Portrait of Daniel Seghers; HL standing almost in profile to l, holding a paper in his hands, wearing a cloak with upturned collar, with foliage to r Black chalk, indented for transfer


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Gg,2.233

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1651x
Hind 1915-31 4
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.5

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Jan Lievens (biographical details | all objects)
1636 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)
British (all objects)

Portrait of Daniel Seghers; half-length standing almost in profile to left, holding a paper in his hands, wearing a cloak with upturned collar, with foliage to right. c.1636

Black chalk; the outlines indented with the stylus for transfer.

Verso: laid down on eighteenth-century card.

No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on the backing, in pen and dark brown ink in a shaky hand, Cracherode's monogram with the date ‘1798’.

Height: 239 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 18mm apart)
Width: 202 millimetres

Slightly rubbed, discoloured and stained.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.5:
The sitter, Daniel Seghers (1590-1661), was a pupil of Jan Brueghel the Elder and a member of the Society of Jesus. Active almost exclusively in Antwerp, he was a successful painter of flower pieces, his blooms usually framing religious subjects by a collaborator and executed (sometimes 'en grisaille') within a cartouche. The rose, the plant seen to the right, was among the flowers he most favoured.
The drawing was made to prepare an engraving, in reverse, by Paulus Pontius, and the outlines have been indented to transfer the design to the copper plate.[1] Like cat. no.4 (1895,0915.1199), the drawing must date from Lievens's period in Antwerp, perhaps from the mid- to later 1630s, when the sitter would have been in his forties. The print was, again like cat. no.4 (1895,0915.1199), published by van den Enden as after Lievens' design.
A proof impression of the engraving, before the addition of the background and the lettering, is in the British Museum (see 1931,1010.1). This has been elaborated in black chalk and oils, almost certainly by Lievens himself.[2] Other engraved versions of the portrait, including an anonymous copy in reverse, a smaller print published by Jan Meyssens, and a print by N. Larmessin, are all based on the engraving. A copy of the drawing in pen and brown ink was recorded in the Renesse-Breidbach sale in Antwerp, 5 October, 1835, lot 57.[3]

[1] Hollstein, XVII, p.192, no.126 (also listed in vol.XI, p.80, no.33).
[2] For the proof (register no.1931,1010.1), see also Exh. London, 1977[I], no.169, in which the retouchings are attributed to Pontius. I was misled by this attribution, as was Spicer, 1986 (see Lit. below) into believing that the drawing, too, was by Pontius. The idea was partly supported by the inscription on the print, which uses the word 'pinxit' to describe Lievens' prototype, so that Pontius might have made the drawing after a lost painting, in the same way that he made drawings after paintings by Rubens. Yet the style cannot be separated from that of Lievens' other portrait studies catalogued here. The proof first entered the literature through Campbell Dodgson, who informed Schneider, 1932, of its existence and who attributed the retouchings to Lievens.
[3] As pointed out by Schneider, 1932 (see Lit. below). It may also have copied the engraving.

LITERATURE (always as by Lievens of Seghers, and for the print by Pontius):
London, 1915, pp.84-5, no.4, repr. pl.LII (with erroneous provenance - see n.1 above); Van Dyke, 1927, p.104; Henkel, 1931, p.90; Schneider, 1932/73, p.199 and 304 (2nd ed. p.362), no.Z.71 (a copy sold 1835 [see Comment above]; Campbell Dodgson informs of proof impression with corrections by Lievens in British Museum [see above]); Hollstein, XI, p.80, under no.33; Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1652x, repr.; Spicer, 1986, pp.541-2, repr. fig.8 (by Pontius; see n.3 above).

Associated names
Portrait of Daniel Seghers (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll (T. Philipe, 22.v.1798/208 £4-11-0) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Duke of Argyll; his sale, Philipe, 2nd day, 22 May, 1798, lot 208, bt Thane, £4-10s, for Cracherode;* Rev. C. M. Cracherode (L.606; CMC 1798), by whom bequeathed, 1799. * Cracherode's purchases at the Argyll sale are listed in his copy of the catalogue, now in the British Library (679.c.28); see also Gg,2-254 and 255, probably purchased from the same source. Following London, 1915 (see Lit. below), many authors incorrectly believed that the drawing came to the British Museum through Richard Payne Knight. The error was corrected by Hind in London, 1931, IV, p.193.

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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