Studio of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) and Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)
Studio of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) and Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)

Ceres and Pan

Studio of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) and Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657)
Ceres and Pan
oil on canvas, unframed
54 3/8 x 76 ¾ in. (138.4 x 194.7 cm.)
M. P.J.F. Vrancken (1757-1833), Lokeren; his sale (†), P. van Regemorter, Antwerp, 15 May 1838 [=1st day], lot 1, as ‘Rubens’, when acquired by the following,
Henry Arteria, by whom sold by 1842 to,
Edmund Higginson, Esq., Saltmarshe, London.
Philip L. Hinds, London; his sale, Christie’s, London, 11 June 1870, lot 91, as ‘Rubens’ (100 gns. to Philpot).
Mr F. van Eemeren Sils, by 1877.
M. Ant. Sils, Antwerp; his sale, Jean Dirickx, Antwerp, 19 March 1882, lot 190, as ‘Rubens’.
Raymond and Maria Puthomme, Arles, from whom acquired in 1969 by the family of the present owner.
J. Smith, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French painters, London, 1830-1842, II, p. 263, no. 888; IX, p. 325, no. 297, as ‘Rubens and Brueghel’.
M. Rooses, L’oeuvre de P.P. Rubens: Histoire et Description de ses tableaux et dessins, Antwerp, 1890, p. 69, under no. 584.
M. Jaffé, Rubens: Catalogo Completo, Milan, 1989, p. 230, under no. 439.
M. Díaz Padrón, El Siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado: Catálogo Razonada de Pintura Flamenca del Siglo XVII, Madrid, 1995, II, p. 1100, under no. 1672.
Antwerp, Acade´mie royale d’arche´ologie de Belgique, L’oeuvre de P.P. Rubens 1577-1877: Troisième centenaire de la naissance du Maitre, 1877.

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Lot Essay

This picture is based on a prototype by Rubens and Snyders, painted in mid-1610s and brought to Spain by Rubens in 1628 as a present for Philip II, where, from 1636, it formed part of the decorations at the Real Alcázar de Madrid, the city’s royal palace (Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, inv. no. P01672). Snyders frequently collaborated with Rubens with great success from around 1610 onwards, contributing the still-life and animal elements to the latter’s larger works. Though a little smaller than the Prado picture (the composition is cropped more closely behind Ceres, eliminating the more extensive still-life), the present painting was presumably made in Rubens’ workshop sometime before the prototype was taken to Spain. It provides a fascinating example of the collaborative working methods of the Rubens workshop. Indeed the figures, the overflowing cornucopia of fruits and vegetables and the landscape beyond the figures each appear to have been painted by a different hand, demonstrating the careful division of labour observed in the workshop, allowing specialist painters to work individually on their favoured elements. The fact that this version was sold from the collection of an Antwerp connoisseur in the early nineteenth century, suggests that the picture remained in the Netherlands and was not, unlike its prototype, intended for a foreign patron.

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