Monday, 10 April 2017

"Follower of Philippe de Champaigne" is Follower of Frans Francken instead

Crait+Müller, from Paris (part of the Drouot empire), sells on 29 April 2017 a "17th century French school, follower of Philippe de Champaigne" Crucifixion, estimated at 800 to 1200 Euro.

I can't see any resemblance to de Champaigne, the work is a typical School of Frans Francken composition.

I discussed similar works already a long time ago, in March 2015, when a much better version was sold at Drouot. That blog included a few very similar works, with only the central panel different.

The system of the Franckens can be seen beautifully in these works. This version had a fixed border, but with alternative scenes where needed; e.g. in the lower example, there is a crucifixion scene on the right. In the one for sale, and the upper example, the crucufixion is already the central scene, so repeating this as a border scene would be weird, and it gets replaced with a not really clear scene, perhaps an element from a Last Judgment?

The upper example is identical to the one for sale, but for a minor variation in the central crucifixion. That one was sold in 2011 for 2,400 Euro. The one for sale now is perhaps a bit less appealing, as it lacks a splash of colour and is a cheap or late Francken work, not one of the very good more original ones which fetch 10,000 Euro and more quite easily, but at 800 Euro, it would be a very nice bargain, and it should be worth closer to 2,000 Euro.

A much more elaborate example can be seen in the Museum M in Leuven, Belgium.

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