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Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601–1678) and Jan Boeckhorst (Münster/Rees 1604–1668 Antwerp)
Lot No. 626 
Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601–1678) and Jan Boeckhorst (Münster/Rees 1604–1668 Antwerp)

Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601–1678) and Jan Boeckhorst (Münster/Rees 1604–1668 Antwerp)

Sleeping Nymphs observed by Satyrs,
oil on panel, 61 x 106 cm, framed

We are grateful to Dr. Klaus Ertz for identifying Jan Brueghel the Younger as the painter of the landscape, the dog and the hunted wild animals, and Jan Boeckhorst as the painter of the figures. A certificate is available.

The present work is evidence that the two Flemish artists, Jan Brueghel the Younger and Jan Boeckhorst, worked together. According to Ertz, the painting was executed in Antwerp towards the end of the 1630s. He regards the artistic contribution of both painters to have been equal in their dynamism, animation and contrast, lending the painting its appearance as a homogenous whole.

The model for the present painting is a representation of Sleeping Nymphs Observed by Satyrs by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens (Paris, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Inv. 68-3-2), in which the lowered point of sight effectively draws the viewer into the painting. Ertz describes the dense crowd of people and animals in the lower half of the painting as something new. The figures shown in the foreground are “composed” as if on a stage, leaving little space for the landscape. However, they serve to extend the depth of the stage, and suggest that which is not shown: the hunt.

The influence of Peter Paul Rubens, Antony van Dyck and Jakob Jordaens can be seen in Jan Boeckhorst’s work. The muscular movements of the satyrs indicate the influence of Jordaens and the late Rubens.
In the plasticity of the figures and the strong relationship between the figures and space, Boeckhorst‘s style is typical of the 1630s. He had a fondness for soft and transparent shadows over the faces of the people he depicted.

Brueghel the Younger’s hunting dogs are also defined by light and shadow, an imaginary light source in the upper left corner illuminating the women’s bodies and shaping the athletic bodies of both satyrs. A cherub links the group of women’s bodies in their complex contortions with that of the dogs. The painting is full of contrasts: the fairness of the women’s bodies against the dark satyrs, the black-and-white dogs compared to the brown and white, and the light, and even brighter, areas of leaves on the trees at the front set against the dark wood.

In the chromaticity of the landscape, the painterly, spirited brushstrokes and the summary handling of the painting’s details, we see clearly how Brueghel the Younger has emancipated himself from his father.

Although sources indicate that the two artists first cooperated in 1660, it is possible that they had worked together since 1626. It was in 1626 that Boeckhorst settled in Antwerp, and Jan Brueghel the Younger had arrived back the previous year from his journey to Italy. Ertz compares the present work with other compositions by Jan Brueghel the Younger and Jan Boeckhorst, such as Diana’s Sleeping Nymphs Observed by Satyrs (Paris, Galerie d’Art St. Honorè; Amsterdam, Galerie Watermann 1982) or Nymphs, Satyr and Bacchanten with Leopards (German private collection).

Specialist: Mark MacDonnell

Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601–1678) and Jan Boeckhorst (Münster/Rees 1604–1668 Antwerp)
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  • realized price**
    EUR 49,100
    USD 56,000
  • estimate
    EUR 40,000 to 60,000
    USD 45,500 to 68,500

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Old Master Paintings
Date: 17.04.2013, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 06.04. - 17.04.2013

**Purchase price incl. all charges, commissions and taxes

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