, on file at the Leiden Collection, in which they mention a restoration after the 1943 auction. It is not known where and by whom this restoration took place, but it must have taken place between 1943 and 1953, the year in which the painting was exhibited as being by Flinck. See Rembrandt’s Influence in the 17th Century (Exh. cat. London, Matthiesen Gallery) (London, 1953), no. 33.
Civic Guardsmen of the Company of Captain Joan Huydecoper and Lieutenant Frans van Waveren, 1648, oil on canvas, 265 x 513 cm, Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7318. See Bas Dudok van Heel, “Enkele portretten à l’antique door Rembrandt, Bol, Flinck en Backer,” Kroniek van het Rembrandthuis 32 (1980): 216 n. 7.
See the discussion in the auction catalogue of Sotheby’s London, 9 December 2015, no. 31.
See the sales catalogue, Sotheby’s, London, 11 December 1985, no. 62.
The painting was acquired by Colnaghi at a sale at Sotheby’s, London, on 11 December 1985, no. 62. At the time of the auction, the mantle and beret were still black. In early 1987, while the painting was with Colnaghi, it was restored by Robert Shepherd, who noted that the black paint extended over areas of paint loss and was soluble. Toward the end of the restoration, conservation scientist Nicholas Eastaugh was called in to examine the painting to take selective paint samples. My thanks to Tim Warner Johnson at Colnaghi for forwarding to me, in November 2011, Eastaugh’s report, dated 10 February 1987; to Simon Howell at RMS Shepherd Associates (Shepherd Conservation Ltd.) in Wimbledon for sending me Robert Shepherd’s full report, dated 31 July 1986, along with an X-radiograph, infrared image, and three photographs taken before and after cleaning; and to Nicholas Eastaugh for communicating his thoughts in November 2011. Both reports and the photographs are on file at the Leiden Collection.
Thanks to Eddy Schavemaker, e-mail correspondence in November 2011, for informing me that the painting had been examined by Hermesdorf in 1988 while with Noortman Old Master Paintings. Thanks to Tom van der Molen for consulting Hermesdorf’s (incomplete) restoration report at the RKD (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie/Netherlands Institute for Art History), and for making note of Hermesdorf’s letter to Noortman, dated 23 December 1988, stating: “Het bijzondere van dit schilderij is, dat het niet voltooid werd, met name in de mantel en de baret.”
It is not possible to determine when this black layer was removed, although certainly prior to its restoration in 1986–87 (see note 13). Another possibility is that some or all of the black paint that was removed in 1986–87 was, in fact, original.
This copy after Flinck’s Self-Portrait was with the London art dealer Ronald Cook in 1975. Werner Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler in vier Bänden, 6 vols. (Landau, 1983), 6:3608, wrote in his “Corrigenda et Addenda” that the present Self-Portrait was with art dealer Bruno Meissner in Zurich after the 1985 auction at Sotheby’s, where, during a very careful restoration, all the paint came off the panel. Sumowski suggested that the painting was a nineteenth-century copy and that the original is still missing. Sumowski most likely confused the present painting with the Cook painting, as the Leiden Collection Self-Portrait was never with Bruno Meissner. Some years earlier, Sumowski had listed the Cook copy in his discussion of the Self-Portrait, and described it as having a straight top. See Sumowski, 2:1035, no. 680, 1112. See also Ariane van Suchtelen, “Govert Flinck: Self-Portrait Aged 24,” in Rembrandt by Himself, ed. Christopher White and Quentin Buvelot (Exh. cat. London, National Gallery; The Hague, Mauritshuis) (London and The Hague, 1990), 254 n. 310, who adopts Sumowski’s suggestion that Flinck’s original Self-Portrait was destroyed.
See the reports by Robert Shepherd, dated 31 July 1986, and Nicholas Eastaugh, dated 10 February 1987, on file at The Leiden Collection. Eastaugh noted that the pigment samples taken from the horizontal plank were inconsistent with those taken from the rest of the painting. It is, however, not clear whether later retouching plays a role in these results. See also the Technical Summary for this work, in which Annette Rupprecht notes that the paint of the sleeve that extends onto the horizontal panel demonstrates a different kind of transparency in the infrared than the paint above the join. Dendrochronological analysis of the painting has not clarified this problem. The painting was researched by Peter Klein, report dated 16 September 1988, and by Ian Tyers, report dated November 2012, copies of which are on file at The Leiden Collection. Both Klein and Tyers dated the youngest year ring of the middle plank of the three vertical boards of the main panel to 1627. Tyers did not analyze the bottom strip due to the horizontal grain (too few year rings). Based on the signature and date, Klein suggested that the bottom part was added within at most five years of 1643.
For a discussion of the change in format of the canvas with Rembrandt’s 1640 self-portrait from rectangular to arched, see David Bomford, ed., “Rembrandt: Self-Portrait at the Age of 34,” in Rembrandt: Art in the Making (Exh. cat. London, National Gallery) (London, 1988), 82.
According to the report of conservation scientist Nicholas Eastaugh, dated 10 February 1987, on file at the Leiden Collection. Eastaugh writes that the upper layer is definitely not original since it is “continuous with various alterations such as the black areas, but the lower layer appears to be early.” Eastaugh also writes that the ruff and shirt frill “extend […] over clear areas of paint loss” and concluded that these areas are not original. Annette Rupprecht, however, did not find any evidence of this during visual examination of the ruff under magnification and under UV light. Indeed, the handling of the paint in the areas of white, for example, the shirt, appears to be entirely comparable to the handling of the paint in the undoubtedly original areas of the face and hair.
John Twilley, independent conservation scientist in Hawthorne, New York, noted that the edges of the upper part of the panel are jagged. He also noted the curved lines above and to the right of Flinck’s head, which extend to the upper edge of the panel and suggest that the format may in fact once have been taller. See the notes dated 1 December 2011 by the present author of a meeting held at the Leiden Collection on 18 November 2011, kept on file at the Leiden Collection, and the X-radiograph. See also the Technical Summary by Annette Rupprecht, who notes that it is unclear whether these curved lines were made in the ground or the lower paint layers. The lines, which appear to have been applied with a blunt object or a finger, do not correspond to any elements in the background in its current state.
The identification of wood is based on dendrochronology reports by Peter Klein, dated 16 September 1988, and Ian Tyers, dated November 2012.
According to the GF-103 technical report by Nicholas Eastaugh, dated 10 February 1987, and Peter Klein’s dendrochronology report of 1988.