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The Duet ('Le corset bleu')

Gabriel Metsu (Leyden 1629 – Amsterdam 1669)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1660

Materials

Oil on panel (oak)

Measurements

394 x 292 mm (15 1/2 x 11 1/2 in)

Place of origin

Holland

Order this image

Collection

Upton House, Warwickshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Upton House, Midlands, National Trust

NT 446725

Summary

Oil painting on oak panel, The Duet ('Le corset bleu'), Gabriel Metsu (Leyden 1629 - Amsterdam 1667) c.1660, signed at the bottom of the sheet of music: G. Metsu. A full-length portrait of a young lady wearing a blue jacket edged with ermine, and a white satin skirt trimmed with gold braid sits at the right beside a table which is partly covered by a carpet; she holds a musical score on her lap and turns to look at a youth who sits on the farther side of the table tuning his guitar. A glass of wine stands between them, to the right is a large chimney-piece supported on columns, and in the foreground a King Charles spaniel. A contemporary copy, owned by George IV and called 'Ther Serenade' is in the collection of HM The Queen, Buckingham Palace. Inscribed - G. Metsu (signed). At the beginning of the 19th century it was hung as a pair with A Woman Artist ('Le corset rouge), (c.1661-4, Private Collection; ex Sir Simon Clarke), recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Ireland (2010).

Provenance

Possibly Lambert Witsen sale, Amsterdam, 25 May 1746, lot 5; bought by [?Jan Mauritz] Quinkhard (1688 - 1772); Pierre-Louis Randon de Boisset (1708-1776), Paris; his posthumouis sale held by Pierre Rey and others in his house in rue Neuve des Capucines, 27 February ff. 1777, lot 81; bought by de Morimières or Perrin (with 'Le corset rouge'); Destouches sale, Paris, 21 March 1794, lot 42; bought by J.-B.-P. Le Brun (with 'Le corset rouge'); Le comte Wautier sale, Paris, 9 June ff, 1797, lot 11; bought by Le Rouge [sic]) with 'Le corset rouge'); G. Robit sale, Paris, 21 May 1801, lot 70; bought Lafontaine for Michael Bryan (with lots 71 & 72, 'Le corset rouge' and The Cello-player [Royal Collection]), on behalf of George Hibbert, MP (1757 - 1837), Clapham, to whom sold for 700 gns; his sale Christie's 13 June 1829, lot 65; with Joseph Neeld (1789- 1856), Grittleton House Wiltshire, by 1831; with John Neeld, 1st Bt (1805-91), in 1878; probably sold during the winter of 1878-9 to Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808 -79); by division in 1882 to his son, Alfred de Rothschild (1842 - 1918), by whom ?originally kept at Halton Bucks but by 1903 at 1 Seymore Place; by him bequeathed to Almina, Countess of Carnaervon ( 1876/7 - 1969); by whom sold to Knoedler, London; by whom sold in 1924 to Walter Samuel (1882 - 1948);given with Upton House to the National Trust by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted (1882 – 1948), in 1948, shortly before his death

Credit line

Upton House (The Bearsted Collection) National Trust

Marks and inscriptions

G. Metsu (signed)

Makers and roles

Gabriel Metsu (Leyden 1629 – Amsterdam 1669), artist

Exhibition history

New Light on Old Masters, Squash Court Gallery, 2013 In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, London, 1995 - 1996, no.65

References

Hoet 1752: Gerard Hoet, Catalogus of Naamlyst van Schilderyen, The Hague, 1752, vol.II [1752], p.186 Bryan 1802 Michael Bryan, Catalogue of the Robit Collection, Mr Bryan's Gallery, 88 and 118 Pall Mall, 1801-2, no.23 Buchanan 1824 W. Buchanan, Memoirs of Paintings, 2 vols., London, 1824, vol.II, pp.54—55, no.70 & p.67 no.23 Smith 1829-42 John Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters, 8 vols and supplement, London, 1829-42, vol.IV (1833), p.77, no.8 Waagen 1854-7 Gustav Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 3 vols. (translated by Lady Eastlake) with a supplementary volume: Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854-7, vol.II, p.246 Blanc 1857 & 1861 Charles Blanc, Le trésors de la curiosité, Paris, 1857 & 1861, vol.I, p.356 Davis 1884 Charles Davis, A Description of the Works of Art forming the collection of Alfred de Rothschild, London, 1884, vol.I: Pictures, no.19 Erskine 1902 Mrs Steuart Erskine, 'The Collection of Alfred de Rothschild in Seamore Place', The Connoisseur, vol.III (June 1902), p.74 Cust 1905 Sir Lionel Cust, M.V.O., The Royal Collection of Paintings, Buckingham Palace, 1905, i, under 'Metsu' Hofstede de Groot 1907-28 Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, Beschreibendes und Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten Holländischen Maler des XVII Jahrhunderts,1907-28, no. 149 Gore 1964 F. St John Gore, Upton House, The Bearsted Collection: Pictures National Trust, 1964, no.120, pp.34—35 & pl.IIIc [calling it The Duet or 'Le corsage Bleu' Robinson 1974 Franklin M. Robinson, Gabriel Metsu (1629 - 1667) A Study of his Place in Dutch Genre Painting in the Golden Age, New York, 1974, p.85 n.103 & fig. 203 [dating it to the 1660s, miscalling it 'Le corsage bleu', and bizarrely relegating it to the endnotes and appendix illustrations Waiboer 2012 Adriaan E. Waiboer, Gabriel Metsu Life and Work, 2012 Gabriel Metsu ed. Adriaan Waiboer (exh. cat.), National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, September 4 - December 5, 2010, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, December 16, 2010- March 20, 2011, and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. April 17-July 24, 2011 Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses (exh. cat.), Holburne Museum, Bath 25 May - 16 Sep 2018; Mauritshuis, The Hague, 11 Oct 2018 - 6 Jan 2019; Petworth House, West Sussex, 26 Jan - 24 Mar 2019., pp. 136-40, no. 15

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