DUVEEN, Sir Joseph (1929)

Half length, in half-profile. Oil on canvas, 24” x 20” (60.9 x 50.8cms). Signed ‘A. Muller-Ury’ lower right.

Private Collection, Lucerne, Switzerland.

The artist; his brother Otto Müller; his daughter Helen Blaser-Müller to 2010; inherited by Viktor Blaser, Lucerne (to 2017); private collection.

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The sitter was born on October 14, 1869 in Hull in Yorkshire, the eldest son of the thirteen children of Sir Joseph Joel Duveen who founded the famous art dealing business with his brother Henry. Joseph Duveen was knighted in 1919, created a Baronet in 1926, and created a Peer in 1933. He died at Claridges Hotel, London, on May 25, 1939.


S.N. Behrman, Duveen, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1952, 1972

Edward Fowles, Memories of Duveen Brothers, Times Books, London, 1976

Colin Simpson, The Partnership, Bodley Head, London, 1987. Meryle Secrest, Duveen: A Life in Art, hardback, New York, 2004; paperback, Chicago 2005.

Painted in 1929 according to pencilling on stretcher.  The picture seems to have been retouched in the background when examined in 2010.

It is known that a portrait of Duveen was exhibited at the artist’s last show ‘Portraits and Roses’ at French & Co. Inc, New York, April 21 – May 3, 1947, as No. 11, but which of the three portraits is unknown.