Thursday, 8 June 2017

An anonymous "Saint Luke paints the Virgin" of ca. 1550

Brussels Art Auctions sells on 13 June 2017 a "Flemish School ca. 1500" Saint Luc painting the Virgin, a tondo estimated at 2,000 to 3,000 Euro.

The work is known in a few copies, one very similar (or the same) for sale in London with Knoedler in 1947 (info from RKD), and one sold at Bernaerts in Belgium in 2008, which was slightly better painted (also via RKD).

The origin of these works seems to be a panel by Lanceloot Blondeel (1498-1561), a much better work with some variations but with enough similarities to suppose some link. The way Sint Lucas is positioned, his hat, the panel in front of him, seem to form the basis for the work for sale.

Other elements though seem to come (in reverse) from  a work by Maerten de Vos (1532-1603). These include the backpack (?) of Saunt Luke, and the person to the side pushing something on a table (Saint Joseph at work in this case, an angel n the work for sale).

This would mean that the ca. 1500 date is too early, and that a date after 1525 is much more likely (based on the Blondeel) or even after 1550 (if the De Vos is considered relevant as well). The estimate is a bit steep, it really isn't a very attractive work, but it is not the most common theme and in any case quite old, so still an interesting work.

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