Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)
Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)

Venus disarming Mars

Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)
Venus disarming Mars
oil on canvas
59 x 47 in. (149.9 x 119.4 cm.)
(Possibly) Henry II de Bourbon-Condé (1588-1646) and possibly by descent to his son
Henri Jules de Bourbon-Condé (1643-1709).
(Possibly) Lefebvre fils, Liege; sale, Paris, 15 October 1811, lot 184.
(Possibly) M. Solirne; Paris, 11 March 1812, lot 19.
(Possibly) Pierre-Joseph Lafontaine; Christie's, London, 8 May 1813, lot 75.
Sir Richard Clayton of Adlington (1745-1825), Adlington Hall, Wigan, Lancashire, by about 1815, from whom acquired by
Alexander, 6th Earl of Balcarres (1752-1825), Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire, by about 1817 and by descent in the Crawford and Balcarres family, Haigh Hall, Wigan; Christie's, London, 11 October 1946, lot 166 (63 gns to F. Sabin).
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 11 March 1955, lot 125 (24 gns to Thornberg).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 27 January 2006, lot 214 ($93,000).
(Possibly) J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné..., London, 1831, p. 99, no. 344.
S.J. Barnes et al., Van Dyck, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven, 2004, p. 404, under no. III.A12.

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Lot Essay

The present painting is one of two known studio versions after a lost prototype by van Dyck. The other replica is in the Galleria Colonna, Rome (see H. Vey in Van Dyck, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London 2004, p. 404-405, no. III.A12) and has recently been attributed to Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (see A. Heinrich, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Ein Flämischer Nachfolger van Dycks , Turnhout 2003, I, p. 311, no. B1). A brush drawing of the composition by van Dyck (without the horse and the cupid on the right) in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig and an engraving by Coenrad Waumans and Jacobus Coelmans are the only surviving evidence of van Dyck's original.

Chalk marks on the original stretcher of the present painting (since replaced but recorded in photographs) indicate that it was the picture in the 1946 Crawford/Balcarres sale and the subsequent sale at Christie's in 1955. Documents in the inventories of the Crawford and Balcarres family again confirm this provenance and provide evidence of the purchase from Richard Clayton. Only tentative evidence exists of the painting's history prior to the Clayton acquisition in 1815.

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