Circle of Jan Wellens de Cock (Leiden? c. 1490-before 1527 Antwerp)
Circle of Jan Wellens de Cock (Leiden? c. 1490-before 1527 Antwerp)

The Flight into Egypt

Circle of Jan Wellens de Cock (Leiden? c. 1490-before 1527 Antwerp)
The Flight into Egypt
oil on panel
18 7/8 x 13¼ in. (48 x 33.7 cm.)
Loeb Collection, Galerie Caldenhoff; Lepke, Berlin, 8 June 1929, lot 16, as 'Netherlandish Master, c. 1520-1530'.
with Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf, 1936.
Sold under duress due to persecution by the National Socialists.
Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, before 1970. Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 26 June 1970, lot 32, as 'Jan de Cock'.
Heinz Kisters, Kreuzlingen. Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 9 December 1992, lot 30, as 'South Netherlandish School, 2nd Quarter of the 16th Century'.
Private collection, Paris, 1993.
Restituted to the Estate of Max Stern, December 2008.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2009-2011, on loan.
H. Kisters, Adenauer als Kunstsammler, Munich, 1970, p. 104.
On loan to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2009-2011.

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Lot Essay

This painting has traditionally been identified as the work of Jan Wellens de Cock, an artist about whom little is known but likely belonged to the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1503. In the mid-twentieth century, G. J. Hoogewerff ('Werken van Mathijs (of Jan) Wellens de Cock', Meded. Ned. Hist. Inst. Rome, 2nd ser., IX, 1939, pp. 41-46), M.J. Friedländer ('Jan de Cock oder Lucas Kock', Miscellanea Leo van Puyvelde, Brussels, 1949, pp. 84-88), and W.R. Valentiner ('Notes on the So-called Jan de Cock', Art Quarterly, XIII, 1950, pp. 61-66) endeavored to establish his oeuvre. The biography of the artist, however, remains muddled with that of Lucas (Cornelisz. de) Kock (1495-1552), the third son of Cornelis Engebrechtsz. Regardless of the precise identity of the artist, the linear quality of the draftsmanship, expansive landscape background, and precise rendering of the foliage reveal that the present work owes a debt to the circle of artists associated with Antwerp Mannerism, which flourished in the Netherlands at the beginning of the sixteenth century and counted among its members Engebrechtsz and Jan de Beer. It can also be compared to the works of slightly later artists Adriaen Isenbrant and Cornelis Massys.

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