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Hans Rottenhammer and Jan Brueghel
Lot No. 524 
Hans Rottenhammer and Jan Brueghel

Hans Rottenhammer and Jan Brueghel

Hans Rottenhammer (Munich 1564–1625 Augsburg) and Jan Brueghel I (Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp)
Preparation for the Wedding of Poseidon and Amphitrite,
oil on canvas, 154.5 x 195 cm, framed

Verber collection, Seville, for the last 80-100 years

This painting is accompanied by an extensive certificate by Dr. Klaus Ertz..The collaboration between the two painters, Rottenhammer and Jan Brueghel I, began in Rome around 1595 and seems to have ended in 1610, since no traces of this fruitful collaboration dating from after this point have been detected. Their cooperation marks the beginning of a new Flemish fashion: the collaboration between various specialists in one and the same painting, which flourished until the middle of the 17th century. In Ertz´s opinion “the present painting was executed in Italy, which is not only corroborated by the work’s stylistic resemblances to comparable compositions, but also by the fact that canvas was used as a support, as well as the painting’s dimensions: both artists lived and worked in Venice during the mid 1590s. The works of both artists dating from a later period were almost exclusively painted on copper; Brueghel, who then lived in Antwerp, usually sent them to Rottenhammer in Venice, who subsequently returned them. In the painting in question, Rottenhammer first painted the figural scene, which was then complemented by Jan Brueghel with a rocky landscape, trees, and reeds. This becomes particularly noticeable in the two figures in the left foreground, as individual flowers by Brueghel’s hand overlap with the figures’ bare backs. Stylistic features characteristic of both artists also manifest themselves in the present painting, such as the figure style of beauty and superior painterly quality dependent on Venetian models. The well-balanced figures perfectly blend in with the delicately rendered landscape. The manner of painting, betraying a sense of subtlety and love of detail, is as unmistakable as the transparency of the glazes, which lend the works of both artists this amazing impression of three-dimensionality….”

As to the present painting’s integration into the oeuvre of both artists, Ertz refers to the following comparable joint products by these two artists:
1. Andromeda and Perseus (c. 1595, Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, 2008);
2. Circe and Ulysses (dated 1595, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto);
3. The Judgement of Midas (dated 1599, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge);
4. The Feast of the Gods (dated 1600, Hermitage, St. Petersburg);
5. Dancing Putti (c. 1600, Alte Pinakothek, Munich).

Ertz continues: “By far most of the paintings resulting from this collaboration between Rottenhammer and Brueghel were done in Italy around 1595, with Rottenhammer always helping his colleague out with his figures, for the latter’s skills were rather limited in this respect. Jan Brueghel was a versatilely gifted artist, especially as a landscapist, but he did not have a talent for painting beautiful nude women. So it was only understandable that he relied on the assistance of a colleague specialized in female nudes, which also holds true for the present composition….”

It should be noted that all of the figures in this painting are by the hand of Hans Rottenhammer, whereas the landscape, with its flora and fauna, was painted by Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Specialist: Damian Brenninkmeyer

Hans Rottenhammer and Jan Brueghel
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  • estimate
    EUR 250,000 to 350,000
    USD 284,000 to 397,000

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Old Master Paintings
Date: 15.10.2013, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 05.10. - 15.10.2013

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