Friday, 25 May 2018

"German" Triumph of Death is copy after Maarten van Heemskerck

Galerie Bassenge, from Germany, sells (in a specialized "Memento Mori" auction, nice!) on 31 May 2018 a "German, ca. 1600" Triumph of Death, a small oil on copper (18 by 26 cm) estimated at 1,200 Euro.

Someone has attributed the work to Georg Pencz on the back, and this is understandable considering the rather similar engraving after Pencz of the same topic, from between 1500 and 1550. This copy comes from the Met museum.

But the work is actually a copy after an engraving by Philips Galle after a work by Maarten van Heemskerck from 1565, with the exact same composition and dimensions. This copy is from the British Museum. It seems probable that Van Heemskerck was inspired by the Pencz engraving though.

The estimated value is probably about right, as such images still appeal to a modern taste and not too many old painted copies of this work are known.

UPDATE: sold for 1,600 Euro.

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