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Marten van Cleve (Antwerp circa 1527-1581)
Soldiers raiding a peasant's home
with inscriptions ‘Marten Van Klev [K replaced by a C] ’ (recto, lower right) and ‘n° 1: Marten de/ Vos’ (verso, upper right corner) and 'de Vo, Mart.' (on the old mount)
pen and brown ink, brown wash, pen and brown ink framing lines
6 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (17.4 x 23.4 cm)

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Jonathan den Otter
Jonathan den Otter

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Lot Essay

This is a new addition to the small and still ill-defined corpus of drawings by Van Cleve, a contemporary of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and like him best known for his paintings depicting peasant life. Stylistically, the drawing can compared to two of the very few securely attributed drawings by the artist, one of which is signed (K. Ertz and C. Nitze-Ertz, Marten van Cleve, 1524-1581. Kritischer Katalog der Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Lingen, 2014, nos. Z 7, Z 10, ill.). Moreover, its composition corresponds closely to a painting by Van Cleve at the State Hermitage Museum, dated to the 1570s (inv. GE-3376; see Ertz and Nitze-Ertz, op. cit., no. 123, ill.). In its finish and fine detailing, the drawing exceeds all other known ones by or attributed to Van Cleve, including a group of three at the Albertina (inv. 7870, 7990, 13282, ; see ibid., nos. Z 15, Z 2, Z 1, ill.).

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