• Old Masters and 19th Century A auction at Christies

    Sale 7842

    Old Masters and 19th Century Art

    30 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 15

    Hendrick van Balen I (Antwerp c. 1574/5-1632) and Jan Breughel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)

    The Baptism of Christ

    Price Realised  

    Hendrick van Balen I (Antwerp c. 1574/5-1632) and Jan Breughel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)
    The Baptism of Christ
    oil on panel
    55½ x 79½ in. (141 x 202 cm.)


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    One of Hendrick van Balen's most ambitious paintings and apparently his largest surviving work on panel, this picture has been dated to circa 1620 by Bettine Werche (loc. cit.). She compares it to the Gathering of Manna, another large-scale, multi-figural composition (canvas, 166 x 241 cm.), in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, which features a similarly posed female anchoring the picture in the right corner. In this period, van Balen was frequently working in collaboration with his friend, Jan Breughel the Elder, and the latter's son Jan Breughel the Younger, to whom the landscape in this work was first attributed by Dr. Klaus Ertz (certificate, dated 18 January 1985) and latterly endorsed by Werche (loc. cit.).

    A copy on canvas (100 x 218 cm.), given to the van Balen workshop is in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (inv. 952).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 22 February 1984, lot 66, as 'Hendrick van Balen'.
    with Chaucer Fine Arts, London, 1985, from whom acquired by the present owner.


    Literature

    B. Werche, Hendrick van Balen, Turnhout, 2004, I, pp. 143-4, no. A24; II, p. 333, illustrated.