Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a Man in a Turban

Netherlandish Painter (second quarter 15th century)
Oil on wood
Overall 11 x 7 3/4 in. (27.9 x 19.7 cm); painted surface 10 5/8 x 7 1/4 in. (27 x 18.4 cm)
Credit Line:
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
Not on view
This young man wears a red turban, known as a chaperon; his attire suggests the work was painted in the 1440s. The sitter’s hands originally occupied a smaller area, but the artist adjusted their position so that they could hold a flower. The inclusion of the carnation (also known as a pink), is a sign of marital love and fidelity, suggesting that the panel originally was paired with a portrait of a woman. It is possible that it began as a standard portrait, but was changed to a betrothal portrait at the patron’s request.
Monsieur Vermeire, Bruges (by 1867); Lodewijk Gilliodts-van Severen, Bruges (by 1902); ?Gaston Müller, Brussels; [Matthiesen, Berlin]; Zatzenstein (August 1928); [Duveen, Paris, London, and New York, until 1928; sold for $160,000 to Bache]; Jules Bache, New York (1928–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1929, unnumbered; 1937, no. 25; 1943, no. 24)
Bruges. location unknown. "Tableaux de l'ancienne école néerlandaise," 1867, no. 8 (as a portrait of Philip the Bold by Petrus Christus, lent by M[onsieur]. Vermeire) [see Campbell 1981].

Bruges. Palais du Gouvernement. "Exposition des primitifs flamands et d'art ancien," June 15–September 15, 1902, no. 88 (as a portrait of Philip the Bold by Petrus Christus, lent by M[onsieur]. L. Gilliodts van Severen, Bruges).

Exposition universelle et internationale de Bruxelles. "Cinq siècles d'art," May 24–October 13, 1935, no. 14 (as by Rogier van der Weyden, lent by Jules Bache, New York).

Henri Hymans. "L'exposition des primitifs flamands à Bruges (1er article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 28 (August 1902), p. 94, describes its condition as mediocre and suggests an attribution to the Master of Flémalle.

Georges H. de Loo Palais du Gouvernement, Bruges. Exposition de tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles: catalogue critique précédé d'une introduction sur l'identité de certains maîtres anonymes. Ghent, 1902, p. 20, no. 88, as a portrait of Philip the Bold by an unknown artist.

W. H. James Weale. Exposition des primitifs flamands et d'art ancien, Bruges. Première section: tableaux. Catalogue. Exh. cat., Palais du Gouvernement. Bruges, 1902, pp. 37–38, no. 88, describes this picture in detail and calls it a portrait of Philip the Bold by Petrus Christus, noting, however, that all attributions given in the catalogue are those provided by owners; states that it was formerly in the Vermeire collection and was exhibited in Bruges in 1867, no. 8.

Max J. Friedländer. "Die Brügger Leihausstellung von 1902." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 26 (1903), p. 151, as a good, somewhat Eyckian, copy in poor condition.

Walter Heil. "The Jules Bache Collection." Art News 27 (April 27, 1929), p. 4.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill., as "A Man with a Turban" by Rogier van der Weyden, painted about 1450–60.

August L. Mayer. "Die Sammlung Jules Bache in New-York." Pantheon 6 (December 1930), pp. 542–43, ill., as by Rogier.

Jules Destrée. Roger de la Pasture—van der Weyden. Paris, 1930, vol. 1, p. 180; vol. 2, pl. 142, as apparently a fine portrait by Rogier, judging from a photograph.

Royal Cortissoz. "The Jules S. Bache Collection." American Magazine of Art 21 (May 1930), pp. 247, 258, ill., as by Rogier.

Cinq siècles d'art: Exposition universelle et internationale de Bruxelles 1935. Exh. cat., Exposition universelle et internationale de Bruxelles. Brussels, [1935], vol. 1, p. 10, no. 14, as "Man with a Turban" by Rogier.

F. Winkler. "Fälschungen auf den Ausstellungen in Brüssel, Antwerpen und Paris 1935." Mitteilungen des Museen-Verbandes (February 1936), pp. 23–24, fig. 6, considers it a less noteworthy example of Rogier's art and wonders about its slight provenance.

Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 14, Pieter Bruegel und Nachträge zu den früheren Bänden. Leiden, 1937, p. 89, lists this picture in the supplement to Rogier's oeuvre.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 25, ill.

Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 170, ill., as by Rogier, presume the subject is Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 24, ill.

Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 34–35, ill., as "Portrait of a Man in a Turban" by Rogier van der Weyden.

Theodor Musper. Untersuchungen zu Rogier van der Weyden und Jan van Eyck. Stuttgart, 1948, pp. 24, 59, pl. 88, as by Rogier, dates it about 1452.

Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 1, p. 326, no. 856, ill. (cropped).

Hermann Beenken. Rogier van der Weyden. Munich, 1951, p. 99, lists it with apochryphal works of Rogier.

Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, p. 478, n. 4 (to p. 294), rejects the attribution to Rogier "in view of the indifferent design and the un-Rogerian vacancy of the glance".

Julius S. Held. "Erwin Panofsky, 'Early Netherlandish Painting, Its Origin[s] and Character'." Art Bulletin. Vol. 37, September 1955, p. 206, shares Panofsky's doubts about this "evidently repainted portrait . . . which might be by Jacques Daret".

Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 59, 114, fig. 10, ascribes it to Rogier; states that he knew the picture before its restoration and that in the restorer's effort to bring the portrait closer to Rogier's linear and stylized manner, its appearance was greatly hardened.

Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 102, agrees with Larsen that the picture is not well preserved but notes that the greatest damage is not in key areas; wonders if it might be French in origin.

Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 2, Rogier van der Weyden and the Master of Flémalle. New York, 1967, p. 89, supp. no. 135, pl. 139, lists it in the "Supplement to the Catalogues" and illustrates it as by Rogier.

J. Bruyn. "Een Portret van Enguerrand de Monstrelet door Rogier van der Weyden." Miscellanea Jozef Duverger: Bijdragen tot de Kunstgeschiedenis der Niederlanden. Vol. 1, Ghent, 1968, pp. 92–101, ill., as by Rogier, from about 1440; identifies the sitter as the chronicler Enguerrand de Monstrelet, comparing his features with those of a figure in the dedicatory miniature of a manuscript made for Philip the Good.

Peter H. Schabacker. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. December 10, 1969, identifies this picture with the work exhibited in Bruges in 1867 and 1902 as a portrait of Philip the Bold by Petrus Christus.

Charles Sterling. Letter. February 20, 1971, would call it "attributed to" or "close follower of Rogier van der Weyden"; compares it with the "Portrait of a Man" in the Merton collection, which he considers an early work, but notes that the costume here does not seem earlier than about 1445.

Robert A. Koch Bernard Berenson in Letter. February 23, 1971, observes that it "may well be correctly put in Rogier's camp".

Martin Davies. Rogier van der Weyden: An Essay, with a Critical Catalogue of Paintings Assigned to Him and to Robert Campin. London, 1972, p. 230, pl. 120, finds an attribution to Rogier "very doubtful"; notes that Bruyn (Refs. 1968) unconvingly identified the sitter as de Monstrelet.

Peter H. Schabacker. "Martin Davies, Rogier van der Weyden." Art Quarterly 35, no. 4 (1972), p. 423, notes that Davies rightly rejects the attribution to Rogier.

Lorne Campbell. Unpublished notes. 1972, believes the costume and background are "entirely transformed" by restoration, but calls the head, except for the eyes, reasonably well preserved.

Lorne Campbell. Unpublished notes. 1981, notes that the 1928 photo in Friedländer archives [R. K. D.], annotated "Zatzenstein [?], August 1928," shows this picture already in a restored state, and that the Witt library photo is annotated "Matthiesen, Berlin".

From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 409, ill., as "Attributed to Rogier van der Weyden".

Dirk De Vos. Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works. New York, 1999, p. 413, no. C12, ill., notes that it has little in common with Rogier's style; finds the "fairly plastic and shiny character of the head" similar to that of Heinrich Werl (Prado, Madrid), although the hands are more reminiscent of Van Eyck.

Maximiliaan P. J. Martens. "Patronage." Early Netherlandish Paintings: Rediscovery, Reception and Research. Ed. Bernhard Ridderbos et al. English ed. Amsterdam, 2005, p. 346, fig. 150 [Dutch ed., "'Om iets te weten van de oude meesters'. De Vlaamse Primitieven—herontdekking, waardering en onderzoek," Nijmegen, 1995], illustrates it as "Rogier van der Weyden (?), 'Portrait of a Man with a Turban (Enguerrand de Monstrelet?)'".

Jean-Luc Pypaert. "Early Netherlandish Painting XV?: Joseph van der Veken." Autour de La "Madeleine Renders": Un aspect de l'histoire des collections, de la restauration et de la contrefaçon en Belgique dans la première moitié du XXe siècle. Ed. Dominique Vanwijnsberghe. Brussels, 2008, p. 247, no. 166, ill., lists this portrait among works that appear to have been heavily restored by Van der Veken; remarks that a manuscript note in a copy of Ref. Wehle and Salinger 1947 in the library of the CPF [Centre national de recherches 'Primitifs flamands,' Brussels] identifies this picture as coming from the Gaston Müller collection, Brussels.

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