The Weiss Gallery, leading dealer in Tudor, Stuart and North European Old Master portraiture, is delighted to announce the sale of a monumental masterpiece The Last Supper by the great Flemish artist Pieter Jansz. Pourbus. This sale was to a new buyer of Old Masters at the recent Frieze Masters. The painting had an asking price of £650,000 ($1,000,000).
The composition of the painting, representing the Last Supper of Christ amongst his disciples, adopts the visual vocabulary of the Italian Renaissance and combines this with the Netherlandish tradition of portraiture, a genre in which Pourbus excelled. An important feature of this painting is the extensive presence of under-drawing, much of which is visible to the naked eye. Further analysis using infrared reflectography reveals that Pourbus loosely sketched the essentials of his composition using a dry, carbon-based material. He drew free-hand, except for some parts of the architecture, such as the pillars, where he employed a ruler. While the artist used extensive under-drawings he did not strictly follow them: for example, under the main plate at the front of the table one can see an outline under-drawing of a knife which has not been included in the finished version of the painting.
Director of The Weiss Gallery, Mark Weiss commented on the Frieze Masters sale “I am delighted that by exhibiting at Frieze Masters we were able to pick up a great new client and find a new home for such a great painting as the The Last Supper”.