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Young man with wide-brimmed hat leaning on a balustrade

Dutch school, 17th century

Black chalk, slightly heightened in white on beige paper. Size of sheet: 14.3 x 11.8 cm.

Mounted on a 17th-century album sheet. Verso older inscription of Gabriel Metsu. Sold in a late 18th-century frame. 

Provenance:        Unidentifiable collector stamp.

                             Alfred Ritter von Wurzbach (1845 Lemberg  – 1915 Vienna) (Lugt 2587).

                             Julius Held (1905 Mosbach – 2002 Vermont).

This drawing bears an old attribution to Gabriel Metsu (1629 Leiden–1667 Amsterdam), and is a typical motif from his oeuvre, which repeatedly surfaces in his drawings and paintings in different variations. The drawn oeuvre of Metsu, predominately in black and white chalk, is comparably rare and, perhaps on these grounds, his drawings are only sporadically mentioned in the literature.

Our sheet originates from two eminent Dutch and Flemish art historians collections, spanning two centuries: Wurzbach’s, author of the much referred Dutch artist lexicon of the early 20th century (Niederländisches Künstler Lexikon. 3 vol. 1906 – 1911), as well as last-century Rubens scholar Held.

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