About our portrait and its changing attribution
Until 1957 our portrait was known as by Ambrosius Benson.
November 19th 1956 it was sold as such at the Galerie Trussart in Brussels with certificates of Prof. Dr. Max J. Friedländer and of Mr. Robert Lebel. The catalogue entry also states that the painting had undergone “scientific, radiographic and spectrographic tests” by Prof. Nino Cordovado in Paris.
But in 1957 Georges Marlier in his monograph on Ambrosius Benson refuted this attribution, cataloguing it with a group of 23 other paintings as having been painted by one or several unidentified painters active in Bruges, standing stylistically in between Ambrosius Benson and Adriaen Isenbrandt.
According to Marlier our painting lacks a certain stiffness, typical of Benson, especially in the hand.
About Ambrosius Benson and Adriaen Isenbrandt
Ambrosius Benson was born in Lombardy, possibly in Milan. He probably arrived in Bruges in 1518 and remained here until his death in 1550. His clair-obscur is typical of Italy, his execution was strong and sculptural, he painted warm carnations and big dark eyes.
It is not known where Adriaen Isenbrandt was born, possibly in Holland. His style was much more fluid, feminine, soft and subtle than Benson’s.
Isenbrandt died in 1651, one year after Benson.
Why should you buy this painting ?
Because it is a beautiful portrait set against a magnificent green background that was framed, I suppose during the fifties or sixties, in the most daring, but fitting frame.