|Title||Portrait of a Man|
|Collection||Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro|
|Artist|| Attributed to Huysmans, Jacob (Flemish, ca.1633-1696)
Attributed to Lely, Peter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1618-1680, active in England)
Previously attributed to Gennari, Benedetto, II (Italian painter, 1633-1715)
|Date Earliest||probably about 1670|
|Date Latest||probably about 1670|
|Description||The pose, composition and costume of the rather dashing gentleman recall male portraits produced around 1670 by the Dutch artist Sir Peter Lely, who worked in England for much of his career. But the face of the sitter, with the rather pronounced nose, has a degree of characterisation unusual for Lely, and so an alternative attribution has been proposed to the Flemish painter Jacob Huysmans, who also worked in England. Huysmans paid great attention to his sitters' personalities. When Samuel Pepys visited his studio in Westminster, he described him as a 'picture-drawer said to exceed Lilly [Lely]'.|
|Current Accession Number||TRURI:1936.31|
|Subject||portrait (man, gentleman)|
|Measurements||127.5 x 104 cm.0 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Given by Mr A. A. de Pass 1936.|
|Provenance||Mrs Garden-Nicol [?].|
Alistair Laing, National Trust, did not reject the attribution to Lely, but suggested Huysmans as a possible alternative, 2006.
Label on reverse of frame: '35123'. Stamped on reverse of frame: 'MRS GARDEN - NICOL'. Fragment of newspaper, exhibition review [?], with Benedetto Gennari's name underlined, which may indicate a previous attribution to Gennari: '...works arranged ... ains much to be... There are at least ... portraits one of which has been... National Gallery of Ireland, out of...quest, and the second by Viscount... o...has loaned a very telling present... [Char]les II's banker, John Wright, by... artist Benedetto Gennari, the... -1715), who came to England in ...this...a very striking work, and causes...to wond[er] why men did not go to him instead... to the...Lely. The portrait is sure to...onse not...and likewise search for ...examples in [E]ngland. / The ...'.
Alfred A. de Pass (1861-1953) was born in South Africa, where his father and grandfather had established a business empire which included interests in shipping, guano, copper mining and sugar farming. After retiring from the family firm at age 36, Alfred pursued his interest in art collecting. For a period he lived in Cornwall, where he took an active interest in the Truro museum, then called the Royal Institution of Cornwall. In 1917 he was elected Associate of the Institution and in 1920 became its Vice-President. His gifts to the museum between 1914 and 1947 included many works of Western European fine and decorative art, including an important collection of old master drawings, as well as Oriental paintings, ceramics, metal work and textiles. For a list of Mr de Pass' donations of Western European paintings and drawings to the Truro museum up to 1936 see G. Penrose (cited below). He also donated to a number of other museums, including the National Gallery, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam, and the South African National Gallery.
Biographies and discussion of Mr de Pass' interests and donations may be found in: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The De Pass Collection: Paintings, Furniture, Ceramics etc., Illustrated Catalogue, Bristol, 1936; Popham, A.E., An Exhibition of Drawing from the Alfred A. de Pass Collection belonging to the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro, London, 1957; Walker, R., The De Pass Family, unpublished dissertation, Bristol Polytechnic, 1979; Price, B.D., Biographical Notes on Alfred Aaron De Pass (1861-1952) Art Benefactor Extraordinary, Falmouth, 1982; Nail, N., ‘The Cornish curator and the cosmopolitan collector: a note on George Penrose, 1876-1951, and Alfred de Pass, 1861-1953', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1993, New Series II, I, 3, pp. 277-89; Berriman, H., ‘Introduction' in M. Joannides, Exhibition Catalogue of Master Drawing from the De Pass Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, London, 1994, pp. 7-11; Tietze, A., The Alfred de Pass Presentation to the South African National Gallery, exhibition catalogue, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1995; Irvine, G., and T. Daniel, Japanese Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall, 2001.
|Rights Owner||Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro|
|Author||Dr Susan Steer|