Monday 9 December 2019
Paul Rajon's etching, “Portrait of Gerard Dou”
Paul Rajon (aka Paul Adolphe Rajon) (1843–1888)
“Portrait of Gerard Dou” (aka “His own Portrait” [published title]; “The Painter’s own Portrait”), 1876, after Gerard Dou’s (aka Gerrit Dou; Gerard Dow) (1613–1675) possible self-portrait in the National Gallery, London (inv.nr.NG192), published in 1876 by Seeley, Jackson & Halliday (London) (fl.1867–1880) in Philip Gilbert Hamerton’s (ed.) “The Portfolio: An Artist Periodical”, bound in-between pages 32–33.
Etching on cream laid paper with generous margins and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 35 x 24.1 cm; (plate) 19 x 14.8 cm; (image borderline) 16.8 x 13,2 cm
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline and following the inscription on the original painting in background at right: “CDOV”. (G. DOU)
(Scratch) inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (centre) “P. Rajon aq. ft."
The National Gallery (London) offers the following insights about Gerard Dou’s (possible) self-portrait, “Portrait of a Man”, 1635-40 (oil on oak, 18.9 x 14.7 cm):
“In this tiny portrait, an affable young man turns towards us, settling his elbow over the back of his chair. His pipe is paused and he meets our gaze with an easy, relaxed look. Perhaps he has just taken a puff; the tobacco is glowing and smoke twists upwards from the bowl. Other minute details – from the pattern of the gold braid on the man’s hat to the reflections in his eyes – add to the atmosphere, and it is through such meticulous painting that Gerrit Dou has managed to capture the sense of a moment in time, rather than just a deadpan likeness. But the realism belies the point of the painting. Until recently it was thought to be a self portrait, but the similarities with known paintings of Dou are too generic for us to be sure. It is more likely that this is a tronie – an image of a stock character – which were highly popular in the Netherlands at the time.”
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of Gerard Dou; half-length turned to the left, facing the viewer; wearing a beret and holding a pipe; within oval; after Gerrit Dou”
See also the description of this print offered by the National Galleries of Scotland:
Condition: richly inked and well-printed (near faultless) lifetime impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate, with generous margins. Beyond minor imperfections in the paper the sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains or foxing) laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.
I am selling this strong etching arguably featuring a self-portrait of one of Rembrandt’s most famous students (Gerard Dou)—interestingly, an artist purported by R N Wornum in “The Portfolio” (1876) to paint “under an umbrella to protect his work from dust” (p. 33)—for a total cost of AU$185 (currently US$126.31/EUR114.13/GBP95.96 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).
If you are interested in purchasing this subtly executed etching—note the exquisite transitions of tone in the rendering of the face that require magnification to see the individual strokes—please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.