Center right: PvSlingeland / 168[5 or 8]
1685 or 1688, Jan (Johann) van Musschenbroek (b. 1660 - d. 1707) and his wife, Margaretha van Straaten (b. 1659 - d. 1743), Leyden (original commission) [see note 1]. By 1854, Évrard Rhoné (d. by 1861), Paris [see note 2]; May 6-8, 1861, posthumous Rhoné sale, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, Paris, lot 55, to Isaac Péreire, Paris; March 6-9, 1872, Péreire sale, Boulevard des Italiens, Paris, lot 160. 1901, F. Kleinberger, Paris. Before 1913, Thomas Humphry Ward (b. 1845 - d. 1926), London [see note 3]. By 1913 until at least 1945, John Walter, Bear Wood, Berkshire [see note 4]. 1970, Hon. R.F. Watson; November 25, 1970, R. F. Watson and others sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 31, to Terry Engell Gallery, London; 1971, still with Engell Gallery [see note 5]. 1971, Claus Virch, Art Associates Partnership, Paris [see note 6]; 1981, sold by Art Associates Partnership to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 13, 1981) NOTES:  In a now largely obliterated inscription on the reverse of the panel are the birth and death dates of the sitters and the date of their marriage (August 25, 1685). Musschenbroek was a musical instrument maker in Leyden.  According to C. Hofstede de Groot, "A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century," vol. 5 (London, 1913), p. 459, no. 137.  He is listed as a former owner by Hofstede de Groot (as above, n. 2).  He owned the painting by 1913, according to Hofstede de Groot (as above, n. 2) and lent it to the exhibition "Masterpieces of Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century," Eugene Slatter Gallery, London, June 27 - July 28, 1945, cat. no. 5.  The name of the buyer is annotated in a copy of the auction catalogue and on the reverse of the frame in chalk. The painting was included in the exhibition "Fine Paintings by Old Masters: Recent Acquisitions and Selections from Stock" (Terry Engell Gallery, London, 1971), p. 23 in catalogue.  In a letter from Claus Virch, Art Associates Partnership, to John Walsh of the MFA (December 13, 1978), the painting is said to have been in storage in Geneva since 1971. In a subsequent letter (January 19, 1979) Virch writes that he is removing it from storage and lending it to the MFA.
Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund