Pierre de Neufville, Portrait of the painter’s wife as a harp player in Ancient Egypt
Oil on canvas : 60,0 X 73,9 cm
Unsigned, circa 1823 - 1844
Original frame : 91,5 X 104,5 cm
Provenance : Berko Fine Paintings Paris, Brussels, Knokke
Published : Herman De Meulenaere, “L’Egypte Ancienne dans la Peinture
du XIXe Siècle”, 1992, P. 92
This is the only painting known by Pierre de Neufville, a Dutch civil servant, who had married a well-known musician (piano and harp) – miniature artist.
Our painting should be dated between 1823 and 1844. De Neufville has portrayed in a rather daring way his own wife as a harp player in an ancient Egyptian setting, inspired by publications of the very first discoveries made in Egypt.
Even the design of the vulture goddess Nekhbet at the top of the frame was inspired by a publication of the great Giovanni Battista Belzoni, an archaeologist-avant-la-lettre whose modus operandi would even have made Indiana Jones blush with modesty.