View full screen - View 1 of Lot 322. A barn interior with a maid milking cows.

Studio of Gerard ter Borch

A barn interior with a maid milking cows

Studio of Gerard ter Borch

Studio of Gerard ter Borch

A barn interior with a maid milking cows

A barn interior with a maid milking cows

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Studio of Gerard ter Borch

Zwolle 1617 - 1681 Deventer

A barn interior with a maid milking cows

signed with monogram lower left on axe blade: GTB

oil on canvas

canvas: 22½ by 23½ in.; 57.2 by 59.7 cm.

framed: 29¾ by 30⅞ in.; 75.6 by 78.4 cm. 

The canvas is lined and is taut and stable on its stretcher. The paint surface is stable, and the overall image reads clearly beneath a crisp varnish. There is a very faint pattern of craquelure throughout, as typical with age, although is not distracting. Inspection under UV reveals a milky varnish, beneath which there may be an older campaign of restoration. UV further reveals some scattered strokes of retouching in the background primarily to address craquelure and some thinness in the brown tones, for example in the shadows between the cows. There are a few spots of well-retouched repairs here and there in the background for example near the upper and lower edges and some thin old retouches in the upper register. There is an old retouched and restored thin tear in the lower right corner that runs through the front legs of the cow, and around which there are a few isolated and scattered spots of restoration, including one in the seated figure. There is a thin line of restoration to the right of that cow near the edge. There are some additional scattered small cosmetic spots of retouching in the cows and the still life elements. These retouches are largely well applied, and the painting can certainly hang as is. Offered in a dark wood frame with a gilt liner.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Cornelis Groeninx van Zoelen (1740-1797), Rotterdam;

Thence by descent to Otto-Paulus Groeninx van Zoelen (1768-1848);

His sale, Rotterdam, Vis, 25 July 1800, lot 82, fl. 72 to Van Santen;

Herbert William Francis Hunter-Arundell, Auldgirth, Dumfries-shire;

His sale, London, Christie’s, 21 November 1913, lot 127, £966 to F.W. Lippmann (as G. Terburg);

There acquired by F.W. Lippmann;

By whom sold, London, Christie's, 20 April 1923, lot 152, £229 to T. Ward (as Gerard ter Borch, accompanied by a letter from Wilhelm von Bode);

Maximilian Kellner (1869-1940), Moravia and Vienna;

His sale, Berlin, Rudolph Lepke, 3 December 1929, lot 16, RM 20,800 (as Gerard Terborch);

Professor Julius Singer, Prague, by 1938;

Thence by descent in the family;

By whom anonymously sold ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, 25 April 2008, lot 15 (as Follower of Gerard Ter Borch II).

C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. V, London and Paris 1913, pp. 140-141, under cat. no. 463;
S.J. Gudlaugsson, Katalog der Gemälde Gerard ter Borch, The Hague 1960, vol. II, p. 94, cat. 74a (a skillful work, possibly a copy by Caspar Netscher).

Prague, Národní Gallery, 1992-2007, on loan. 
This is the only studio replica of ter Borch’s painting of c.1653/1654 in the Getty Museum, which has been described as “the most remarkable expression of ter Borch’s familiarity with rural life.”1  Many elements in the present picture are close in quality to the Getty painting: the cow on the right is painted with tremendous sensitivity and attention to detail, from her pale eyelashes and moist nose to the flashes of light glinting off her hooves. The farm implements at lower left and the milkmaid are similarly accomplished.

Gudlaugsson’s catalogue raisonné lists nearly 500 copies of Ter Borch’s paintings, of which the vast majority are weak, later pictures. Only 29 of the copies bear the artist’s monogram, and even among this small group, Gudlaugsson dismissed the majority as too unaccomplished to be the product of the studio.  Indeed, he only accepted 11 monogrammed copies as being clearly from the Ter Borch workshop, five of which – the present painting among them – he suggested could be by a young Caspar Netscher.2  Netscher, ter Borch’s prized pupil, spent nearly five years in the studio, from 1654 to circa 1659, where his duties would have included executing faithful copies of his master’s works.  The finest replicas would have been signed with the GTB monogram and sold as ter Borchs.

1.  A. Wheelock et al, Gerard ter Borch, exhibition catalogue, Washington D.C. and Detroit 2004, p. 108.

2. Recent restoration has shown the monogram to be original to the present painting. The five monogrammed pictures Gudlaugsson believed could be by Netscher are 74a (the present picture), 113r, 121a, 140b, and 141b. The other six monogrammed pictures he believed came from the workshop are 67a, 120a, 220d, 221 Ia, 253a, and 275a.