Painting Conservation

Conservation and Exhibitions



Artist unknown, previously attributed to Cyp and later School of Rembrandt


Artist: Unknown
Previously attributed to: Cyp and later School of Rembrandt
Title: Portrait of a Man wearing a Beret and Chain
School: Dutch
Date: 17th /18th Century
Catalogue Number: 52
Dimensions: 67,5 x 55,9cm
Collection: Michaelis Collection, The Old Townhouse
Provenance: Sir Hugh Lane Collection; donated by Sir Max Michaelis 1914.
Exhibited: Grovenor Gallery, London 23 May – 11 June 1913.
Ref: 1913m bi 14m ok,7 (as Aelbert Cyp); Michaelis 1950, no. 145 (as Cuyp); Bax 1952, pp.24-25, 127 (as Rembrandt school, formerly attributed to Aelbert Cuyp); Miahelis c. 1962, no.88 (as Rembrant); Bax 1981, p.39, no. 61 (as School of Rembrandt). 1981 School of Rembrandt, Portrait of a man wearing a beret and chain.
Exhibition History: the painting was exhibited at the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, 2003.
Treatment: August - September 2014 for the exhibition below.

Conservation history notes:

1941 Glass removed, condition good.
42-44 In strong room Marks Building.
1958 (Bokhorst) Perished varnish thoroughly examined by Mrs. Knotne-Cohn. After cleaning under Bokhurost’s supervision, she reported; “ The varnish has perished and lost transparent. I removed
this very dark varnish and cleaned the painting. On the middle of the left side of the very edge appeared a signature in the form of a monogram. The original panel was in perfect condition. I removed some old reotouching which had darkened and put a vary thin layer of varnish on, make up of Mastic, Dammar and wax.N.B. The monogram had already been discovered by Pof. D. Bax in 1951 but could not be deciphered by him. I had a large photograph taken of the monogram by Mr. Matter, which will be sent to Amsterdam for identification. It is definitely not a signature of Cuyp. 87 (Williams). Paint in good condition. Previous restoration and overpains discoloured. Varnish blooming non surface and seems to have crystallized? Crack bottom right-hand side must be watched. Dirty with discoloured varnish. Clips attached to frame.

Historical correspondence:

B. Renckens, Netherlans Institute for Art History: Wrote in 1964, “ The whole appearance of the portrait reminds of course of those by Rembrandt in this self-portraits, but also some of the pupils .F. Bol and G. Flinck, further of P. Lesire and A. Cuyp, to whom it formerly has been attributed. But we are convinced that
this work cannot be given to one of these artists. There is a possibility that it is a compilation of one or more of them, but we could not find this man or certain details in our files. He suggested it was possibly a copy (perhaps after an unknown or lost Flinck), possibly form the 18th Century.
He suggested

Condition Report:

Secondary Support: Panel

This is in three parts, see diagram on the right to show the joins, blue. The edges have been bevelled, as seen in the sketch, pink.

Paint Film

Areas of damage/worn and retouching seen in diagram below.
Damaged edges, also noted in condition report, Kess Schreuder, SRAL, Maastricht, see scan.

Surface

Surface dirt is present with a strong yellowed varnish. This shows an overall craquelure pattern.

Frame

This is in a poor condition.

Technical examination

Raking light

The texture of panel can be seem particularly clearly in the lighter areas of the portrait and impasto of the highlights can also be seen more clearly.

Under Ultra-violet light

The varnish can be seen as a natural resin to cover the whole painting and the overpaint in the area of the mouth shows up as dark.

X-radiography

Carried out by Mortens and Partners, Liz Cowley.

In Hebrew ‘life’ and more than likely ‘good life’ and also ‘Shalom’ (peace, hello, welcome) twice. And then letters including a Lammed, Mem, Hai, Final Mem,Yud.

The painting is certainly trimmed on the left and right and irregularly cut along the top. One hopes still to find out more, including who the sitter could be or if this was possibly part of a larger painting & also more about the attribution.

Treatment report

The surface dirt was remove with mild re-agents.
The discoloured vanish was removed with aromatic solvent mixtures.
A Dammar varnish was applied and localized retouching carried out.
A final varnish was applied.

Frame

This was dusted, felt was applied to the rebate of the frame and the painting was secured in
the frame with flexible brass plates.


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Click the image for a view of: The labels on the back read as you see below.
The labels on the back read as you see below.
Click the image for a view of: Labels on the back upper central area of the panel.
Labels on the back upper central area of the panel.
Click the image for a view of: Blue: Locally worn areas; Pink: Areas of retouching
Blue: Locally worn areas; Pink: Areas of retouching
Click the image for a view of: Detail of the portrait showing the overpaint in the area of the mouth, as dark. The surface scratches of the varnish can also be noted, as well as the overall craquelure.
Detail of the portrait showing the overpaint in the area of the mouth, as dark. The surface scratches of the varnish can also be noted, as well as the overall craquelure.
Click the image for a view of: Detail of the hand and chain
Detail of the hand and chain
Click the image for a view of: Detail of the chain, including the impasto highlights
Detail of the chain, including the impasto highlights
Click the image for a view of: Detail showing the craquelure of the varnish layer
Detail showing the craquelure of the varnish layer
Click the image for a view of: Monograph
Monograph
Click the image for a view of: From the history file report
From the history file report
Click the image for a view of: Detail in raking light
Detail in raking light
Posted: 2015/07/01 (10:34:06 AM)
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