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Čís. položky 95


Jan Steen

[Saleroom Notice]

(Leiden 1626–1679)
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,
signed with initials lower right (on the step): IS,
oil on canvas, 106 x 89 cm, framed

Saleroom Notice:

Exhibited:
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Tentoonstelling Bijbelsche Kunst, 8 July – 8 October 1939, p. 80, no. 96 b

Provenance:
Collection of Graf Karl August von Kospoth (1836-1928), Schloss Briese, Niederschlesien, until 1932;
with D. Katz, Dieren, 1932;
Collection of Willem Petrus J. A. Weebers ten Bos (1899–1979), Nijmegen, circa 1932- 1979;
Collection of A. J. M. Deckers, Heerlen, until circa 2015;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
C. Hofstede de Groot/W. R.Valentiner, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth century based on the work of John Smith, vol. I, London 1908, p. 51A;
M. D. Henkel, Jan Steen und der Delfter Vermeer, in: A. Donath (ed.), Der Kunstwanderer: Zeitschrift für alte und neue Kunst, für Kunstmarkt und Sammelwesen, vol. 13/14, Berlin 1931/32, pp. 265-266B;
D. Kirschenbaum, The Religious and Historical Paintings of Jan Steen, A Catalogue of Jan Steen works, Oxford 1977, p. 149, no. 6, fig. 128 (as not by Jan Steen);
A. Blankert et al., Johannes Vermeer van Delft: 1632-1675, Utrecht 1977, pp. 16-17;
K. Braun, Alle tot nu toe bekende schilderijen van Jan Steen, Rotterdam 1980, p. 162, no. B-9, ill. (as doubtful attribution to Jan Steen on the basis of a black and white photograph);
A. Blankert, Vermeer, Paris 1986, pp. 72, 74, fig. 54

The present picture is accompanied by a copy of a certificate of authenticity, dated 27 December 1990, by Karel Braun, confirming the attribution in full to Jan Steen on the basis of photographs.

The present picture is listed in the RKD database under no. 268221 (as Jan Steen).

It is archived on ConnectVermeer.org as by Jan Steen, ‘inspired by Johannes Vemeer’s Jesus in the House of Martha and Mary’. Connect Vermeer was created by curator Adriaan Waiboer, to accompany the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, Musée du Louvre, Paris, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin and National Gallery of Art, Washington, 22 February 2017 – 21 January 2018.

The present work is a remarkable testament to the inspiration and rivalry between two of the foremost artistic figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer. The canvas presented here by Jan Steen depicts Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, set within a contemporary Netherlandish interior, with an Italianate landscape beyond. This subject was also treated by Vermeer, himself likely influenced by a composition originating with the Fleming Erasmus Quellinus II, known throughout artistic circles from a circa 1597 engraving by Georg van den Velden after Quellinus II’s design (conserved in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, inv. no. L2012/3 17).

Braun writes that the pictorial typologies, overall eloquence and expressiveness of the composition convince him that the work is undoubtably from the hand of Steen. He notes the masterfully executed still-lifes of the fish on a trivet in the foreground, and the setting of the modest table around which the protagonists are arranged. He adds that the stone plinth upon which the action is set, characteristic of Steen and lending the scene a stage-like character, is signed in initials. He states that the signature is obviously original, and the way in which it is initialed, places the work fairly early in Steen’s career.

Blankert suggests Steen executed this picture during an absence from Leiden, his stay in Delft, which would put the date of execution around 1655. Comparing it to Vermeer’s picture, also completed that same year, Blankert comments on Steen’s more complex arrangement of the figures and differing style, but nevertheless remarks on the three principle actors similarly positioned around the table, and Steen’s use of full-length figures (see A. Blankert et. al., Johannes Vermeer van Delft: 1632-1675, Utrecht 1977, pp. 16-17).

