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Title Pilate Washing his Hands
Collection Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Artist After Brugghen, Hendrick ter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1588-1629)
Previously attributed to after Honthorst, Gerrit van (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1590-1656, active in Italy)
Previously attributed to Baburen, Dirck van (Dutch painter, ca. 1595-1624)
Previously attributed to Brugghen, Hendrick ter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1588-1629)
Date Earliest probably 1615
Date Latest probably 1628
Description This work is believed to be a version, very similar to the painting in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungemn, Kassel, of a lost original by Hendrick ter Brugghen. In the symbolic act of washing his hands, Pilate demonstrates his disassociation from Christ's crucifixion, as He is handed over to the mob who have demanded His death.
Current Accession Number TWCMS:C7376
Former Accession Number SAG 424
Subject religion (Pilate); figure
Measurements 103.0 x 139 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by J. A. D. Shipley, 1909.
Principal Exhibitions Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th Century Paintings from the Shipley Collection, Alan Jacobs Gallery, London (touring), 1979, cat. no. 23.
Publications Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1917, no. 424 without attribution; Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1921, no. 424 without attribution; Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1951, no. 424 attributed as a copy after Gerard Honthorst; Nicholson, B., Hendrick Terbrugghen, London, 1958, pp. 53-54, cat. no. A13; Longhi, R., ISaggi e Ricerche 1925-1928, Florence, 1967, figs. 137-140, as an original; Nicholson, B., 'Terbrugghen since 1960', Album Amicorum J.G. van Gelder, The Hague, 1973, pp. 237-238; Nicholson, B., 'Provisional List of Caravaggesque Pictures in Public and Private Collections in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Editorial', The Burlington Magazine, 1974, vol. CXVI, p. 560; Brown, C., 'Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th Century Paintings from the Shipley Collection', The Burlington Magazine June 1979, vol. 11, p. 398; Wright, C., Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th Century Paintings from the Shipley Collection, Alan Jacobs Gallery, London, 1979, cat. no. 23.
Notes In the 1951 Shipley catalogue, the painting was attributed as after Gerrit van Honthorst; on 2 October, 1951 Nikolaus Pevsner attributed the work to Dirck van Baburen; on 13 January 1952, Dennis Mahon noted that he disagreed with Baburen, but believed it to be closer in style to ter Brugghen, but not by him. The very similar painting in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungemn, Kassel, had been previously attributed as school of Caravaggio, but was later attributed to ter Brugghen by Roberto Longhi. Longhi also believed the Shipley painting to be by ter Brugghen, although at that time (1953) Horst Gerson thought the Shipley work to be Italian; in 1953, H. Vogel of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungemn, Kassel, wrote to the then curator at the Shipley, declaring that he believed the Shipley version to be the artistically more important of the two. In 1954, J.G. van Gelder of the Rijksbureau, supported an Italian, rather than a Dutch attribution. In 1958, Nicholson, in his monograph on ter Brugghen, described the Shipley work as a crude copy, although by 1973 had amended his opinion to 'studio of' ter Brugghen, and by 1974 as 'attributed' to ter Brugghen. In 1974, Christie's attributed the work to Gerrit van Honthorst. What became increasingly clear, as discussion continued, was that the Shipley work was not a copy of the version in Kassel, as the Kassel work had weaknesses that were not present in the Shipley painting. This, in turn, led to the supposition that the Shipley work was a masterpiece from ter Brugghen's Italian period, as the influence of Caravaggio was so much more in evidence than in works from his Utrecht period. However, the current attribution, originally made by Christopher Brown, that both the Shipley and Kassel versions are early copies after a lost original by Ter Brugghen, is probably the most plausible. Other versions of the painting exist not only in Kassel (no. 589 in 1913 catalogue, and dated 1621/22) but also in the Lublin Museum, and a private collection in Madrid.
Rights Owner The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead (Tyne and Wear Museums)
Author Elizabeth van der Beugel
 

 

 

 

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