The School of Antwerp, the Brueghel Dynasty, the early flemish landscape are just some examples of what you will find here.
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Jan Brueghel II and Hendrick van Balen
Jan Brueghel II and Hendrick van Balen
- Jacopo de' BarbariPortrait of an Architect
oil on panel
1501 - 1505 c.
Expertise by Simone FerrariThis Exceptional unpublished portrait has been assigned to the important Italian-born artist Jacopo de’ Barbari after a long study by experts. De’ Barbari, an artist of Venetian origins active in Nuremberg, who therefore considers himself a naturalized German artist in the second part of his career, is a key-personality into the relationship between German and Italian art during Renaissance. The frontal position of the portrayed subject refers directly to the famous self-portrait of Albrecht Duerer. In Renaissance painting, fewer than five architect's portraits are known explicitly identifiable as such by the compass, all of them are considered less important than this in term of quality. It is also possible to identify the work as the portrait of a well-known architect, Hans Behaim the Elder, master architect of Nuremberg during XVI century, mentioned in the historical bibliography and considered lost until now. Contact Us to Know more.
- The Master of St NicholasSt Michael
oil on panel
Expertise by Isabel Mateo GomezA prominent painter of the Castilian school, the Master of Saint Nicholas takes his name from the church of San Nicolas in Burgos, within which is housed his most remarkable work: an imposing altarpiece depicting the Last Judgement. He was one of the most significant representatives of pre-Renaissance painting in the Iberian Peninsula. Both Diego del Corral and Diego de la Cruz have been identified as the Master of Saint Nicholas. Although the latter is more likely.De la Cruz was a painter from Antwerp-Bruges. He trained in an important workshop in the Flanders and afterwards moved to work in Spain, several years before Juan de Flanders’ arrival on Iberian soil. His style, capable of mixing the best accomplishments of the international Nordic language with an unmistakable Castilian flair, reveals a connection with the Master of Sopetrán.also presumably of Dutch origin - and with Jorge Inglès, a British painter who later naturalised as a Spanish citizen. He intensely worked with the latter in the creation of important pictorial cycles. He proved to be as talented as his colleague, though recognisable accents of his personal do style shine through his works, and, in the best examples, complements the work of Inglès. By way of example, his best-known work is Saint George.
- Herri Met de Bles, Il CivettaLandscape with the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
oil on panel
Published: Luc Serck, "Henri Bles & la peinture de paysage dans les Pays-bas méridionaux avant Brueghel", 1990, p. 346-47 n°9 (as Herri Met de Bles)Within a circumference there is an ideal circle representing the whole world, a fiery wind overwhelms the observer. Sodom and Gomorrah, the wicked cities whose outrageous affairs go up to Heaven, do not fear God and attempt to perform brutalities against his angels. From a golden flash high above in heaven, where the birds flee terrified, a breath of lime rains, able to vulcanize the mountains and make the cities as see-through as coals in the kiln. There is devastation everywhere, it is pointless to flee by sea as the ships are sinking one after the other. Loth, Abraham's nephew, is ordered to flee from the Wrath of God, angry to such an extent with the two Sumerian cities that not even the animals or children will be spared.
- Joris FraetAdoration of Magi
oil on panel
Expertise by Peter van den BrinkThe present painting could be considered the key-work of this artist, of which only the preparatory drawing of the present composition was known. The drawing also came with indications on the colours to use in painting, and more importantly bears a name on the back: Joris Fraet van Mens (or Mons). Contact us to know more.
- David Teniers IIStill Life with Wine and Grapes
oil on panel
Signed in full D. Teniers F
We are grateful to Fred. G. Meijer to have fully endorsed the authorship of the workOne of the only two still-life by the important flemish artist David Teniers II. The painting is considered a key work in the catalogue of this master and for the Flemish art in general. Fully signed, out from the market since several years, of outstanding quality, this still life represent one of a kind and a precious testimony of the magnificent art of David Teniers II.
