On Thursday, Christie’s will hold its old masters auction during the house’s classic week sales at its Rockefeller center headquarters. Alongside Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Lucretia from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Hendrick ter Bruggen’s Ill-Matched Lovers from the collection of Joseph Safra, the auction house will sell a rediscovered 17th century portrait by dutch painter Anthony van Dyck. Portrait of John VIII, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1583-1638), dated around 1628-29 and depicting German-born military official and nobleman is expected to achieve a price between $800,000 and $1.2 million. The pre-sale estimate of the sale is $19.3-$29 million.
The work, which depicts the sitter ornately dressed and featured with symbols of nobility (including the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece worn around his neck), has been in the same Brussels family collection through descent since the late 19th century, and last sold in 1924. It was showcased at the 2019 exhibition at the Venice Palazzo Ducale “From Titian to Rubens: Masterpieces from Antwerp and Other Flemish Collections.” Three other copies of the painting featuring the sitter reside in museum collections at the Mauritshuis, The Hague, and Paleis Het Loo.
Another depiction of the general exists in Diego Velázquez’s The Surrender of Breda, circa 1635, with the military official standing on the side of the Spanish camp with eyes to the viewer. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Another full-length portrait of the sitter is in the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein. An additional painting by Van Dyck from 1634 portraying the count with his wife and four daughters is in a private collection.
Christie’s sold another recently rediscovered work including in the Palazzo Ducale exhibition— Peter Paul Ruben’s Portrait of a young woman, half-length, holding a chain went for $5.1 million and was the leading lot in the house’s old masters evening sale in July.