JAN BREUGHEL THE YOUNGER (ANTWERP 1601-1678) AND PIETER VAN AVONT (MECHELEN 1600-1652 ANTWERP)
JAN BREUGHEL THE YOUNGER (ANTWERP 1601-1678) AND PIETER VAN AVONT (MECHELEN 1600-1652 ANTWERP)
1 More
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more Property from a Private Belgian Collection
JAN BREUGHEL THE YOUNGER (ANTWERP 1601-1678) AND PIETER VAN AVONT (MECHELEN 1600-1652 ANTWERP)

Rest on the Flight into Egypt

Details
JAN BREUGHEL THE YOUNGER (ANTWERP 1601-1678) AND PIETER VAN AVONT (MECHELEN 1600-1652 ANTWERP)
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
oil on panel
21 7⁄8 x 33 5⁄8 in. (55.5 x 85.5 cm.)
Provenance
Baron Vladimir de Wolff (b. 1887), Chailey, Sussex; Christie’s, London, 13 July 1923, lot 87, with its pendent ‘Noli me Tangere’, as ‘David Teniers’ (73 gns. to Deckers).
Anonymous sale; Salle Van Herck, Antwerp, 1934, when acquired by the father of the present owners.
Special notice

This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair Director, Head of Department

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

This richly-detailed Rest on the Flight into Egypt is a collaborative work between two artists who specialised in different fields. The exquisite landscape, animals and minutely-rendered still life elements were painted by Jan Breughel II, while Pieter van Avont provided the Rubensian figures of the Holy Family. Such teamwork was common in Flemish painting of the period, with examples of the practice dating back to Quinten Metsys and Joachim Patinir’s Temptation of Saint Anthony, of circa 1521 (Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado). Jan’s father, Jan Breughel I, was equally a frequent collaborator with his Flemish contemporaries. Indeed, the Paradise with the Fall of Man in the Mauritshuis, The Hague, in which he painted the landscape and animals, and Rubens the figures, was so successful a composition that it inspired their Dutch counterparts Roelant Savery and Cornelis van Haarlem to attempt their own joint version of the subject. Not only did these collaborations increase the quality of the resulting painting, they also offered the viewer an opportunity to display his or her erudition by identifying the various hands that had worked on the painting.
In collaborating with Pieter van Avont, Breughel was following in his father’s footsteps. The elder Jan is known to have executed two paintings with the Mechelen born artist, both depicting the Rest on the Flight into Egypt and both of circa 1623 (Munich, Alte Pinakothek; and whereabouts unknown). In both paintings, the elder Breughel contributed a garland of fruits, flowers and birds around the figures provided by van Avont, with much less emphasis placed on the landscape than in the present painting. However, both father and son chose to include still life elements whose symbolism would have been immediately recognisable to their contemporary audiences. Roses and lilies, held here by the central cherub, were both symbolic of the Virgin, the ‘rose without thorns’, whose tomb was supposedly strewn with white lilies. These were flowers of chastity, charity, innocence and purity, whilst the red anemones growing beneath the tree to the left of the composition would have been understood as a symbol of the blood that Christ shed on the cross. The care with which each flower and animal is rendered is remarkable, speaking to the importance of even the smallest elements of the composition.
Dr. Klaus Ertz, to whom we are grateful, dates this Rest on the Flight into Egypt to the latter half of the 1620s, by which point Jan II had returned to Antwerp from Italy and taken over his recently deceased father’s workshop. At least one other collaboration between Jan Breughel II and van Avont is known, namely Flora in the Garden of a Castle, which dates to the 1630s (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. no. 1692). This lot is sold with a copy of a certificate by Dr. Klaus Ertz (16 May 2022), confirming the attribution after first-hand examination.
;

More from Old Masters Evening Sale

View All
View All