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Workshop of Hieronymus Bosch (? c. 1450-1516 Hertogenbosch)
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Workshop of Hieronymus Bosch (? c. 1450-1516 Hertogenbosch)

The Last Judgement

Workshop of Hieronymus Bosch (? c. 1450-1516 Hertogenbosch)
The Last Judgement
with signature 'Jheronimus...' (lower right)
oil on panel
33¼ x 37½ in. (84.4 x 95.2 cm.)
Don Infante Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza, Spain (1811-1875), from whom, or from whose heirs, acquired by
Emile Pacully, Paris; sale, Lair-Dubreuil, Paris, 4 May 1903.
D.E. Evans collection.
Princess Kadjar, Baytown, USA, by 1967.
M.J. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting, V, Leiden and Brussels, 1969, p. 85, no. 87, pl. 74, 'An excellent old copy or studio replica.'
J. Combe, 'Sources alchimiques dans l'art de Jérôme Bosch', L'amour de l'art, XXVI, 1946, p. 35.
C. de Tolnay, Hieronymus Bosch, Baden-Baden, 1965, no. 49, p. 150.
M. Cinotti, L'opera completa di Bosch, Milan, 1966, p. 110, no. 52, illustrated.
Bruges, Exposition des Primitifs Flamands et d'art ancien, 1902, no. 288.
Amsterdam, Vogelpoel & Noorvege N. V., Jeroen Bosch.
Bruges, Groeningemuseum, De Eeuw der Vlaamse Primitieven, 1960, no. 68.
Detroit, Institute of Arts, Flanders in the Fifteenth Century, Art and Civilization, Masterpieces of Flemish Art: Van Eyck to Bosch, 1960.
's-Hertogenbosch, Noordbrabants Museum, Jheronimus Bosch, 1967, no. 46, as Hieronymus Bosch.
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
Sale room notice
Please note the additional provenance:

Anon. Sale, Christie's, London, 21 June 1968, lot 77 (6,000 gns. to the grandfather of the present owners).

We are grateful to Dr. Hélène Mund for noting that the picture is also cited in G. Unverfehrt, Hieronymus Bosch. Die Rezeption seiner kunst im frühen 16 Jahrhundert, Berlin 1980, p. 240, no. 2, pl. 201. Unverfehrt gives the painting to the same master as the Last Judgement in the Groeninge Museum, Bruges, who is probably the 'discipulo' mentioned in the mid-16th Century by the famous collector and connoisseur of Bosch, Felipe de Guevara, in his text Comentarios de la pintura.

Lot Essay

The composition relates to two engravings, by Alaert Du Hameel and Hieronymus Cock, depicting a Last Judgement that would appear to derive from an unknown work by Bosch (Certainly a sixteenth-century copy [Hollstein, III, 9] of the former gives Bosch as the inventor of the composition). In all three, Christ is depicted enthroned between flying angels above a wide landscape with, on one side, a city with the Damned, and, on the other, a paradisal mountain to which Angels lead the Righteous. The main iconographic difference lies in the fact that, in the present panel (and in common with Bosch's Last Judgement triptych in the Kunstakademie, Vienna), the hellish demons occupy themselves in tormenting souls throughout the front and middle planes, whereas in the engravings they are in combat with the angelic host, and only at liberty to pursue their infernal tortures in Hell.

Don Infante Sebastian Gabriel Borbón y Braganza (for the information about whom recorded below, see M. Agueda, in The Dictionary of Art, J. Turner, ed., London, 1996, 4, pp. 378-9) was the son of Pedro de Borbón and the Princessa de Braganza; he was married first to Maria Amalia of Naples and then in 1860 to Maria Cristina (1833-1902), the sister-in-law of Queen Isabella II. An artist in his own right, in 1827 he was elected Académico de Mérito of the Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, and travelled for many years in Italy, copying works of art and painting landscapes. He was also a patron of contemporary artists, supporting Alejandro Ferrant in Italy with a pension and he commissioning paintings from José Ribelles, Rafael Tejeo and Juan Gálvez.

The formation of his remarkable collection, however, began with inheritances from his father, and was augmented by his two wives and by the purchases he made through his friend, the painter José de Madrazo y Agudo, who acted as intermediary. An inventory made in 1835 reveals that by that early date his collection was almost complete. His preference was for seventeenth-century Spanish paintings, including such works as the Antonio de Pereda's Annunciation in the Prado, Madrid, and Descent from the Cross in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseilles, Murillo's Miracle of the Porciuncula (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum), Alonso Cano's The Dominican (Munich, Alte Pinakothek) and Saint Bernard and the Virgin (Madrid, Prado), Juan Carreño de Miranda's Portrait of Charles II (Valenciennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts) and Velázquez's Doña Margarita (San Diego, Museum of Art). Only two sixteenth-century Spanish painters were represented in the Infante's collection: Juan de Juanes and El Greco, his acquisition of the latter's Assumption (Chicago, Art Institute) and Saint Bernard (Madrid, Prado) presaging the re-evaluation of that artist that took place in the nineteenth century.

Netherlandish painting, including the present work, was well represented, including Hugo van der Goes's Adoration of the Shepherds (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie), Van der Weyden's Saint Luke and the Virgin (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts), and Metsys' Salvator Mundi (Aachen, Musée des Beaux-Arts). In 1837 the Infante's possessions were confiscated for political reasons, his immense library was given to the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, and his collection of paintings was exhibited in the Museo de la Trinidad, together with pictures acquired from the suppression of the religious orders. Shortly before his death, however, his property was returned to him and, after his death, a first sale was held in Pau in 1876 and another in the Hôtel Drouot in Paris in 1890; it is uncertain, however, whether the present work was included in either sale. When his widow died a final sale was held in Madrid in 1902, the remainder of the collection staying in the possession of their heirs.

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