Paintings derived from Rubens's works by Victor Wolfvoet – an obscure Antwerp artist, who seems greatly to have admired him – have recently been published in the Royal Collection and the Hermitage. Not long previously a few others were published in Iberian collections by Professor Matthías Díaz Padrón and most notably that, independent of Rubens, in the Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico. Now a small, further group including the paintings decorating a kunstkastje in the Rijksmuseum will be discussed as
his work, and possibly his studio's, in an article (in preparation) by Gregory Martin.
The present lot may be perhaps a free copy after the lost modello by Rubens for the large painting which was to be owned, briefly, in Paris by the second Duke of Richelieu (1629-1715), a fragment of which was published over fifty years ago as being in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Ohio. A painting decorating one of the drawers in the Rijksmuseum kunstkastje is a free
record of Rubens’s first modello for the composition.
The story of how the daughters of Cecrops, King of Attica, disobeyed the goddess Minerva, opened a basket and were terrified by the snake-tailed, infant Erichthonius whom they found inside was told by Ovid in book 2 of the Metamorphoses.