The Finding of Moses
oil on canvas
119.6 x 172.8 cm (47 1/16 x 68 1/16 in)
Possibly Adriaen Paets II [1657-1712], Rotterdam; possibly (his sale, Rotterdam, 26 April 1713, no. 19).  Possibly François Antoine Robit [c. 1752-1815], Paris; (exhibition and sale, including Robit collection, by private contract, Mr. [Michael] Bryan's Gallery, London, 6 November 1801 and following days [exhibition closed 31 May 1802], no. 44).  Arthur L. Nicholson, London and Llandaff House, Surrey, by 1937 until at least 1939.  (Paul Drey, New York); sold 1948 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1961 to NGA.  Pierre Rosenberg, Guido Jansen, and Jeroen Giltaij, French Paintings from Dutch Collections, 1600-1800, exh. cat., Musée des beaux-arts, Dijon; Institut nederlandais, Paris; Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Rotterdam, 1992: 21, 35: "Een Stuk, door Sebastiaen Bourdon, zeer excellent, verbeeldende de Vindinge Van Moises in den Nyl, hoog 3 voet 9 duim breed 5 voet 4 duim" ("A piece by Sebastien Bourdon, very excellent, illustrating the Finding of Moses in the Nile, measuring 3 feet, 9 inches high and 5 feet 4 inches wide"). This entry appears in the Paets sale of 26 April 1713; see Gerard Hoet, Catalogus of naamlyst van schilderyen, met derzelver pryzen, zedert een langen reeks van jaaren zoo in Holland als op andere plaatzen in het openbaar verkogt, benevens een verzameling van lysten van verscheyden nog in wezen zynde cabinetten, 3 vols., Soest : Davaco, 1976 (reprint of the 1752-1770 ed.): 1:156, no. 19. The measurements, given according to the Rhineland Scale, are approximately 118 x 168 centimeters.  "The Finding of Moses by Sébastien Bourdon," sold by the dealer Bryan in London in 1801, in a sale which included works from the Robit collection, may be NGA 1961.9.65, but we have no evidence beyond the artist's name and the title. See Colin Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian, Oxford, 1977: 289-290.  Nicholson lent the painting to the 1937 Paris and 1939 Liège exhibitions.