National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Sir Brian Tuke Hans Holbein the Younger (artist)
German, 1497/1498 - 1543
Sir Brian Tuke, c. 1527/1528 or c. 1532/1534
oil on panel
overall: 49.1 x 38.5 cm (19 5/16 x 15 3/16 in.) framed: 67 x 57.5 x 7.6 cm (26 3/8 x 22 5/8 x 3 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
On View
From the Tour: German Painting and Sculpture in the Late 1400s and 1500s
Object 8 of 12


Probably Sir Paul Methuen [1672-1757], London; by inheritance to his cousin and godson, Paul Methuen [1723-1795], Corsham Court, Wiltshire;[1] by inheritance to his son, Paul Cobb Methuen [1752-1816], Corsham Court; by inheritance to his son, Paul Methuen, 1st baron Methuen [1779-1849], Corsham Court. Richard Sanderson, London and Edinburgh; (sale, Christie's, London, 17 June 1848, no. 7); possibly to Seguier(?), London.[2] Richard Grosvenor [d. 1869], 2nd marquis of Westminster, Eaton Hall, Cheshire, by 1867;[3] probably by inheritance 1869 to his daughter, Lady Theodora Guest, Inwood, Somerset, until 1913; (Robert Langton Douglas, London), 1913, held jointly with (P. & D. Colnaghi, Ltd., London);[4] sold 20 May 1913 to (M. Knoedler & Co., London and New York);[5] sold April 1914 to Watson B. Dickerman [d. 1923], New York; his widow, Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman, New York, probably 1923-1929/1930; consigned 1929 to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York);[6] purchased April 1930 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 30 March 1932 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

[1] The first published reference to the painting is Johann David Passavant, Tour of a German Artist in England, 2 vols., London, 1836: 2:87. For the history of the collection see Corsham Court, Wiltshire, 1983: 23-31. There is no way of knowing if the portrait of Sir Brian Tuke belonging to Robert Sidney, Lord Lisle, and seen by John Evelyn on 27 August 1678, is the Gallery's panel or another version, although this is sometimes given as part of the provenance; see E.S. de Beer, ed., The Diary of John Evelyn, 6 vols., Oxford, 1955: 4, 143.

[2] The copy of the Christie's sale catalogue of the Sanderson collection in the possession of the Provenance Index of the Getty Art History Information Program, Santa Monica, has a hand written inscription in the margin, of "Seguier" or possibly "Leguin". Martha Hepworth's letter of 2 August 1988 to Susan E. Davis, in NGA curaorial files, notes that this is a later annotation by Frank Simpson, Librarian at the Barber Institute. The person has not been identified; William Seguier, the dealer, restorer, and first Keeper of the National Gallery, London, died in 1843.

[3] Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Some Account of the Life and Works of Hans Holbein, Painter, of Augsburg, London, 1867: 294, is the first mention of the painting as being in the possession of the Marquis of Westminster, but notes that it was brought for the Marquis at the Sanderson sale of 1848. This is not independently verified, but if so, then the name in the margin of the catalogue could refer to the agent.

[4] Denys Sutton, "Robert Langton Douglas. Part III." Apollo 109 (1979): 423-425, and the Getty Provenance Index. Douglas' letter of 6 May 1913 to Johnson is in the Archive of the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art; see Lawrence W. Nichols, letter of 29 March 1990 to John Hand, in NGA curatorial files. See also letter from Douglas to Fowles dated 1 May 1941, Duveen Brothers Records, Box 244 (reel 299).

[5] Nancy C. Little, Librarian, M. Knoedler & Co., letter of 4 December 1978 to John Hand, in NGA curatorial files, states that the painting was purchased from Colnaghi's on 20 May 1913 and sold to W.B. Dickerman in April 1914.

[6] Nancy C. Little, letter of 4 December 1978, cited in note 5.

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