pair of portraits of a lady and a gentleman attributed to william wissing 16561687

Pair of Portraits of a Lady and a Gentleman, Attributed to William Wissing (1656-1687)


| $32,750 USD | €27,387 EUR

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Oils on canvas in fine period carved and giltwood frames.
The identities of this handsome couple have been lost during the 40 or more years they spent languishing in a Yorkshire attic; clearly people of considerable wealth, they could afford a top quality artist to depict them.
At first I thought of Mary Beale as the probable artist, but after consultation with art historian Adam Busiakievicz, I am in agreement with his view:-
" Very beautiful indeed.
I do tend to lean towards Wissing…and very fine examples of his, if he made them."
"I agree, the pose and compositional elements are shared in the works of Beale and Lely. But I feel that the handling and face patterns are different. Yours have a more silvery tone and 'nervous' handling, which is very attractive in my opinion. Beale's handling looks broader to me, especially in the drapery folds for example. The Beale examples you have shown also have that typical face pattern, which makes them instantly recognisable as her works.
The wig of the gentleman too reminds me more of the style of William III than Charles II.
I wish I could be a bit more specific on attribution, but it's very difficult without having access to the Heinz Library to draw comparisons. My tendency is still to lean towards Wissing, but I cannot be certain without further research."
WILLIAM WISSING also known as Willem Wissing, (1656 - 1687), was a Dutch portrait artist.
He was born in either Amsterdam or The Hague, and studied at The Hague under Willem Doudijns (1630–97) and Arnoldus van Ravestyn (1615–90). In 1676, he moved to England, where he studied with and assisted Sir Peter Lely.
After Lely's death in 1680, Wissing emerged as his most important pupil. Godfrey Kneller was the only contemporary portrait artist in England to rival Wissing. Wissing’s royal sitters include Charles II of England, Queen Catharine of Braganza, Prince George of Denmark and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.
In 1685, James II of England sent Wissing to the Netherlands to paint portraits of his Dutch son-in-law and daughter, the future William III of England and the future Mary II of England. Wissing died in 1687 at the peak of his fame as a portrait painter, at Burghley House, the home of Algernon Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex outside of London.
He was buried in St Martin's Church, Stamford, Lincolnshire.
SIZE: 38 x 33 x 2.25 inches.
PROVENANCE: A Yorkshire country house for over 40 years.
Verso: two old labels on each painting, both for Frost and Reed of Bristol ... noted art dealers and painting restorers. One is marked for the attention of Mr. Dawes, the other bears the name Mrs J. Fell of Harrowgate (sic)
Internal Ref: 9182/3


Height = 96.5 cm (38")
Width = 84 cm (33")
Depth = 5.8 cm (2")

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