You are using an outdated browser!

In order to be able to use our website fully functional, you should install a current browser version. You can find a list of recommended browser versions right here.



Lot No. 52


Hendrik van Balen I and Jan Brueghel I


Hendrik van Balen I and Jan Brueghel I - Old Master Paintings

(Antwerp c. 1575–1632)

(Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp)
Minerva Visits the Nine Muses (Ovid, Met. V, 250-268),
oil on copper, 50 x 66 cm, framed

On the reverse the dated (1608) panel maker’s mark by Peter Staas.

Provenance:
Private collection, England;
sale, Sotheby’s, London, 16 April 1980, lot 6 (as Hendrick van Balen I);
Private collection, Germany;
Private collection, Switzerland

Literature:
K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel d. J., Freren, 1984, pp. 70, 80, 418, no. 257, plate 53 (as Jan Brueghel II)

The present painting comes with an old certificate compiled by Klaus Ertz in which he assigned the landscape to Jan Brueghel II (29 December 1981). At the time when Ertz wrote the certificate and even when his monograph on Jan Brueghel II was published, he was not aware of the presence of a stamped mark of panel maker Peter Staas, dated 1608, on the reverse of the painting (fig. 1). The identification of the painter of the landscape, the flowers, and the musical instruments as Jan Brueghel I is based on the stupendous quality of the present painting and on the panel maker’s dated mark. In 1608, the artist’s son, Jan Brueghel II, was only seven years old and must therefore be ruled out.

Ertz identified the figures in this mythological scene, which refers to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In 1984 he wrote: ‘All of the figures are by the hand of Hendrik van Balen I; from left to right appear two singers – Euterpe, Erato, Terpsichore, or Calliope (?); Minerva – equipped with a lance, shield, and helmet; Urania – with a lute (in the seventeenth century, the queen among the instruments); Polyhymnia – with a cello; Melpomene – with a transverse flute; Thalia – with a ‘lira da braccio’ (a kind of violin); Clio – with an organ; a nude viewed from behind and a singer – Euterpe, Erato, Terpsichore, or Calliope (?) […].’

In the early seventeenth century, Minerva and the Muses was a popular subject among German and Dutch Mannerists, such as Bartholomäus Spranger, Joachim Wtewael, and Hendrik de Clerck. It offered artists the opportunity to depict female nudes and exotically dressed women in fantastic scenes and in combination with precious musical instruments. Moses Striking the Rock, also on copper and identical in size, is another joint work by Hendrick van Balen I and Jan Brueghel I and can be compared to the present painting in terms of the refined composition and brilliant colours (sold at Claude Agutte’s, Paris, on 7 December 2012, lot 20 for € 969,000).

Hendrick van Balen I became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke when he was only seventeen years old. In 1609 he was appointed chairman of the guild. He was a highly gifted figure painter and is documented to have contributed the staffage to landscapes by such artists as Jan Brueghel I, Jan Brueghel II, Gillis van Coninxloo, Frans Francken II, Abel Grimmer, Jan van Kessel I, Joos de Momper, Frans Snyders, Jan Tilens, Lucas van Uden, Sebastian Vrancx, and Jan Wildens. Only few examples of his collaboration with Jan Brueghel I have survived. Small, elegant figures and subtly executed nudes are typical of his art. In the present painting, Balen presents himself at the acme of his skills as a figure painter. He succeeded in felicitously combining a refined, yet balanced composition with jewel-like, shining colours. Jan Brueghel I congenially painted the landscape background and the still life elements. In a joint effort, these two exceptionally talented artists have created a painting that numbers among the masterpieces of their period.



Additional image:
Panelmaker‘s mark on the reverse

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

damian.brenninkmeyer@dorotheum.at

19.04.2016 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 260,000.-
Estimate:
EUR 300,000.- to EUR 500,000.-

Hendrik van Balen I and Jan Brueghel I


(Antwerp c. 1575–1632)

(Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp)
Minerva Visits the Nine Muses (Ovid, Met. V, 250-268),
oil on copper, 50 x 66 cm, framed

On the reverse the dated (1608) panel maker’s mark by Peter Staas.

Provenance:
Private collection, England;
sale, Sotheby’s, London, 16 April 1980, lot 6 (as Hendrick van Balen I);
Private collection, Germany;
Private collection, Switzerland

Literature:
K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel d. J., Freren, 1984, pp. 70, 80, 418, no. 257, plate 53 (as Jan Brueghel II)

The present painting comes with an old certificate compiled by Klaus Ertz in which he assigned the landscape to Jan Brueghel II (29 December 1981). At the time when Ertz wrote the certificate and even when his monograph on Jan Brueghel II was published, he was not aware of the presence of a stamped mark of panel maker Peter Staas, dated 1608, on the reverse of the painting (fig. 1). The identification of the painter of the landscape, the flowers, and the musical instruments as Jan Brueghel I is based on the stupendous quality of the present painting and on the panel maker’s dated mark. In 1608, the artist’s son, Jan Brueghel II, was only seven years old and must therefore be ruled out.

Ertz identified the figures in this mythological scene, which refers to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In 1984 he wrote: ‘All of the figures are by the hand of Hendrik van Balen I; from left to right appear two singers – Euterpe, Erato, Terpsichore, or Calliope (?); Minerva – equipped with a lance, shield, and helmet; Urania – with a lute (in the seventeenth century, the queen among the instruments); Polyhymnia – with a cello; Melpomene – with a transverse flute; Thalia – with a ‘lira da braccio’ (a kind of violin); Clio – with an organ; a nude viewed from behind and a singer – Euterpe, Erato, Terpsichore, or Calliope (?) […].’

In the early seventeenth century, Minerva and the Muses was a popular subject among German and Dutch Mannerists, such as Bartholomäus Spranger, Joachim Wtewael, and Hendrik de Clerck. It offered artists the opportunity to depict female nudes and exotically dressed women in fantastic scenes and in combination with precious musical instruments. Moses Striking the Rock, also on copper and identical in size, is another joint work by Hendrick van Balen I and Jan Brueghel I and can be compared to the present painting in terms of the refined composition and brilliant colours (sold at Claude Agutte’s, Paris, on 7 December 2012, lot 20 for € 969,000).

Hendrick van Balen I became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke when he was only seventeen years old. In 1609 he was appointed chairman of the guild. He was a highly gifted figure painter and is documented to have contributed the staffage to landscapes by such artists as Jan Brueghel I, Jan Brueghel II, Gillis van Coninxloo, Frans Francken II, Abel Grimmer, Jan van Kessel I, Joos de Momper, Frans Snyders, Jan Tilens, Lucas van Uden, Sebastian Vrancx, and Jan Wildens. Only few examples of his collaboration with Jan Brueghel I have survived. Small, elegant figures and subtly executed nudes are typical of his art. In the present painting, Balen presents himself at the acme of his skills as a figure painter. He succeeded in felicitously combining a refined, yet balanced composition with jewel-like, shining colours. Jan Brueghel I congenially painted the landscape background and the still life elements. In a joint effort, these two exceptionally talented artists have created a painting that numbers among the masterpieces of their period.



Additional image:
Panelmaker‘s mark on the reverse

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

damian.brenninkmeyer@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 19.04.2016 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 09.04. - 19.04.2016


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

It is not possible to turn in online buying orders anymore. The auction is in preparation or has been executed already.