Netherlandish School
A Half-Length Portrait of a Gentleman wearing a Ruff, his Hand holding a button

PROVENANCE: Carl Mayer von Rothschild (Frankfurt 1788-1855Naples), and thence by descent.

Pen and black ink on vellum, shaped

100 x 66 mm. (4 x 2 5/8 in.)


Our drawing was once in the collection of Carl Mayer von Rothschild, who was a German born banker in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the founder of the Rothschild banking family of Naples. Born Kalman Mayer Rothschild in Frankfurt am Main he was the fourth of the five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812) and Gutl Schnapper (1753-1849). He would become known as Carl by the family, except theEnglish relatives who called him Charles. He was trained in his fathers banking business and lived at home until the age of 29 when he acquired a house in Frankfurt, in preparation for his marriage to Adelheid Herz (1800-1853). In an effort to expand the family business across Europe Carls brothers were sent to different European cities to establish a banking branch. Carl was sent to Naples where he establish C.M. de Rothschild & Figli, to operate as a satellite office to the Rothschild banking family of Germany. Carl proved himself a strong financial manager and establish a good working relationship with Luigi de Medici, and his bank became the dominant banking house in Naples. In 1822 he was granted the title of Baron or Freiherr by Austrias Francis I. In 1829 he was appointed consul-general of Sicily. In 1837 Carl built the Villa Gnthersburg on a large country property outside Frankfurt.

The attribution was suggested by Erik Lffler on the basis of a photograph.1

1.Written communication, 18 July 2013.