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The Master of the Parrot (active Antwerp 1525-50)
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The Master of the Parrot (active Antwerp 1525-50)

The Virgin and Child, the Rest on the Flight into Egypt beyond

Details
The Master of the Parrot (active Antwerp 1525-50)
The Virgin and Child, the Rest on the Flight into Egypt beyond
oil on panel
34 5/8 x 26 7/8 in. (88 x 68.3 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 7 June 1984, lot 83.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 1999, lot 222, where acquired by the present owner.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

The anonymous Master was originally named by Max Friedländer ('Der Meister mit dem Papagei', Phoebus, 1949, II, pp. 49-54) for the slightly idiosyncratic parrots that appear in many of his works. Presumed to be active in Antwerp, he would appear to have been influenced by, and was perhaps an assistant of, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, with the result that a large number of the works identified by Friedländer as by him had formerly been regarded as by that artist. The poses of the Virgin and Child in this picture are taken from a Coecke van Aelst painting of The Holy Family known in numerous workshop variants (G. Marlier, La Renaissance flamande. Pierre Coeck d' Alost, Brussels, 1966, pp. 219-49), of which the autograph prototype is the painting formerly in the Joly collection, Bruges (ibid., fig. 179).

The Master of the Parrot is stylistically similar to another Coecke van Aelst follower, the Master of the Prodigal Son, to whom the present painting has also been attributed. Confusion over attribution is not necessarily surprising given not only the two artists' stylistic links, but also given that the present figural types were also possibly employed by the latter Master: for example, the Holy Family recorded by Marlier as his no. 14, as possibly workshop of the Master of the Prodigal Son; or the Virgin and Child, sold, Glerum, Amsterdam, 9 September 1998, lot 1, as a fully attributed work. The inclusion of the parrot in the present picture, however, links it so readily with other works by the Master of the Parrot - for example the Virgin and Child in the Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego, that the present attribution is here maintained.
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