French School, Page in Profile, Wearing a Turban. French School, Page in Profile, Wearing a Turban.
French School 18th century

Page in Profile, Wearing a Turban, 1730-1750

Oil on canvas, H. 0.65 m; W. 0.54 m

Provenance: According to tradition, given by Frederik VII (1808-1863), King of Denmark to Jacob Kornerup (1825-1913), attributed to Karl van Mander III (1609-1670)
Private collection, Denmark
Rasmussen sale, 18-22 November 1988, n° 326; “Peintre anonyme, Nubien au turban”
Private collection



Several copies are known:

1) Drawing: Head of a Man Wearing a Turban, attributed to Géricault, trois crayons and red pastel highlights on paper, H. 505 mm; L. 395 mm, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, inv. no.1987-45-D.[1]

2) Painting: Agnelli collection,[2] Christie’s Sale New York, 10 January 1990, n° 230 A: “Circle of Claude Vignon (1593-1670)”,[3] oil on canvas, H. 0,648 m; W. 0,534 m; then Christie’s sale London 19 April 1996, n° 177: “Follower of Aert de Gelder”, oil on canvas, H. 0,65 m; W. 0,53 m.

3) Million & Associés sale, Paris 14 December 2007, n° 13: “Attribué à Matthäus Loder (active in Germany from 1759 to 1790)”, oil on canvas, H. 0,655 m; W. 0,54 m.

4) A variant: Sotheby’s 11 December 2003 then Sotheby’s London sale, 8 July 2004, n° 334: “French School, 18th Century”, oil on canvas, H. 0,646 m; W. 0,52 m (with elements from version 2’s provenance); then Sotheby’s sale London, 25 April 2006, n° 423: “French School c. 1800”, oil on canvas, H. 0,648 m; L. 0,522 m.

5) A variant: Sotheby’s New York, 11 June 2020, n° 42: “French School, c. 1700”, oil on canvas, H. 0,97 m; W. 0,89 m.

6) to 8) three paintings mentioned by Pierre Rosenberg:

Bourges, Darmancier-Clair sale, 15 February 2014; Sotheby’s New York, 30 January 2020; private collection, painting inscribed “Peyre 71”.

[1] Le Grand Tour. Voyage(s) d’artistes en Orient. Les collections orientalistes du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, exh. cat. Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 22 November 2019 – 9 March 2020, p. 38 (ill.).

[2] We are grateful to Pierre Rosenberg for providing this information.

[3] This painting was rejected by Paola Pacht Bassani, Claude Vignon 1593-1670, Paris, 1993, p. 510, R21, Tête de roi mage, oil on canvas, H. 0,648 m; W. 0,534 m.

The depiction of black pages during the 17th and 18th centuries, with their slave collars and pearls in their ears, lies somewhere between a mark of prestige and a colonial reality.

Although our painting’s author remains anonymous, its high quality of execution indicates that it is the work of an important artist.