Monday, 13 March 2017

"Circle of Jan Brueghel II" is circle of Ferdinand van Kessel and Peter Casteels

Kendzia, from Hamburg, Germany, sells on 24 March 2017 a "Circle of Jan Brueghel II" Allegorical Scene, estimated at 9,000 Euro.

It is an Allegory of Taste, and while Jan Brueghel has painted similar scenes, this one seems particularly close to the works of Frans Wouters (1612-1659) (example was for sale for 50,000 Euro but remained unsold). The work offered here is a large oil on copper (55 by 72 cm), typical (though not exclusive) for the region and painters around Jan Brueghel.

The Wouters has also been copied by Jan Van Kessel the Elder (1626-1679).

The work for sale clearly is based on a reversal of motifs by Wouters, even though it isn't an exact copy.
The actual  origin of this painting, based on Wouters, was a work by Ferdinand van Kessel and Peter Casteels though (found via RKD, shown topmost, work for sale below it for easy comparison). It was for sale at Koller in 2008 (80,000 Swiss Francs) and 2009 (60,000 Swiss Francs), but both times remained unsold. The work for sale now is in worse condition, but even so it looks to me like a less well executed work, especially the central female figure (Venus? A well-clothed Venus in that case). It is not a real copy, enough details are different, but it obviously is the same composition.

The estimate seems a bit too high taking these things into consideration, but it still is an attractive work which is in dire need of cleanup and perhaps restoration (and if you are really lucky, it has been partially overpainted and you find an original Kessel / Casteels anyway!)

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