Friday, 17 February 2017

Another version of an Adoration I discussed earlier: workshop of Pieter Coecke

Hargesheimer, from Germany, sells on 11 March 2017 an "Antwerp School, ca. 1520-1550" Adoration of the Magi, estimated at 20,000 Euro.

It is probably the central panel of a triptych, and is a very good example of the composition I already discussed at length in June 2015 for an auction at Sotheby's Paris.

The one offered now seems to be a very good work, not up there with the best works of Pieter Coecke perhaps, but certainly good enough to be labeled Workshop of Coecke.

Coecke, Adoration, Musée National de la Renaissance, France

Coecke, Adoration, Dorotheum sale, 2015: estimate 100,000 to 150,000 Euro

Coecke, Adoration, Museum of Troyes
A small detail like the pinkish colour of the turban-crown, while in itself not definitive evidence of who painted this, is a recurring touch in many related Coecke works.

The work was for sale at Dorotheum in April 2016, then correctly described as "Workshop of Coecke", with an estimate of 35,000 to 45,000 Euro. I wonder whether the changed description is the genuine belief of the auctioneer or seller that this isn't a Workshop of Ceocke work, or an attempt to hide the fact that this work has failed to sell less than a year ago and to present it as new on the market and a possible sleeper discovery?

In any case, the estimate seems correct, even though it has likely lost its wings.

UPDATE: a reader alerted me to the German description of this work at the auctioneer, which is a lot more elaborate and mentions the origin of this composition with Pieter Coecke, but considers this version to be somewhat more remote, hence the "Antwerp School" generic description.  So no attempts to hide anything, just another opinion or a more cautious approach, and an English description which is a lot shorter and which caused my confusion.

UPDATE 2: sold for 26,000 Euro, as expected.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr. Mouton, in the description it is said: vermutlich auf den niederländischen Maler Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502-1550) zurück, welcher in Antwerpen ein Atelier führte. Der Künstler der vorliegenden Anbetung dürfte mit dessen Werk bestens vertraut gewesen sein.


    Stephan Scherer