Joachim Wtewael (Utrecht 1566-1638)
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Joachim Wtewael (Utrecht 1566-1638)

Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus

Details
Joachim Wtewael (Utrecht 1566-1638)
Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus
oil on copper, oval
4½ x 3 3/8 in. (11.2 x 8.6 cm.)
Provenance
(Possibly) Anonymous Sale; Amsterdam, 17 September 1766, lot 69, 'De Alliantie of Vereeniging van Bacchus en Ceres, zonder welken Venus kwynt; de Liefde is het eindoogmerk dezer Vereeniging; het Stukje is in't ovaal en zeer uitvoerig op koper geschildert, door Joachim Uittewaal; hoog 4, breet 3 1/2 duimen' (sold 50 florins).
(Possibly) Diderick, Baron van Leyden, Heer van Vlaardingen (d. 1811), Huis met de Hoofden, Amsterdam; (+) sale, Schley, Amsterdam, 13 May 1811, lot 22, 'Bacchus, Venus en Ceres, verzeld van Kupido. Zeer uitvoerig geschilderd. Hoog 4, breed 3,1/2 duinen. Koper, ovaal'.
Anonymous Sale; Sotheby's, New York, 3 June 1988, lot 29.
With Robert Noortman, Maastricht, 1995, acquired by
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-81).
Special notice

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Lot Essay

This work has been accepted by Dr. Anne Lowenthal as an autograph work by Joachim Wtewael; Dr. Lowenthal notes the existence of a drawing of the same composition in the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen, Berlin (inv. no. 11. 766), which may be a preparatory work, as well as of another drawing, of the same format and subject, to which the figure of Bacchus relates (ibid., inv. no. 5944).

The subject was a popular one in seventeenth-century Northern art, drawing from a quotation from Eunuchus (v. 732) by the Roman comic dramatist Terence (Publius Terentius Afer [193/83-159 B.C.]). It implied that love - personified by Venus - could not thrive without the stimuli of feasting - represented by Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture - and wine - by Bacchus, God of Wine.
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