Wednesday, 12 October 2016

"Circle of Hendrick van Cleve III" is by Lucas van Valckenborch

De Vuyst, Belgium, sells on 22 October 2016 a "Circle of Hendrick van Cleve III" Tower of Babel, estimated at 6,000 to 9,000 Euro.

Hendrick van Cleve III is one the most prolific of the Flemish Babel painters, and in June I highlighted a huge work by or after him.

This Tower however is a "Circle of" or even "Attributed to" Lucas van Valckenborch, another of those Babel painters, since the work for sale is a copy or alternative version of a work I already displayed during the discussion of yet another Babel painting sale in March 2015 (many of these were made, but they are still popular and often wonderful to look at). This version can be found in the Museum of Strasbourg.

The one for sale now is much more detailed though, and much more precisely painted, which is unusual for a copy or for the work of a follower. The way the tower is constructed (e.g. the arches, the flying buttresses, ...) and the general look of the work are closer to another work attributed to the hardly known Lucas van Valckenborch II, from the Museum of Geneva.

It looks as if this work is either the original or much closer to the original, and that both the work from the Strasbourg Museum and the work from the Geneva Museum are copies after it. This is to me more likely than the reverse, that a very skilled copyist took elements from two paintings and created this new one. It thus seems to be a work from either Lucas van Valckenborch or his Workshop, and should be worth at least 20,000 Euro.

UPDATE: sold for 14,000 Euro, double the estimate, but if I'm right still a bargain.

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