- Cornelis MassysLandscape with the Flight into Egypt
oil on panel
Signed with monogram CMA
Expertise by Luuk Pijl«There surely must be something left from the time when the whole World was blue. »
The Young Man with the Carnation
Karen Blixen.The genre and landscape painter Cornelis Massys, or Metsys, was the second son of Quentin Massys and Katharina Heyns. Trained in his father's workshop, he became a master in Antwerp in 1531. He began his career by making a name for himself with a series of small burin engravings comprised, on the one hand, of religious and allegorical scenes in the Italianate style and, on the other hand, of popular and moralising subjects inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, thus opening a path that Pieter Brueghel the Elder would soon take. Cornelis Massys also turned out to be an excellent landscape painter. Alongside Herri Met de Bles and Matthijs Cock, he continued along the path laid out by Joachim Patinir, of whom he is the closest and most worthy successor. However, the places depicted by Cornelis Massys are endowed with greater intimacy and the panoramic landscapes, with their alternation of dark masses of greenery and transparent distances, show a new and personal observation of atmospheric effects. His work, which henceforth pursued the example set by his father, offers a more realistic conception where the movement, extent and elegance of the form dominate, heralding the refinements of the landscape artists of the late 16th century.
- Franz Cristoph JanneckThe Feast of Gods
oil on copper
Signed F.C. Janneck F.C.Franz Christoph Janneck was born in Graz but by 1730 he had established himself in Vienna and studied at the Academy. He later became assessor there from 1752 until 1758. His oeuvre comprises mainly cabinet pictures of conversation pieces as well as landscape, religious and mythological scenes. These, such as the present painting were often painted on polished copper which enabled the artist to achieve a great degree of finish and detail. Our composition can be compared to his fetes galantes scenes, which are considered among his finest achievements and are some of the best examples of Austrian rococo and are principally inspired by the French rococo, notably the work of Antoine Watteau (1674-1749). However, his meticulous technique and predilection for copper as a support also reveals a clear debt to the Leiden fijnschilder tradition. The origins of the pictorial tradition of the love garden can be traced to medieval manuscript illustrations and representations of the hortus conclusus (the enclosed garden). In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, Flemish artists like Hans Bol and Louis de Caullery depicted elegant figures in love gardens or imaginary park-like landscapes. The theme gained in popularity with the first generation of Dutch high-life genre painters, David Vinckboons, Willem Buytewech, Esaias van de Velde, and others, who made a speciality of such garden parties (buitenpartijen). The present scene can be considered a garden party: a young Bacchus is seated at the centre of the composition, wearing a crown of grapes surrounded by semi-naked nymphs and satyrs who are playing music and drinking wine, in a secluded spot with fruit trees and parrots, Roman buildings in the background. The composition is constructed in a pyramidal way so that the eye of the viewer falls directly to the centre. The scene is reminiscent of another scene by the artist, depicting a fete galante, in a private collection, where one finds the same motifs of an enchanted world, where the protagonists take part in the same game of love, music and pleasure. The brilliance of the colours and the delicacy of Janneck’s touch perfectly capture the spirit of the rococo.
- David Teniers IIYoung man with Pipe and Pitcher of Beer
oil on panel
Expertise Margret KlingeThe panel is dated to 1635. In that decade David Teniers II joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and married Jan Brueghel’s daughter Anna. Teniers trained with his father and devoted himself mainly to genre painting although he also produced landscapes and mythological, historical and religious paintings. Together with Adriaen Brouwer, David Teniers II is considered one of the most notable Flemish painters of the seventeenth century. His last known works date to 1680, proving the artist was still working at the age of seventy. Teniers was in the service of the archduke Leopold Wilhelm, governor of the Netherlands, and was a dean of the Guild of Painters in Antwerp. In the same town in 1665 he opened an Academy after obtaining Philip IV of Spain and the Guild of Antwerp’s permission.The tradition of the so-called "character heads" dates back to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who was the first to try his hand at depicting peasants in an openly satirical and/or moralising key. From that moment on this subject became an artistic topos of Flemish art throughout the seventeenth century, intertwining with that of the tronie, elegant counterpart of the commoner and peasant heads, an indication of a shared interest in the Flemish/Dutch art of the 1600s for human nature expressed through facial features and facial expressions.
- Jacob van HulsdonckStill Life with Plums and Peaches
oil on panel
Thanks to Fred G. Meijer for confirming the authorship of the work.
Archived in RKD as Jacob van Hulsdonck.Jacob van Husldonck was born in Antwerp in 1582. He moved to Middelburg with his parents at a young age and there he likely received at least part of his training. For the longest time our work had been attributed to Ambrosius Bosschaert who was the city's most prominent still life painter. However, although his influence on Hulsdonck is undisputed, today it is believed that the artist did not train with Bosschaert. In 1608 he went back to Antwerp, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In the same year he also joined the Guild of Saint Luke. Van Hulsdonck's artistic personality is inextricably linked to the specific sub-genre of the still life of fruit. He can perhaps be regarded as the most prominent representative of this genre outside of Italy. Starting from a raised and deliberately rigid spatial setting, the artist comes to create rich compositions that are characterized by the desire to cram into a container as much fruit as possible so as to immediately convey the feeling of fullness and fragile balance. He was also clearly influenced by Osaias Beert and Jan Brueghel I, specifically with regards to the rendering of different surfaces and the material thickness of lemons, peaches, leaves, barks, fiber and so on.
- Jan Brueghel I and Hans RottenhammerThe Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite
oil on canvas
Expertise Klaus ErtzIn Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a sea-goddess and the wife of Poseidon, identifiable with the Roman god Neptune. According to ancient sources, Neptune wanted to marry Amphitrite, but she was too much in awe of her suitor, and hid from him in the ocean. Grief- stricken, Neptune sent a dolphin to search for his lost love. To his delight, the dolphin convinced Amphitrite to return, and she agreed to share Neptune’s throne. The present picture depicts the moment at which Amphitrite returns to take Neptune’s hand in marriage. To the left, Neptune and Amphitrite sit in their chariot pulled by sea serpents, while the goddess is crowned with a wreath by two putti. A crowd of Tritons and Nereids riding fantastical sea-creatures surrounds them. Their dynamic poses enliven the picture, creating a vibrant scene. Amphitrite, seated upon red drapery that wraps around her thighs, gazes directly at the viewer. The events are set in a rocky coastal landscape, arching out into the sea. In the background, the towers and buildings of a town can be made out. Dark clouds sweep across the sky and mist rises from the sea, imbuing the scene with an atmospheric quality. In the foreground, to the right of the centre, a nude female figure is represented from behind. Her helmet and shield identify her as Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of the arts, trade and defense. As can clearly be seen in the picture under discussion, the shield is the famed Aegis, bearing the head of Medusa, and according to Homer, fashioned by Hephaestus. Above among the clouds, the father of Zeus (and brother of Poseidon) can be seen, brandishing a thunderbolt and resting on a globe, two of his attributes.
Jan Brueghel II and Hendrick van BalenLandscape with the Rest from the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel
Expertise Klaus ErtzMagnificent example of collaboration, following the widespread practice in Antwerp in the seventeenth century, between Brueghel the II as a landscape specialist and van Balen as a "staffage" painter, i.e. the painting of the characters. The composition is among the most famous of Brueghel the II (derived from Brueghel I) and it was copied and imitated by many followers, due to its ability to combine the best sacred subject and the ideal landscape.
- Dirk van HoogstratenA Tronie: Hades
Oil on panel
signed with monogram DvH
1635 ca.A mysterious artist of the Van Hoogstraten family line (which still exists today). He was the son of a painter, as well as the father of the renowned artist Samuel van Hoosgtraten who, before becoming Rembrandt's student, trained with his father Dirk in Dordrecht until 1640, the year in which this father's death is recorded. He was a painter of many different interests, who initially trained as a goldsmith and engraver. His pictorial corpus consists of but a few signed works (with monogram or rarely with his surname in the extended version). Nevertheless, especially thanks to the efforts of the homonymous foundation dedicated to the painter’s family to piece together a well-thought-out catalogue to trace the profile of a typical Dutch Golden Age artist. As mentioned, the variety of themes he dealt with makes up a multifaceted range of works, combined with an all-round style, although, always stylistically recognisable. In the figurative and religious domains, Hoogstraten's style shows an eclectic use of different artistic and iconographic sources, with inspiring and clear references to Pieter Lastman, to the figuratives of the Utrecht School (especially Abraham Bloemaert) and to a specific luministic culture influenced by the Caravagesques.
- Herri met de Bles II
(Also known as the Master of Copenhagen Flight into Egypt)The Earthly Paradise
Oil on panel
Expertise Luc Serck.Deep in a primeval forest, a man and a woman argue. Around them, a large group of animals is at the feet of a tall fountain. In the background, the landscape stretches as far as the eye is able to see, revealing gigantic glacial-colored mountains. It is the Heaven on Earth. The central scene is the Fall of Man. If we had to make a selection of the themes that have occupied a privileged position in the world of Flemish painting, the "Earthly Paradise" would occupy a privileged place: from the Flemish Primitives to the Brueghels, and among them, Hieronymus Bosch. Exactly from him is it necessary to start to exploration of a painting as unique as it is enigmatic, just like our small tablet.
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- Joos van Craesbeeckthe lice crusher
Oil on panel
1640 ca.Joos van Craesbeeck painted mainly genre scenes and a few religiously themed compositions. His genre scenes depict low-life figures as well as scenes of middle-class people. The chronology of his work is difficult to establish since only one painting, the now missing Self-portrait in front of a Mirror, is signed. In addition to the one painting signed with his full name, there are about 30 other paintings with the monogram cb or jvcb. Despite the difficulty of dating his paintings, it is believed that his earliest works are largely indebted to the subject matter and style of Brouwer. In these early works he relied on the types of Brouwers and he followed Brouwer's palette in its subtle harmonies with occasional gleaming highlights. Like Brouwer he applied colour very thinly leaving parts of the ground visible.
- Pietro Mera called Il FiammingoLandscape with Temptation of St Anthony
Oil on copper
1610 ca.Flemish artist from Bruges, he spent all his life in Italy, where he worked under the influence of the Brill Brothers and Hans Rottenhammer.
- Frans Francken IIIThe Temptation of St Anthony
Oil on panel
1640 ca.Frans Francken III was the son of Frans Francken II (Antwerp1581-1642) and part of the Francken dynasty producing essentially for the open market. He was at a very young age an apprentice and a collaborator to his father, which style had a determining effect on his art. Some paintings are signed by father and son. Dr Ursula Härting1 published a painting signed and dated 1618, when he is only 12 (three other signed and dated paintings are known: 1626, Liège Cathedral; 141 and 1647). He practices in his father’s studio later as an independent master (1639) and is also a dealer and shop owner in Antwerp. Many of his paintings are signed FFFrancken or Den jon(ghen) FFrancken or DJ FFrancken f. (14 in my documentation), allowing to distinguish his ductus and style (slightly different directly derived from his father’s) from his father’s production and studio output as is the case in his Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite in the Prado Museum. He did also staffage in paintings by Pieter Neefs, Joos de Momper and others. He collaborated on paintings also with Cornelis de Baeilleur and other members of his family. The subject ‘the Temptation of Saint Anthony’ is directly inspired by his father’s painting of the same subject signed and dated 1605, formerly in the de Maleingreau d’Hembise collection, Brussels. Frans III painted also a great number of Sabbaths with Witches (ex: Palais des Beaux-Arts sale Brussels 26.10.1976 nr 501, panel 35 x 52 cm, signed FFFrancken), derived from his father’s painting in the Alte Pinacothek München (Härting 1989, nr 409). A Sabbath sold by Mercier, Lille, 18.6.2006 nr 128, panel 44 x 66,5 cm, soldas Frans II Francken, is clearly by Frans III (after comparison with the Palais- des-Beaux-Arts painting). In the present painting, Frans III repeats precise elements from the Lille painting, such as the head of the warrior on the foreground left and the little monster with helmet. He integrates them into his father’s composition of Saint Anthony (1605).
- Sebastian VrancxOn the Way to Peace
Oil on panel
Expertise Luuk PijlSebastian Vrancx was a famous Flemish painter active in the first half of the 16th century, renowned expert in the landscape genre, but also dabbled in the subjects of everyday life and battles. He was a member of the Guild of Saint Luke from 1611. The painting of this Antwerp-born master is distinctive for his personal style, which carefully absorbs different influences, mixed with eclectic taste in a severe, but at the same time elegant art, far from the rhetoric of Baroque taste and recognisable for a typical dryness of the stroke, suitable to create unusual and eclectic compositions. The small snowy landscape is a remarkable proof of technical virtuosity. The style of the painting is comparable to the series of Allegories of the Seasons reproduced several times by the painter, who used to repeat many of his compositions. Another useful comparison is with the Extensive Landscape in circular format, in which the use of different chromatic shades and material thicknesses of monochrome colour is typical and irrefutable to define the soil's rocky layers and the mineral veins of the landscape. Within the scenery with a wide horizon, along a winding road engraved with markedly graphic brushstrokes, a group of wayfarers armed with spears leads a herd of cattle towards the city that can be seen in the background. At the crossroads, three different structures can be seen: a mill, a votive temple devoted to the Virgin Mary and - left seals - a hill intended for different forms of capital punishment, gallows and wheel. In the outline, some magpies are sitting on two large gnarled and dry trees, while in the distance an entire flock hovering above the scene can be seen. At the bottom, where the sunlight lights up the landscape with accents of intense green, a glimpse of a rainbow can be caught. The piece, which is among those closest in style and content to Pieter Brueghel II, sparks a desire to investigate Vrancx’ interest for historical and allegorical subjects. The period of activity of the painter coincides indeed with that of the Wars of Religion (particularly, with that of the Thirty Years and the Spanish massacres in Belgium) and there are numerous examples of paintings dedicated to battles, raids by bandits and attacks on caravans, in which the themes connected to the violence of war strongly emerge. The scene depicted here, however, does not focus on a war scene or on the onslaught of brigands, but on the contrary portrays a group of men going towards the light and the city’s rainbow. At last, the war is over, making way for peace. The spears in their hands will no longer be used to attack, but to guide the cattle. At the intersection of the roads- which are those of Destiny - the Pilgrim meets Faith (represented by the wayside shrine), he leaves the War behind (the hill of torture) and sees the Mill at the gates of the city (the industrious work of Man). The Wanderer in the foreground invites us into the scene by turning towards the observer, suggesting him to approach the landscape with rapt attention. The fact that multiple levels of interpretation are left open is not surprising, as it is a traditional feature of Flemish art, which, as shown, Vrancx appreciated. Our composition, however, has not been found in other signed replicas and therefore constitutes a unique specimen in the author's catalogue. With this work Vrancx is able to combine the genre of the landscape with that of the historical and allegorical subjects in a single painting.
- Abraham Govaerts and Pieter van AvontHoly Family with Angels into a Landscape
Oil on Copper
Expertise Klaus ErtzMagnificent example of collaboration, following the widespread practice in Antwerp in the seventeenth century, between Abraham Govaerts as a landscape specialist and van Avont as a "staffage" painter, i.e. the painting of the characters. By this way the evangelical episode of the rest from the escape into Egypt becomes the expedient to stage a nature with bright colors, with rich turquoise and aqua green accents, enhanced by a vast range of naturalistic details: from the rose garden to the right, to the fruits on top. The very thin copper leaf on which the work - in perfect condition - was painted is of considerable size and it is likely that it was destined for the Spanish and Mexican market, according to a widespread commercial practice in vogue from the years '40 of the '600. Thanks to this practice the Flemish painting on copper of "brueghellian-style" had a diffusion and an unusual worldwide success. It is the undoubted ability of the "Brueghel style" to conquer the eye with such incredible ease, dissolving the most typical stylistic matter effortlessly and with infallible method, chiseling the details as in a goldsmith's work and always choosing a vibrant chromatic accord, with the objective to stimulate the gaze. The fat children who surround the Holy Family, then, add a further tone of delicacy to the scene, through an anecdotal and joyful attitude, full of "joie-de-vivre".
