• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1986

    Important Old Master Paintings Part I And Part II

    15 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 9

    The Brunswick Monogrammist, Flemish, active second quarter of the 16th Century

    A young boy with a dog

    Price Realised  

    The Brunswick Monogrammist, Flemish, active second quarter of the 16th Century
    A young boy with a dog
    oil on panel
    10¼ x 8¼ in. 26 x 21 cm.


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    This landscape is reminiscent of those attributed to the Flemish painter known as the Brunswick Monogrammist, active during the second quarter of the 16th century, in the long views leading to distant hills articulated with fine details. The Brunswick Monogrammist is considered a precursor of Pieter Bruegel the Elder in his efforts toward an increased naturalism while still using the old tools of the previous generation of painters: aerial perspective, the division of the landscape into three distinct zones, and the use of figures throughout to indicate the recession of space. His moniker comes from a Feeding of the Poor (Herzog-Anton-Ulrich Museum, Brunswick), signed with a monogram found only on this panel and composed of the interlocking letters J, V, A, M, S and L. The most likely candidate seems to be Jan van Amstel, believed to be the brother of Pieter Aertsen, though scholarship remains inconclusive.

    The figure of the young boy is similar to figures in works by Jan Swart, an early sixteenth-century Netherlandish artist originally from Groningen and known to be active in Antwerp around 1525. According to van Mander, Swart painted landscapes and figures in the style of Jan van Scorel, a slightly older artist whose style had an international flavor following travels to Italy. Van Mander also compared Swart's landscapes to those of Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Swart's figural type, like the present young boy, is attenuated, with elongated proportions and complex postures.