Thursday, 30 November 2017

Gerard van Honthorst or Bartolomeo Passarotti?

Vanderkindere, from Belgium, sells on 13 December 2017 a "Workshop of Gerard van Honthorst" Feeding of the Cat, estimated at 3,000 to 4,000 Euro.

The composition is one I already mentioned in my blog post of 16 December 2016, but the work was attributed by Sotheby's in 2013 to the circle of the Italian Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592). That version, of very comparable dimensions, was sold for $9,000.

The work offered now is based directly on the painting, not on the engraving after it (the colours are identical), but the condition is a lot worse (not only the yellow-brownish colour, which may be removed perhaps, but also some large cracks between the panels), and it seems to be less well painted (which may change when the varnish and dirt are removed, but I think some quality difference wil remain).

The estimate is about right, but the attribution to Honthorst seems way off.

UPDATE: unsold.

UPDATE 2: again for sale at Vanderkindere on 25 April 2018, with same description but much lower estimate of 1,000 to 1,200 Euro, which this work, despite my misgivings, should certainly be worth.

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