Tuesday, 14 March 2017

"Circle of Frans de Momper" is another Circle of Hendrick van Cleve III Tower of Babel

Schlosser, from Germany, sells on 25 March 2017 a "Circle of Frans de Momper" Tower of Babel as lot 707, estimated at 5,800 Euro.

It is a weaker copy of some works I already showed in a previous blog post, the first of which was sold at Sotheby's in 2016 for 37,500 Euro. The current work uses some of the elements on the right especially, like the arched bridge and the white mountain behind it.

Some other elements come from another Cleve III, this time from the Kroller Muller Museum. Most striking is the arched raised path on the left, with the surrounding buildings. But also the small round pavilion at the corner of the Tower reappears, somewhat to the right, in the work for sale. The Tower itself is closer to the Sotheby's version though.

The work for sale is a bit more sketchy and unfinished than many other Babel paintings, and seems to be a copy: still it is a perpetually popular subject so the estimate may well be right.

UPDATE: the same work is now for sale, on 26 June 2017, at Millon, as a Folllower of Hendrick van Cleve III, estimated at 15,000 to 20,000 Euro. Nice to see my attribution confirmed here!

UPDATE 2: and now, 25 April 2018, for sale at Bonham's as "Circle of Hendrick van Cleve III", estimated at £6,000 to £8,000, or a bit above the original estimate but way below the Millon one. Being offered for sale in Germany, France and the UK in slightly over one year: let's hope it sells now and gets some rest, as it is too good a work to remain unloved.

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