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Old Man in Prayer

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1775, possibly John Bertels (d. 1792), Brussels and London; April 8, 1775, possibly in the Bertels sale, Walsh, London, lot 54 [see note 1]. About 1902, private collection, Worcestershire, England; about 1902, sold from the private collection to F. Newcombe (d. 1911), Bristol, England; 1902, sold by Newcombe to Whitworth Wallis (b. 1855 - d. 1927), Birmingham, England [see note 2]; 1903, sold by Wallis, through Charles Deschamps and Walter Gay, to the MFA for $22,218. (Accession Date: July 16, 1903) NOTES: [1] The MFA painting has been tentatively identified with Rembrandt, "An Old Man's Head," measuring 28 x 22 1/2 inches, that was included in the John (Jean) Bertels sale in 1775. [2] In a letter from Whitworth Wallis to Walter Gay (April 28, 1903), he said that he did not have any provenance for the painting beyond the fact that "it was shown to me last year and it came out of an old Worcestershire mansion -- which I am told was the Bishop's Palace." A letter from H. W. Maxwell, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery to the MFA (January 26, 1939) indicates that F. Newcomb's son recalled that his father acquired the painting "at a sale at a private house in the Midlands about 1906 [sic] and that afterwards sold it to the late Sir Whitworth Wallis."

Credit Line

Arthur Rotch Fund

Catalogue Raisonné

Bredius 73; RRP C 20


75.3 x 59.7 cm (29 5/8 x 23 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel