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Čís. položky 62


Jan Brueghel II


(Antwerp 1601–1678)
An Allegory of Tulipomania,
oil on panel, 25.5 x 36 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, France;
with Bailly Gallery, Geneva/Paris, 2012;
where acquired by the present owner

We are grateful to Klaus Ertz, who confirmed the attribution of the present painting to Jan Brueghel II. A copy of the written certificate (January 2012) is available.

Klaus Ertz writes: ‘The present painting can be said to be in very good condition. In their brilliance, the colours are typical of the time of its creation in the 1640s. The glazes, applied in overlapping layers, are very well preserved.’

Ertz continues: ‘The monkey plays an important role in Occidental painting. In medieval cathedral sculpture it symbolises evil, while in Renaissance art we encounter it as a personification of man. Starting out from these basic ideas, which led to the use of the monkey motif in painting, possible interpretation of this symbolic animal coming particularly close to a penchant for cryptic and ironic meanings developed in Flanders in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Painters could use the figure of the monkey to express moral judgement and dubious traits of human behaviour: exemplified, for instance, by the monkeys feasting at the table on the left; the monkey weighing the bulbs; the monkeys counting money on the right, or the male monkey beaten by his wife with the keys—possibly he paid for these tulips with all that was left from their housekeeping money? This must be understood against the background that in those days tulip bulbs were more expensive than a painting. In his letters, Jan Brueghel the Elder remarked that flowers had been too expensive to be painted as plucked specimens, and he would even travel to Brussels to paint the flowers on site in the archducal park. As the title ‘Tulipomania’ suggests, the painter described a contemporary ‘mania’ prevalent in the Netherlands in the early seventeenth century […], which led to a breakdown of the market and trade […]. Tulip bulbs (and other flower bulbs, such as those of hyacinths, for example), were traded on the stock exchange at unbelievable rates, as if they were securities. When this market bubble reached its climax in February 1637, the price paid for a tulip bulb was about 4,000 guilders – by comparison, the yearly income of a skilled craftsman was about 350 guilders! When the market broke down all of a sudden, many investors who had succumbed to this mania found themselves ruined.

In this sense, Jan Brueghel the Younger’s allegory is a highly contemporary characterisation of human foolishness fired by greed, expressed by the well-chosen equation of the monkey as representative of man. That Jan Brueghel the Younger regularly dealt with allegorical themes was certainly not only due to the painter’s own interest but presumably also because of an existing demand that was satisfied with such pictures. Unlike people of the twentieth century, viewers of the seventeenth century were entirely familiar with these allusions to symbolic, allegorical, and historical meanings.’

To corroborate the attribution of the present painting to Jan Brueghel II, Klaus Ertz refers to the following works securely attributed to the painter:

(1) Allegory of the Tulipomania, Frans Hals-Museum, Haarlem, circa 1640;
(2) Allegory of the Tulipomania, private collection, 1640s;
(3) Allegory of the Tulipomania, private collection, 1640s;
(4) The World Upside Down, sale, Parke Bernet, New York, 19 April 1965, lot 40, late 1640s

All of these paintings were executed between 1640 and 1650, so that Ertz also dates the present painting into this decade.

Expert: Damian Brenninkmeyer Damian Brenninkmeyer
+43 1 515 60 403

damian.brenninkmeyer@dorotheum.at

09.06.2020 - 16:00

Dosažená cena: **
EUR 344.900,-
Odhadní cena:
EUR 250.000,- do EUR 350.000,-

Jan Brueghel II


(Antwerp 1601–1678)
An Allegory of Tulipomania,
oil on panel, 25.5 x 36 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, France;
with Bailly Gallery, Geneva/Paris, 2012;
where acquired by the present owner

We are grateful to Klaus Ertz, who confirmed the attribution of the present painting to Jan Brueghel II. A copy of the written certificate (January 2012) is available.

Klaus Ertz writes: ‘The present painting can be said to be in very good condition. In their brilliance, the colours are typical of the time of its creation in the 1640s. The glazes, applied in overlapping layers, are very well preserved.’

Ertz continues: ‘The monkey plays an important role in Occidental painting. In medieval cathedral sculpture it symbolises evil, while in Renaissance art we encounter it as a personification of man. Starting out from these basic ideas, which led to the use of the monkey motif in painting, possible interpretation of this symbolic animal coming particularly close to a penchant for cryptic and ironic meanings developed in Flanders in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Painters could use the figure of the monkey to express moral judgement and dubious traits of human behaviour: exemplified, for instance, by the monkeys feasting at the table on the left; the monkey weighing the bulbs; the monkeys counting money on the right, or the male monkey beaten by his wife with the keys—possibly he paid for these tulips with all that was left from their housekeeping money? This must be understood against the background that in those days tulip bulbs were more expensive than a painting. In his letters, Jan Brueghel the Elder remarked that flowers had been too expensive to be painted as plucked specimens, and he would even travel to Brussels to paint the flowers on site in the archducal park. As the title ‘Tulipomania’ suggests, the painter described a contemporary ‘mania’ prevalent in the Netherlands in the early seventeenth century […], which led to a breakdown of the market and trade […]. Tulip bulbs (and other flower bulbs, such as those of hyacinths, for example), were traded on the stock exchange at unbelievable rates, as if they were securities. When this market bubble reached its climax in February 1637, the price paid for a tulip bulb was about 4,000 guilders – by comparison, the yearly income of a skilled craftsman was about 350 guilders! When the market broke down all of a sudden, many investors who had succumbed to this mania found themselves ruined.

In this sense, Jan Brueghel the Younger’s allegory is a highly contemporary characterisation of human foolishness fired by greed, expressed by the well-chosen equation of the monkey as representative of man. That Jan Brueghel the Younger regularly dealt with allegorical themes was certainly not only due to the painter’s own interest but presumably also because of an existing demand that was satisfied with such pictures. Unlike people of the twentieth century, viewers of the seventeenth century were entirely familiar with these allusions to symbolic, allegorical, and historical meanings.’

To corroborate the attribution of the present painting to Jan Brueghel II, Klaus Ertz refers to the following works securely attributed to the painter:

(1) Allegory of the Tulipomania, Frans Hals-Museum, Haarlem, circa 1640;
(2) Allegory of the Tulipomania, private collection, 1640s;
(3) Allegory of the Tulipomania, private collection, 1640s;
(4) The World Upside Down, sale, Parke Bernet, New York, 19 April 1965, lot 40, late 1640s

All of these paintings were executed between 1640 and 1650, so that Ertz also dates the present painting into this decade.

Expert: Damian Brenninkmeyer Damian Brenninkmeyer
+43 1 515 60 403

damian.brenninkmeyer@dorotheum.at


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 9.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Obrazy starých mistrů
Datum: 09.06.2020 - 16:00
Místo konání aukce: Vídeň | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 02.06. - 09.06.2020


** Kupní cena vč. poplatku kupujícího a DPH

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