• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7575

    Old Master and British Pictures

    25 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 71

    Attributed to Gaspar van den Hoecke (Antwerp c. 1585-before 1661)

    Nausicaa and her maidens in a landscape

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Attributed to Gaspar van den Hoecke (Antwerp c. 1585-before 1661)
    Nausicaa and her maidens in a landscape
    oil on canvas
    63½ x 95 in. (161.3 x 241.4 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The scene is from the Odyssey, Book VI: Nausicaa, Princess of Phæcia, is visited by the goddess Athena in a dream, who instructs her to take her serving maids to the river to wash her costly robes. After finishing their laundry, the princess and her maidens eat, and shortly thereafter encounter the shipwrecked Odysseus. Van den Hoecke depicts the moment as the laundry is being finished and the meal prepared, shortly before the appearance of the wandering hero. At right, some of the maidens are still using the 'washing trenches' mentioned by Homer (Book VI, line 93), while at centre others bring plates laden with fruit. In contrast to his contemporary Jacob Jordaens, whose paintings delight in finding moments of the commonplace in scenes of high literature, van den Hoecke invests all details of the scene with the utmost dignity, transforming Nausicaa's mule-driven cart into a chariot pulled by elegant horses. Van den Hoecke assisted Sir Peter Paul Rubens with the execution of designs for the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi... in 1635, and increasingly came under the influence of Rubens and Hendrick van Balen I--as is demonstrated by the present picture, the only known work of this period.

    We are grateful to Professor Elizabeth McGrath for her help with this note.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.