- Monogrammist HSThe Ill Matched Lovers with a Monk
oil on panel, cm 28x42,5.
We are grateful to Cranach Research Insitute and Dr. Peter Schmelzle to have confirmed the attribution of this work.Monogrammist HS (Active during the first part of XVII Century). Rare and enigmatic painter from Basel, a pupil of Lucas Cranach, specialized in the representation of allegorical subjects often soaked in a taste for the grotesque, erotic and enigmatic. Compared to his master, Hans Stronmayer presents harsher tones, with female bodies represented in ivory color and smooth as porcelain, with the characters depicted close to their caricature, deliberately in an anti-classical and anti-Italian key.
- Kerstiaen de KeuninckMountain Landscape with a river
oil on panel
1620 ca.This large panoramic landscape view, dominated by fantastic mountains and rock formations, is a work of the middle period of the artist and was probably painted in Antwerp. A more precise comparison can be made with the works created around the period 1610 - 1615 in Antwerp, when the artist was in close contact with Alexander Keirincx and the Francken family. The landscapes of this period were all large works of horizontal format and followed a very precise compositional scheme. A diagonal divides the work in two parts, tracing a clear division between the action in the foreground and the immense rock formations on the background. On the opposite side, the artist often placed a theatrical backdrop formed by trees, whose fronds follow an accentuated winding line. In the central area an isolated rocky pillar is often connected by natural bridges or arches with the rest of the composition. The figures, small and secondary in the whole scene, are usually sketched at a later time, when not entirely delegated to specific collaborators. The figures of Tobias and the Angel were the artist's favourites. Hunters, pilgrims and shepherds with goats were also appreciated. It illustrates his concern with contrasting pictorial effects—such as heavy passages of opaque paint set off against areas sketched in a very thin medium—and with bold motifs like the water spray formed by flicking the brush. We mention, as primary comparision examples, the Landscape with Hunter preserved in Braunschweig, which has almost an identical setting and The Rocky Landscape preserved in Vienna where several elements return in a mirror-like manner: the castle (the only difference is the castle location: on the opposite side), the creek, the shape of the woods and the foliage of the trees, as well as the goats that can be seen in the foreground.
- Christiaen van CouwenberghThe finding of Moses
Oil on panel
Signed and dated 1640
Published:Wolfgang C. Maier-Preusker, Christiaen van Couwenbergh (1604 – 1667) oeuvre und wandlungen eines hollaendischen caravaggisten, ed. Wallraf-Richartz-Jaharbuch – Band LII-1991.
We are grateful to Professor Wayne E. Franits to have confirmed the quality and the attribution of the workVan Couwenbergh was one of the leading Delft history painters during the first half of the seventeenth century, and his style was influenced by both the Haarlem and Utrecht history painters, as well as the Northern caravaggesque school.
- Adam van NoortMadonna and Child with Saint Joseph
>Oil on panel79,4 x 56,8 cm 1580 ca.
Archived in RKD as Adam van Noort.Defined by Van Mander in 1604 as a "very skillful painter," van Noort is part of the Flemish painting already influenced by Italian art. He was stranger to the prevailing fashion, Van Noort managed one of the most popular ateliers in Antwerp and he was able to cope with a large number of students, including those who later became great masters such as Rubens (from 1592) and Van Dyck, who also made a famous portrait of his teacher. Known for his alternating moods, his life as a libertine and, often, his violence, Van Noort was always conscious of the limitations and skills of his students, directing their careers also through the collaboration with the atelier of Otto Van Veen. His works were mainly biblical and of allegorical disobedience and portraits made for the Sint-Lucas gilde (the author was a member) have not been preserved. The work, part of the prestigious Goudstikker collection, is considered as of today one of the most significant - and certain of attribution - still in private hands. Despite the religious subject, the scene is treated with an extreme naturalism, aiming to portray a simple mother with a child in a moment of lyrical intimacy rather than something grand and academic. The sculpted cradle, together with details such as the cushion and the string of pearls on the Madonna's forehead, are remarkable for their realistic rendering. The paneggi, the incarnate and the architectures on the background, however, are clearly of Italian influence.