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Portrait of Catrina Pels, three-quarter-length, in a red dress next to a fountain

  • Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
  • Title: Portrait of Catrina Pels, three-quarter-length, in a red dress next to a fountain
  • Artist: Nicolaes Maes
  • Origins:
  • Format (cm): 63.8 x 54 cm.
  • Format (in): 25 1/8 x 21¼ in.
  • Material:
  • Last Sale price: 22 500,00
  • Last Sale date:
Portrait of Catrina Pels, three-quarter-length, in a red dress next to a fountain

Description

Nicolaes Maes (Dordrecht 1634-1693 Amsterdam) Portrait of Catrina Pels, three-quarter-length, in a red dress next to a fountain signed ‘Maes’ (lower left) and inscribed ‘Catrina Pels/Aetatis Súa.20.-fecit 1685.’ (on verso) oil on canvas, unlined 25 1/8 x 21¼ in. (63.8 x 54 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Millon & Associés, Paris, 21 March 2003, lot 15 (20,000 euros).
The attractive sitter is Catrina Pels (Amsterdam 1665-1704), daughter of wealthy entrepreneur and merchant Jean Lucas Pels and his wife Suzanne Noirot. The four corners of the portrait bear the coats of arms of the family: in the upper left are the arms of Noiret, accompanied by those of Vegelmans (the paternal branch of the sitter’s grandmother) in the lower left and De Wilhems (maternal branch of the grandmother) in the lower right. The canvas is unlined and the coat of arms of the Pels family is visible on the reverse (illustrated). This portrait undoubtedly commemorates the marriage of Catrina Pels and Johannes Bouwens (1663-1720) on 28 February 1685. The portrait of Catrina’s husband (whereabouts unknown) was also painted by Maes and bears the same arrangement of coats-of-arms in the corners (see L. Krempel, Studien zu den datierten Gemälde des Nicholaes Maes (1634-1693) , Petersberg, 2000, no. 233, pl. 314). Although Krempel attributes the lost portrait of Catrina’s father to Johann Bodecker (Krempel, op. cit. , no. 233a, pl. 382), there is no compelling reason to doubt Maes’s authorship. The three paintings must have formed part of a series, as the sizes and placement of arms are almost identical. William Robinson has confirmed the attribution to Nicolaes Maes on the basis of photographs (private communication, 20 November 2003).

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