Focus on
Johannes Verspronck

Portrait of a Lady in an Armchair, ca. 1642-1645 (Inv. No. 703)

7 November 2006 to 9 April 2007

After conservation, the “Portrait of a Woman in an Armchair” by Johannes Verspronck was presented to the public again for the first time in decades. Once highly esteemed – a gallery photograph dated 1905 proves its prominent hanging beside the freshly-purchased “Blinding of Samson” by Rembrandt – the portrait was put into storage after World War II because of its poor condition and a change in the collection’s hanging.

Thanks to the restoration resulting from the detailed examination as part of the cataloguing of Dutch baroque paintings at that time, the Städel collection regained an important work of art. In the exhibition the portrait by Johannes Verspronck was displayed next to the Städel’s double portraits of a married couple by Frans Hals. Known only to a few people today, during the 17th century Verspronck was, together with Frans Hals, one of the most sought-after portraitists active in the flourishing city of Haarlem. Nevertheless the two artists were not direct competitors: each of them found their clients in various social circles and created – almost as a trade mark – a highly individual brush-stroke that appealed to the different tastes of their customers.

CURATOR: Dr. Mirjam Neumeister, Städel Museum
SPONSORED BY: Schering Stiftung