As recounted in the Gospel of Luke, Mary chose to listen to the teachings of Jesus rather than help her sister Martha prepare food. Steen’s addition of two further male figures heightens the sense of communality and drama, while the turban of one of them authenticates the biblical setting. 

Steen, who like Vermeer’s wife (and possibly Vermeer himself) was also Catholic, has visualised Christ’s presence in domestic environs, with the saviour as the central figure, with typical still-lifes of fish and utensils discarded at the hearing of Jesus’s preaching. A popular story of the Counter-Reformation, the two serene figures of saints Martha and Mary are in contrast to the women one usually sees depicted in Steen’s work. The present picture, within Steen’s oeuvre, is noteworthy for its serene, proselytising ambience, and although a kitten is pictured licking the floor, the characteristic focus on a ‘comedy of manners’ typical of Steen is here absent in favour of an interplay with the composition of the great Delft Master,

Steen is recorded enrolling at the University of Leiden in 1646 and was a founder two years later, with Gabriel Metsu of the Leiden Guild of Saint Luke. His multi-faceted body of work may owe something to his varied and rich formation, first in the workshop of Utrecht history painter, Nicolaus Knüpfer, before joining genre and landscape painter Adriaen van Ostade, whose small, earthy figures inform Steen’s winter scenes, and then finally assisting Jan van Goyen.

Steen’s significance within the canon of Netherlandish painting comes from his masterful commentary on the traits of the often raucously depicted typical Dutch family, where the moral mores of his day – parental example, drinking and vice are, examined in compositions such as Soo voer gesongen, soo na gepepen or ‘as the old sing, so pipe the young’.

Although standing apart from his peers for his wry and witty view of the world, the present work is a fitting example of how the Leiden master of merry companies and dissolute households could turn his skill for compelling story-telling to interpreting the serenity and dignified register of his contemporary, the great Delft painter Vermeer.

Expert: Damian Brenninkmeyer Damian Brenninkmeyer
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

10.11.2020 - 16:00

Dosažená cena: **
EUR 222.900,-
Odhadní cena:
EUR 200.000,- do EUR 300.000,-

Jan Steen

[Saleroom Notice]

(Leiden 1626–1679)
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,
signed with initials lower right (on the step): IS,
oil on canvas, 106 x 89 cm, framed

Saleroom Notice:

Exhibited:
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Tentoonstelling Bijbelsche Kunst, 8 July – 8 October 1939, p. 80, no. 96 b

Provenance:
Collection of Graf Karl August von Kospoth (1836-1928), Schloss Briese, Niederschlesien, until 1932;
with D. Katz, Dieren, 1932;
Collection of Willem Petrus J. A. Weebers ten Bos (1899–1979), Nijmegen, circa 1932- 1979;
Collection of A. J. M. Deckers, Heerlen, until circa 2015;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
C. Hofstede de Groot/W. R.Valentiner, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth century based on the work of John Smith, vol. I, London 1908, p. 51A;
M. D. Henkel, Jan Steen und der Delfter Vermeer, in: A. Donath (ed.), Der Kunstwanderer: Zeitschrift für alte und neue Kunst, für Kunstmarkt und Sammelwesen, vol. 13/14, Berlin 1931/32, pp. 265-266B;
D. Kirschenbaum, The Religious and Historical Paintings of Jan Steen, A Catalogue of Jan Steen works, Oxford 1977, p. 149, no. 6, fig. 128 (as not by Jan Steen);
A. Blankert et al., Johannes Vermeer van Delft: 1632-1675, Utrecht 1977, pp. 16-17;
K. Braun, Alle tot nu toe bekende schilderijen van Jan Steen, Rotterdam 1980, p. 162, no. B-9, ill. (as doubtful attribution to Jan Steen on the basis of a black and white photograph);
A. Blankert, Vermeer, Paris 1986, pp. 72, 74, fig. 54

The present picture is accompanied by a copy of a certificate of authenticity, dated 27 December 1990, by Karel Braun, confirming the attribution in full to Jan Steen on the basis of photographs.

