Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Crowning of thorns

Campo & Campo, Belgium, sells on 29 November 2016 an "Old Master, 16th century" Mocking of Christ, a rather large (107 by 71 cm) oil on panel without an estimate.

The auction catalogue adds that it was described as "Derick Baegert" at a previous sale in 1969. It is not really a Mocking of Christ, more a Crowning of Thorns, with the Flagellation in the background.

It is a work of considerable quality, but hard to put a precise name on it. I have discussed the iconography in a previous post (where I rather stupidly noticed the mechanism to put the crown of thorns on the head of Christ for the first time, even though it is standard in these paintings). This time, the addition of the Flagellation in the background is a bonus, but not a unique invention.

Insome aspects the closest composition I could find is probably this one from the workshop of Cornelis Engebrechtsz., from the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin. But the painting for sale is (or looks) older or more archaic, and seems more likely to be from the end of the 15th century, and probably German. Both works have that strange element of the man kneeling in front of Christ pointing to his mouth (instead of holding out a stick, the usual element one can find here).

The above by Jan Joest of Kalkar (1450-1520) also shows the same asic composition, and is already closer in time and place.

Derick Baegert is too good an artist to be responsible for this painting, but perhaps Jan Baegert is a possibility. This Flagellation and Crowning by him is still more restrained and refined than the work for sale though.

What's it worth? 8,000 to 10,000 Euro says my gut instinct.

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