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    Sale 7644

    Old Master Prints

    2 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 2

    After Pieter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525-1569) by Jan or Lucas van Doetecum

    The Kermis of Saint George (Bastelaer 207; Lari 164, Hollstein 42)

    Price Realised  

    After Pieter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525-1569) by Jan or Lucas van Doetecum
    The Kermis of Saint George (Bastelaer 207; Lari 164, Hollstein 42)
    etching with engraving, circa 1559, watermark Monogram C (Heawood 3179), a fine, rich impression of Hollstein's first state (of two), extremely rare, trimmed on or just within the platemark but retaining a strip of blank paper outside the borderline on all sides, two skilfully flattened vertical folds (one central and one along the right edge) with a few associated splits and minor discolouration, a short skilfully repaired tear at the right sheet edge, a few minor nicks at the sheet edges, an unobtrusive printer's crease at the lower right and a smaller crease with minor associated ink loss, otherwise in good condition, framed
    S. 340 x 527 mm.


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    'As usual, Brueghel allows an impartial observer to comment on the scene, imitating a device used in popular theatre. Here, it is the man on the right of two standing together in the foreground. He glances at us over his shoulder and, with a sweep of the hand, draws our attention to the festivities in the village. Although the work has an ironic undertone of moral superiority, Bruegel's aim was not to caricature peasant life, as many commentators suggest. This is essentially a scene of people enjoying a day out - the gentry even more than the peasants. There is food and drink in abundance, with entertainment in the form of dancing, sword-dancing and a mock battle between Saint George and the dragon, popinjay shooting near the windmill, banner waving at the church, a busy market, a play being performed in the background, and games of all kinds, many of which are still popular in Flanders today.' (Sellink p. 132)

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    G. Storck (1766-1836), Milan (L. 2319), inscribed Milano 1799 In. No. 10297
    Unidentified, an 18th century inscription in pencil verso
    Possibly G. D. Faccioli (early 19th century), Verona (L. 1146b) An unidentified collector's mark, initials vh (not in Lugt)


    Literature

    Manfred Sellink, Bruegel - The Complete Paintings, Drawings and Prints, Ludion, Bruges, 2007, no. 78, p. 132.