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Frans Pourbus the Younger, Elisabeth of France, (1602 – 1644), later Isabelle, Queen of Spain, Oil on unlined canvas: 21 ¼ x 18 ¼ in. (54 x 46.5 cm.), Painted circa 1612. Photo courtesy The Weiss Gallery

LONDON.- The Weiss Gallery, leading dealer in Tudor, Stuart and North European Old Master portraiture, will exhibit a remarkable collection of eight portraits by Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 – 1622) at this year’s TEFAF Maastricht. Outside the Medici collection in the Uffizi and Pitti Palace, this will be the largest group of works by Pourbus ever assembled, and is a tribute to Mark Weiss’s dedication to the artist.


Frans Pourbus the Younger (Antwerp 1569-1622 Paris), Marie De Huelstre. Oil on panel, 101.5 x 72.8 cm. Inscribed upper right with the armorial of van Vyve and De Huelstre and upper left ‘ANNO.DNI.1591/AETATIS SUAE. 23’, Antwerp, 1591. Photo courtesy The Weiss Gallery

Their exhibition, ‘From Merchants to Monarchs’, for which a dedicated catalogue is also available, showcases Pourbus’ extraordinary talent and artistic development, with works from the very first years of his career in the early 1590s as painter of the merchant class, through the first two decades of the 17th century as portraitist of choice for the royal and ducal families of the Habsburgs, Gonzagas, Medici and Bourbons.


Frans Pourbus the Younger (Antwerp 1569-1622 Paris), Willem van Vyve. Oil on panel, 101.5 x 72.8 cm. Inscribed upper right with the armorial of van Vyve and upper left ‘ANNO.DNI.1591/AETATIS SUAE. 26’, Antwerp, 1591. Photo courtesy The Weiss Gallery

One of the highlights is the magnificent Man aged fifty-six, widely regarded as a masterpiece, It has been in the same private collection for over fifty years and has only recently come back onto the market. Described in 1867 by the renowned art historian Thoré-Bürger as ‘a masterpiece of truth and expression’, it once was part of one of the greatest art collections ever formed, that of Count Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655 – 1729), for his Castle Weissenstein in Pommersfelden, Germany. There it hung with its pendant, Portrait of a Lady aged fifty-four, which is now in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in California.


Frans Pourbus the Younger, Portrait of a man aged fifty-six. Oil on panel: 47½ x 38 in. (119.4 x 96.5 cm.). Inscribed upper left: ‘AN.DNI.1591.’and upper right: ’AETATIS SUAE. 56/ f.pourbus’. Painted 1591. Photo courtesy The Weiss Gallery

Pourbus’ work can be seen as a bridge between the great Netherlandish tradition of meticulously painted realism, and the broader brushwork and vision of the later Baroque, as espoused by Rubens, who arrived in Mantua the very same year as Pourbus. That Pourbus shaped the iconography of European royalty is clearly reflected in this group of paintings.

In addition to the Pourbus collection, The Weiss Gallery will bring to TEFAF 2015 works by Lucas Cranach the Younger, Sir Peter Lely and Jacob Ferdinand Voet, among others. Paintings will be broadly within the region of £50,000 – £3,500,000.


Paul van Somer, ‘Sir Rowland Cotton (1581 – 1634) of Alkington Hall, Whitechurch, and Bellaport Hall, Derbyshire’. Oil on panel: 43 ⅞ x 34 ¾ (111.5 x 87.3 cm). Inscribed upper right: 1618. Photo courtesy The Weiss Gallery

The Weiss Gallery has made many notable sales over the past decades, that now grace distinguished private and public collections around the world. The gallery was delighted last year to report its most successful TEFAF Maastricht yet with a number of sales, including one of its highlights: a signed oil-onpanel painting by Lucas Cranach the Younger, entitled Lucretia, priced at two million euros.