Attributed to Peter Candid / Pieter de Witte

(Bruges c. 1540 – 1628 Munich)


Sacra Conversazione

Oil on wood, 29 x 37 cm

Price on request

The painter, sculptor and architect Peter Candid, known in Italy as Pietro Candido, was born in Bruges between 1540 and 1548. In the 1560s he stayed in Florence, where he worked in the workshop of Giorgio Vasari, with whom he collaborated on a number of commissions for the House of Medici. After a brief stay in Volterra, he went to Munich in 1586. For the next 42 years, until his death, he remained court painter to Duke William V and then to Maximilian I. De Witte’s works were inspired by Tuscan Mannerism in terms of form and colour. It is thanks to him that this style reached the Bavarian court and influenced the artistic creation of the region.

The present painting depicts a Sacra Conversazione between the Madonna, Christ and other saints. The Holy Family was a frequent pictorial subject during Pieter de Witte’s Italian period. In the present painting, the clothing, drapery and facial features of the subjects are described with the greatest delicacy.

There is a copper engraving of the present painting on the same page by the hand of Raphael Sadeler (dated 1591) after a drawing by Candid (pen and brown ink, 235 x 310 mm).

The depiction is not clear: Mrs Volk-Knüttel, author of Candid’s catalogue raisonné, describes the subject as the meeting of the prophet Simeon with the Christ child. She identifies the other figures as Hanna, Elizabeth, Zacharias and St. John the Baptist. However, it could also be Anna and Joachim, who flank the canopy respectively, and Elizabeth, John and Zacharias, to whom Christ turns.

Saedeler after Candid, Sacra Conversazione, 1591, copper engraving, 264 324 mm.