The present picture is listed in the RKD database under no. 268221 (as Jan Steen).

It is archived on ConnectVermeer.org as by Jan Steen, ‘inspired by Johannes Vemeer’s Jesus in the House of Martha and Mary’. Connect Vermeer was created by curator Adriaan Waiboer, to accompany the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, Musée du Louvre, Paris, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin and National Gallery of Art, Washington, 22 February 2017 – 21 January 2018.

The present work is a remarkable testament to the inspiration and rivalry between two of the foremost artistic figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer. The canvas presented here by Jan Steen depicts Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, set within a contemporary Netherlandish interior, with an Italianate landscape beyond. This subject was also treated by Vermeer, himself likely influenced by a composition originating with the Fleming Erasmus Quellinus II, known throughout artistic circles from a circa 1597 engraving by Georg van den Velden after Quellinus II’s design (conserved in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, inv. no. L2012/3 17).

Braun writes that the pictorial typologies, overall eloquence and expressiveness of the composition convince him that the work is undoubtably from the hand of Steen. He notes the masterfully executed still-lifes of the fish on a trivet in the foreground, and the setting of the modest table around which the protagonists are arranged. He adds that the stone plinth upon which the action is set, characteristic of Steen and lending the scene a stage-like character, is signed in initials. He states that the signature is obviously original, and the way in which it is initialed, places the work fairly early in Steen’s career.

Blankert suggests Steen executed this picture during an absence from Leiden, his stay in Delft, which would put the date of execution around 1655. Comparing it to Vermeer’s picture, also completed that same year, Blankert comments on Steen’s more complex arrangement of the figures and differing style, but nevertheless remarks on the three principle actors similarly positioned around the table, and Steen’s use of full-length figures (see A. Blankert et. al., Johannes Vermeer van Delft: 1632-1675, Utrecht 1977, pp. 16-17).

As recounted in the Gospel of Luke, Mary chose to listen to the teachings of Jesus rather than help her sister Martha prepare food. Steen’s addition of two further male figures heightens the sense of communality and drama, while the turban of one of them authenticates the biblical setting. 

Steen, who like Vermeer’s wife (and possibly Vermeer himself) was also Catholic, has visualised Christ’s presence in domestic environs, with the saviour as the central figure, with typical still-lifes of fish and utensils discarded at the hearing of Jesus’s preaching. A popular story of the Counter-Reformation, the two serene figures of saints Martha and Mary are in contrast to the women one usually sees depicted in Steen’s work. The present picture, within Steen’s oeuvre, is noteworthy for its serene, proselytising ambience, and although a kitten is pictured licking the floor, the characteristic focus on a ‘comedy of manners’ typical of Steen is here absent in favour of an interplay with the composition of the great Delft Master,

Steen is recorded enrolling at the University of Leiden in 1646 and was a founder two years later, with Gabriel Metsu of the Leiden Guild of Saint Luke. His multi-faceted body of work may owe something to his varied and rich formation, first in the workshop of Utrecht history painter, Nicolaus Knüpfer, before joining genre and landscape painter Adriaen van Ostade, whose small, earthy figures inform Steen’s winter scenes, and then finally assisting Jan van Goyen.

Steen’s significance within the canon of Netherlandish painting comes from his masterful commentary on the traits of the often raucously depicted typical Dutch family, where the moral mores of his day – parental example, drinking and vice are, examined in compositions such as Soo voer gesongen, soo na gepepen or ‘as the old sing, so pipe the young’.

Although standing apart from his peers for his wry and witty view of the world, the present work is a fitting example of how the Leiden master of merry companies and dissolute households could turn his skill for compelling story-telling to interpreting the serenity and dignified register of his contemporary, the great Delft painter Vermeer.

Expert: Damian Brenninkmeyer Damian Brenninkmeyer
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com


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

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Alte Meister
Datum: 10.11.2020 - 16:00
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 04.11. - 10.11.2020


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