Category: Old Master Painting

August 27, 2013




“One of the precursors to Neoclassical painting”

The Painting:

Anton Raphael Mengs (Aussig 1728-1779 Rome) PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST’S FATHER ISHMAEL ISRAEL MENGS (1668-1765), oil on paper laid on artist’s board, 49 x 37 cm.; 63 x 51 cm. in frame. “N 10” (Gallery Mark) and various sketches to verso of board. Provenance: Private collection in Great Britain ca. 1970, then the Shepherd Gallery in New York. Listed in: Steffi Roettgen, Anton Raphael Mengs: 1728-1779: Das malerische und zeichnerische Werk, vol. I, Munich, 1999, pp. 291-292, No. WK 4. At one time considered autograph, the painting is now listed as an oil version of Meng’s pastel portrait of his father in Dresden. It is also possible that this oil is a Self-Portrait by Ishmael Israel Mengs himself, done with an artist’s convex mirror as the model for several versions by his gifted son and daughter. [SOLD]

“Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) was born in Bohemia now Czech Republic. He accompanied his father, who was a painter, in Rome and Dresden where he became a successful portrait painter. “[V&A] The elder Mengs was one of the very few openly Jewish artists practicing in the courts of Eastern Germany, where both his daughter and son also began to paint. Eventually, Anton Raphael converted to Catholicism in Rome in order to marry an Italian woman and to gain patronage at the Vatican. He finished his career in Madrid, where he also wrote several important treatises on art and aesthetics which were published in German, Italian and English editions. He was a friend of Winkelmann’s, whose portrait he also painted, as well as several English aristocrats resident in Italy.

” Mengs came to share Winckelmann’s enthusiasm for classical antiquity, and worked to establish the dominance of Neoclassical painting. At the same time, however, the influence of the Roman Baroque remained strong in his work, particularly in his religious paintings. He would have fancied himself the first neoclassicist, while in fact he may be the last flicker of Baroque art.” [Wikipedia]

posted in: Old Master Painting, Uncategorized

May 24, 2010


The Painting:

A Haarlem Street Scene. c. 1660s. Oil on Canvas, 76 x 65cm. in-frame; 58 x 45 cm. out-of frame. Old attribution on verso of frame to Job Adriaensz Berckh-Heyde; i.e. Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde (Haarlem 1638-1698) Indistinct signature and date (?) to lower left under wheel, possibly 1669. Overall a beautiful, well executed, and light-filled scene.


posted in: Old Master Painting, Uncategorized

April 26, 2010

Two c. 1650 Portraits on Copper

The Paintings:

Two Portraits. Oil on copper. c. 1650. Each in-frame 21 X 16 cm., out of frame 8 x 6 cm., These two very interesting and unresearched portraits were originally purchased years ago as two Puritan Ministers. They may, stylistically, also be 17th century Dutch.


posted in: Oil Painting, Old Master Painting

April 10, 2010

An Original circa 1640 Rubens-School “Rape of Europa”

The Painting:

[Rubens School; Cornelius Schut] “Rape of Europa” . [s.l. s.d., circa Antwerp, 1640s] 167 x 132 cm. in Frame; approx . 148 x 112 cm. Out-of-Frame; Original canvas and wooden supports; worn as depicted and in need of restoration and cleaning; c. late 19th century gold-leaf frame

An exuberant Baroque painting of a highly desirable subject, following in the tradition of the treatment of the subject matter by Veronese and Titian. The painting derives most directly from, but does not precisely copy, the Rape of Europa, now attributed to Cornelius Schut in the Hermitage. It should be noted that the Hermitage painting measures 61 x 84 cm., while the painting for sale here is considerably larger. Generally, that should be the opposite if the painting was a mere copy.

“The mythographers tell that Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her, the two being near-equivalent in Greek myth. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father’s herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus[17] and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.” [Wikipedia]

The painting’s composition relates as well to two known masterpieces:

1)Veronese’s Rape of Europa in the National Gallery. See the link here.

2) Hendrik van Balen I (1575-1632) rape of Europa in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
See the link here.


posted in: Old Master Painting, Uncategorized

March 17, 2010

A Major Influence on Vermeer

An important 17th century Painting of Jacob Van Loo: “Diana and Endymion”

The Painting:
[Oil on Canvas] “Diana and Endymion”, attrib. Jacob Van Loo. Description: 70 x 60cm., in Frame; 59 x 48 cm., out of Frame. Provenance: 18th century attribution/purchase label on the recto; Christie’s 1950s. “Jacob van Loo (1614, Sluis—26 November 1670, Paris) was a Dutch painter and popularized around 1650 a close-focus concert on a loggia or terrace. So Van Loo became known for his conversation groupings with a subtle color palette, and according to Arnold Houbraken famous for his nudes. He was the founder of the Van Loo family of painters.”

This is a finely executed and important painting. Van Loo was known to have had a major influence on Vermeer, especially in connection with paintings of Diana and Her Companions.


posted in: Oil Painting, Old Master Painting