Italian School, 17th Century
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Italian School, 17th Century

A Mountebank Dentist

Italian School, 17th Century
A Mountebank Dentist
inscribed 'Il mondo è tondo... Chi non fa navigar va al fondo' (upper left, on cartellino)
oil on panel
33¾ x 24½ in. (85.5 x 62 cm.)
The Hon. John Spencer (1708-1746), by 1742, and by descent to
The Earls Spencer, Althorp, Northamptonshire.
Private Collection.
G. Knapton, Catalogue of the Pictures at Althorpe and Wimbledon belonging to the late Hon. Mr. Spencer, 1742, as 'Quentin Metsys'.
A Catalogue of the Pictures of Althrop [sic] taken in the year 1750, Hertfordshire Record Office, County Hall, Hertford, no. SG13 8DE, as 'Quentin Metsys'.
T.F. Dibdin, Aedes Althorpianae, London, 1822, I, p. 275, as 'Lucas Van Leyden'.
Jones' Views of the Seats, Mansions, Castles &c., of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland..., London, 1829, as 'Lucas Van Leyden'.
Catalogue of the Pictures of Althorpe House, privately printed, London, 1851, no. 496, as 'Lucas Van Leyden'.
K.J. Garlick, 'A Catalogue of Pictures at Althorp', The Walpole Society, XLV, 1974-6, pp. 29-30, no. 217, as 'Flemish School, XVI Century, after Lucas van Leyden'.
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Alexandra McMorrow

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Lot Essay

This painting derives from a celebrated print by Lucas van Leyden (Leiden c. 1494-1533) entitled The Dentist, which is dated 1523 (see The Illustrated Bartsch, XII, Hans Baldung Grein, Hans Springinklee, Lucas Van Leyden New York, 1981, p. 291, no. 157). The inscription, which is absent from the print, translates 'The world is round, those who cannot float sink to the bottom'.
Other paintings based on the Lucas van Leyden print include a painting in the Kunsthalle, Bremen by Jan Liss (Oldenburg c. 1595-1600 Verona) and an anonymous copy in the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest.

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