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Lucas van Valckenborch I (Leuven circa 1535-1597 Frankfurt)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Lucas van Valckenborch I (Leuven circa 1535-1597 Frankfurt)

A wooded landscape with figures dancing and merry-making in a village

Details
Lucas van Valckenborch I (Leuven circa 1535-1597 Frankfurt)
A wooded landscape with figures dancing and merry-making in a village
signed with initials and dated '1569 / VV / L' (lower right, on the stone)
oil on a turned panel
5¼ in. (13.2 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, 1 June 1948, lot 2526.
with Eugene Slatter, London, 1951, from whom acquired by
Mrs. N. Macgilp, Repton, Derbyshire.
with Leonard Koetser, London, by 1968, from whom acquired by the mother of the present owner.
Literature
A. Wied, Lucas und Marten van Valckenborch, Freren, 1990, p. 133, no. 9, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Eugene Slatter Gallery, Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Masters, 30 April-7 July 1951, no. 13.
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Abbie Barker
Abbie Barker

Lot Essay

Valkenborch joined the painters’ guild in Mechelen in 1560, and worked alongside such artists as Hans van Wechelen and Pieter Balten in the tradition of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. According to Wied, this panel is the first known example of a kermesse by Valckenborch. The artist returned to these figure groups throughout his career; the ring of dancing villagers, for instance, is seen in his depiction of the month of September (Vienna, Kunsthistorische Museum, no. 5684) in as late as 1585, while the Village Wedding roundel dated 1574 (Copenhagen, Staten Museum for Kunst, no. 659), most similar in theme and format (though of much larger dimensions), contains the same motif of figures seated at a table drinking.

In this picture, the high viewpoint and the panorama it affords are testament to Valckenborch’s adherence to the old conventions of composition, but the seamless transition between fore-, middle- and background through the progression of brown, to green, to blue hues is evidence of his first-hand observation of nature and atmospheric perspective. The way the eye is led down the receding avenue of trees through the accents of red in the clothing of various figures also demonstrates the artist’s compositional understanding. As in many of his paintings, Valckenborch blends an imaginary landscape with the naturalistic depiction of narrative details and everyday life, resulting in a seemingly recognisable scene that gradually dissolves into fantasy.


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