Thursday, 29 March 2018

"17th century" painting is copy after lost Abraham van Diepenbeeck

Rops, from Belgium, sells on 22 April 2018 a "17th century" Flagellation, estimated at 200 to 300 Euro.

It seems to be a copy after an unknown painting by Abraham van Diepenbeeck. The quality seems insufficient for it to be the original, unless the quality is hidden beneath layers of overpaint.

The RKD shows a coloured engraving of the same Christ figure, by Alex Voet after Van Diepenbeeck. This is supposed to be an engraving after an older engraving by Cornelis Galle, also after Diepenbeeck, but I haven't been able to find that engraving, so I can't judge whether the painting for sale isn't simply a painting after that engraving.

I have found a few other engravings of similar compositions in the database of the Rijksmuseum though.

Both are said on the print to be by Hieronymus Wierix and thus somewhat older. As Van Diepenbeeck started painting around 1622, and Wierix died before 1619, it seems as if the original creator of this composition wasn't van Diepenbeeck after all!

I have also found another engraving by Galle after Diepenbeeck which shows the next scene, and which features the same elements.

All in all, we have a rather run-of-the-mill 17th century Flemish painting which is more important art historically than artistically, but even so it is cheap at 200 Euro.

UPDATE: sold for 240 Euro, auction house estimate was right on the ball after all.

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