Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Princess Is Back

Portrait of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in Gallery W201 at the Getty Center

In March, one of the most elegant women at the Museum was forcibly escorted out of the galleries. I was there and saw the whole thing. Princess Leonilla, who’d been on constant view since the Getty Center opened in 1997,… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

85 Years After John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Therese, countess Clary Aldringen / Sargent
Portrait of Therese, countess Clary Aldringen / Sargent

During the late 19th century, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was the most fashionable portrait painter in England and the United States. An example of his iconic style, his Portrait of Thérése, countess Clary Aldringen (1896) is now on view at… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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