Van Honthorst painting, sold in 30-ies of the Hermitage, put up for sale in the US
Famous painting "Duet" brush Dutchman Gerrit van Honthorst, written in 1624 at the peak of his creative career of the artist, will be the favorite of the auction, "Art Old Masters" with an estimate of $ 2 million, reports RIA "Novosti" with reference to the auction house Christie's.
The picture at the time was in the collection of artistic adviser to Catherine the Great and the president of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts of Count Alexander Stroganoff, as well as in the collection of the Hermitage. Over the last 40 years she was an exhibit of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and has only recently returned to the heirs of the collector Bruno Spiro, who was forced to sell the work of the Nazis during the Second World War.
Stroganov (1733-1811) managed to collect an outstanding collection, for which he built an art gallery in the Stroganov Palace, St. Petersburg. It included the masterpieces of Italian, Spanish, French and German old masters, as well as Dutch and Flemish artists such as Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. Stroganoff was also a generous patron of the arts and supported by such prominent artists of his time, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and Hubert Robert.
Stroganov published a catalog of his collection, the first of its kind in Russia, based on French counterparts. He purchased the painting "Duet" after the publication of the catalog in 1793, in which it is not included, and the publication in 1807 it is referred to as "Singing Lesson" (La lecon de chant). After 1912 the painting was placed in the Hermitage, two years before the Count Sergei Alexandrovich (1852-1923), opened for visits to family mansion in 1914. After the revolution, the entire collection was nationalized, and in 1931, the painting "Duet" has been sold in a special auction Lepke Berlin, organized by the Soviet government.
"This picture, which has it all: beautiful composition, outstanding authorship, excellent condition, as well as an unrivaled pedigree - the collection of Count Stroganov, and then the Hermitage. All listed should also be added, and the satisfaction of ownership. Christie's return to the market picture that 75 years later was transferred to the rightful owners, "- said Nicholas Hall, co-chair of the Department of" The Art of the old masters and paintings of the XIX century. "