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Nicolas NeufchatelPortrait of a Man
Provenance: Viscount Rothermere, 1932; Central Picture Gallery, Manhattan, New York, Where acquired by Lewis Ruskin, 1958, thence by descent to the present owner. Literature: P. G. Konody, Works of Art in the Collection of Viscount Rothermere. London 1932, pl. 31, as by Lorenzo Lotto, close to the paintings of his Bergamasque period (c. 1518-1528) Nicolas Neufchâtel was trained in Antwerp, but his career led him across Europe and his style is in many ways international. For this reason it is not entirely surprising that the present portrait was attributed to Lorenzo Lotto when in the collection of Viscount Rothermere, and later given to Giovanni Battista Moroni. Neufchatel’s style is in fact Italianate, although it is based on the precedents of such artists as Frans Floris and Willem Key. The artist’s career took him to Nuremberg, where he was active from 1561 well into the 1570s. In the present portrait the formal pose of the sitter, underscored by the apse-like architecture behind him, is offset by his, quiet, engaging, and sympathetic expression. The spray of flowers in a vase is a motif that appears in Neufchâtel’s Portrait of Wenzel Jamnitzer in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva.
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