It was painted in 1562 by the Belgian artist Nicolaus Neufchâtel, who fled the persecution of Calvinists in the Spanish Netherlands and established himself as a portrait painter in Nuremberg. Research by the consignor uncovered the identity of the sitter and details of the provenance, reaching back to the late 17th century.
On the reverse of the painting, which has been extensively restored, a handwritten inscription describes the subject as the humanist and reformer Hieronymus Vehu. This proved to be erroneous. As the collector discovered, his painting was well-documented into the early 20th century and was known to have been purchased by Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden-Baden in 1693, together with a corresponding portrait of the doctor’s wife now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Portrait of Heinrich Wolf was not part of the massive sale of property from the Margraves of Baden-Baden held by Sotheby’s in 1995, but surfaced at a south German auction in 2003, where it was acquired by the current consignor.
It is now expected to bring €36,000.