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ANGLO-DUTCH SCHOOL (17th century)
Portrait of a Gentleman, possibly John Milton - circa 1650
Oil on canvas
Unsigned. Verso inscribed “John Lilburne by Van Dyke” and also with affixed old label indicating the sitter as being John Milton (1608-1674).
27.3 inches x 21.5 inches (69.2 cm x 54.6 cm)
$3,000 - 5,000
€ 2,220 - 3,700
Gilmore Collection, Mrs. Wheeler Smith, by whom given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1908. Private Midwest collection since 2002.
Metropolitan Museum Bulletin, 1909, p. 10. B. Burroughs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, 1914, cat. FI62S-6 (as Flemish School, Portrait of a Man, “according to tradition, a portrait of John Lilburne). B. Burroughs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, 1920, p. 93, cat. FI62S-6 (as Flemish School, Portrait of a Man). B. Burroughs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, 1926, p. 109, cat. No. F62S-7 (as Flemish School, Portrait of a Man). B. Burroughs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, 1931, p. 118, cat. F62S-6 (as Flemish School, Portrait of a Man). K. Baetjer, European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980, vol. I, p. 181, illus. vol. II, p. 250 (as by Robert Streater, Portrait of John Milton). Sotheby’s New York, Catalog of Old Master Paintings, June 5, 2002 as lot 68, page 78, illustrated.
Perhaps Dickinson University according to a partial label on verso
An old inscription on the reverse of the canvas gives the sitter as John Lilburne (1615-1657) the English political agitator and ascribes the painting to Van Dyck. Although a later typed label affixed to the stretcher ascribes the work to Robert Streater (British 1624-1679). When compared to period engraved portraits depicting John Lilburne the offered lot does not seem to be related. Whereas, the present painting bears a very close resemblance to the terra cotta bust of Milton by Flemish sculpture John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770) now held in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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