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    Sale 3066

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - including Dutch Impressionism

    15 - 16 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 29

    Circle of Adriaen Isenbrant (? c1480-1551 Bruges)

    Triptych of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, with Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Barbara

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Circle of Adriaen Isenbrant (? c1480-1551 Bruges)
    Triptych of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, with Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Barbara
    oil on panel
    85 x 58 cm. (centre piece); and 85 x 25 cm. (wings)


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    The composition of the centre piece derives from Adriaen Isenbrant’s triptychs of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Two triptychs by Isenbrant depicting this rare subject are known; one triptych was recently sold with Christie’s Paris, 14 September 2016, lot 16; the other one is in the National Museum, Warsaw. The lateral wings of the present work differ from these prototypes, depicting Saint Catharine and Saint Barbara. Datable to circa 1520-30, the present work is an addition to at least three further known triptychs with variants after Isenbrant. The subject derives from the iconography of the Immaculate Conception, which emerged from theological debates during the 15th and 16th century. Isenbrant’s composition appears to have been inspired by a print published in the Livre d’heures à l’usage de Rome by the German engraver Thielman Kerver in 1502. Depictions of the Litany of the blessed Virgin seem rather rare and this might indicate they may been commissioned for a local group of patrons in Bruges for private devotion.
    The Virgin in prayer hovers in a blue nimbus in a mantel decorated with with golden stars. Around her, Marian symbols are arranged, comparable to the order of the print of Kerver, and indicating her virtues (´bright like the sun', ´beautiful like the moon', ´mirror without stains', etc.). Referring to texts of the Old Testament (mainly the Song of Songs and the Psalms), these emblems recall the pure and virginal nature of the Virgin.

    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 24 November 1941, lot 120, as Jacob van Oostsanen.
    Anonymous sale; Galeries Nackers, Brussels, 20 December 1948, lot 95, as Jan Mostaert.
    Collection Robert Van de Kerchove d'Hallebast, from whom acquired by the present owner before 1980.



    Pre-Lot Text

    The property of a Noble Lady (lots 29, 55)


    Literature

    Prisme: guilde internationale des arts et des lettres, July 1949, no. 7, ill. on the cover, as Jan Mostaert.