Bathsheba

Bathsheba
Artist:
Cornelis Bisschop (Dutch, 1630-1674)
Date:
1660  
Medium:
Oil on panel 
Dimensions:
15-1/2 x 13-1/4 in. (39.4 x 33.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1969.45.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View
Description

Originally thought to be by Nicolaes Maes, this painting is now generally attributed to Cornelis Bisschop. Like Maes, Bisschop was born in Dordrecht, and was a versatile practitioner of portraits, history and genre paintings, and it was especially this latter subject where the styles of the two artists intersect.

But biblical paintings, such as this one depicting Bathsheba, are typical of Bisschop’s style that emanated from his teacher, Ferdinand Bol (1616–1680), especially seen here in the dramatically lit, smooth skin of her body. The picture tells the story from the second book of Samuel, chapter 11, when King David, standing atop his palace, sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing at a fountain beyond, and sends a servant with a letter asking her to come to him. Characteristic of the Dutch use of symbols as admonitions, this lesson sends a message of caution to even the most pious, as was King David, to avoid temptation.

Provenance:

Stephan von Auspitz, Vienna, in 1931/1932;
[Sanct Luca, Vienna, 1931 to];
Daniel George van Beuningen, Rotterdam by 1932.
[Kurt Walter Bachstitz Gallery, The Hague, 1932 as Maes].
Hans Ludwig Larsen (d. 1937), Noordwijk and Wassenaar, by descent to;
Mrs. H. L. Larsen (S. Larsen-Menzell, later called Mrs. Frank E. Brower); (sale, The Hague, van Marle & Bignell, 25 January 1943, no. 48, sold before the sale on 14 January 1943 to);
E. Göpel for the Führermuseum, Linz; bought through Posse by Hitler 1 March 1943;
Recovered and returned to Dutch government; after lengthy negotiations, Larsen’s estate refused restitution and the painting reverted to the government (sale, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 13-19 March 1951, no. 52, ill., as Maes, La Baigneuse);
[Martin B. Asscher, London, 1953].
W. A. Hofer, Berlin 1953.
Ch. van Spaendonck, Tilburg.
[Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam 1968; sold 1969 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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