Circle of Antonis Van Dyck

Circle of Antonis Van Dyck

(1599 Antwerp – 1641 London)

Christ as Salvator Mundi

Oil on canvas, 69.3 x 49.7 cm

Price: € 13,500

This painting is known in different versions. One of them is in the Dresden Museum, in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. The composition, which was very popular at the time, was also disseminated through copper engravings.


Joseph Heintz the Elder (1564 Basel - 1609 Prague) and workshop

Joseph Heintz the Elder (1564 Basel - 1609 Prague) and workshop

Cupid Carving the Arch

around 1610

Oil on canvas, 140 x 87 cm

Price on request

The depiction is an extraordinarily faithful copy of the „Bow Carving Cupid“ by Parmigianino, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. [1] Heintz has kept to all the details of the model. Parmigianino’s painting, which became famous shortly after it was painted in 1535, was long sought by Emperor Rudolf II, but it was not until 1603 that Philip III agreed to send the work to Prague.

Already in the collection of Emperor Rudolf II in the first decade of the 17th century the original was exhibited with its copy by Heintz. Rudolf’s court painter Joseph Heintz the Elder had made a copy after Parmigianinos‘ Arch Carving Cupid. The two paintings hung side by side for a long time in the Imperial Treasury in Vienna, where they were considered a special sight. Peter Paul Rubens also created a free copy.

Two large-format copies and a small-format version on copper exist from the hand of Heintz.



[1] Parmigianino (1504-1540), Arch Carving Cupid, between 1534-1539, oil on wood, 135.5 cm x 65 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Joseph Heintz the Elder (1564-1609), Arch Carving Cupid, after 1603, oil on wood, 135 x 64 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.


Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert - Pan plays to the dance of the putti

Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert - Pan plays to the dance of the putti

(1614 Bergen op Zoom – 1654 Antwerp)


Pan plays to the dance of the putti

Oil sketch

Oil on canvas, 35 x 51 cm

Price: 18.000€


Belgian private collection, ca. 1980 to 2020.


The oil sketch shows a flute-playing man with dark curls sitting at the left edge of the picture in a recess draped with cloth. In the lower left corner, a fallen bowl with leaking water can be seen. The right half of the picture shows a circle of five dancing putti, whereby the left putti can be recognized as a satyr due to the goat legs. The background is dominated by a dark mountain landscape. In the sky a rising or setting sun can be guessed. It is possible that the flute player represents Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy. This fits with the flute as a symbol of celebration, as well as the bowl of water, which could refer to Bacchus‘ mother, Lethe. Lethe is a river in the underworld, which at the same time symbolizes „oblivion“. Thus, the spilling water bowl is not only a reference to this river, but it also symbolizes „oblivion“. Moreover, Bacchus is usually depicted with satyrs in his retinue, which would explain the putto with goat legs. However, the interpretation of the flute player as the god Pan would be possible. He is usually shown with his flute and associated with dance. Moreover, he is native to the mountainous landscape of Arcadia.


The present work is an oil sketch, i.e. a preparatory study. This is suggested by the partly unfinished parts, as well as the structure of the picture. Some parts are already almost completely laid out, such as the flute player, while others, for example the horizon and also the figures of the putti, are only sketched in outline.


The painting can be attributed to the Baroque painter Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert. This attribution was also confirmed by Prof. Hans Vlieghe.


Bosschaert lived and worked in Antwerp with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthonis van Dyck, among others. He studied with Gerard Seghers and probably also with Van Dyck. In 1637 he joined the St. Luke’s Guild. His work is characterized by a large number of religious and historical paintings. He worked for Prince Frederick Henry of Orange and Prince William II of Orange, among others.

The present oil sketch is a smaller version of the „Children’s Bacchanal“ by Bosschaert in Kassel.  This painting shows a multitude of putti surrounding and celebrating with the drunken boy Bacchus. The basic compositional structure, as well as the design of the putti, shows a great closeness to the oil sketch. The „Cupid with tamed lion (Amor Triumphans)“ also shows great similarities in structure and style.   In Bosschaert’s oil sketch „Venus Holds Back Mars – Allegory of War“ we find, among other things, the standing putto, facing the viewer.

The present oil sketch will have served as a preparatory study for a larger history painting. This working practice is often attested for collaborators or the circle of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthonis Van Dyck.


Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert was particularly influenced by Van Dyck. This is also evident in this work, as comparable putti are depicted in Van Dyck’s „Triumph of Bacchus“, for example.  The concentration of the figures on the right side of the picture, a similarly yellowish sky and various pictorial elements such as the fallen bowl (albeit filled with fruit) are also found there.  Van Dyck’s „Rest on the Flight into Egypt“ is also very similar in pictorial composition.  On the right side we see the dancing putti in a circle. On the left side, however, instead of the flute player, there is the Holy Family.

A model or inspiration for the present work could have been an engraving by the Italian Giulio Carpioni (1613-1678). The composition (though mirrored due to the copper engraving) is very similar, showing dancing putti on the left and a flute player with buck legs and curls on the right. In addition, one of the putti is also marked as a satyr with goat legs.

The present oil sketch from the hand of Bosschaert is an interesting addition to his oeuvre and illustrates not only his creative style but also his stylistic proximity to Van Dyck.



Axel Heinrich, Thomas Willeboirt’s Bosschaert, Turnhout 2003, vol. I, cat A 58, fig. 88.


Simon de Vos - Christ carrying the cross

Simon de Vos - Christ carrying the cross

(1603 – Antwerp – 1676)


Christ carrying the cross

Oil on canvas, 58,5 x 84,5 cm

Price: 7.500 €

Simon de Vos began his career as a pupil of Cornelis de Vos (1603-1676), who was mainly active as a portrait painter. In 1620 he became a member of the Antwerp St. Luke’s Guild. At an unknown date he set off on an artist’s journey to Italy. In Rome he came under the influence of the Bamboccianti, a group of painters who devoted themselves to rather crude genre painting and of whom the German painter Johann Liss (1597-1631) in particular left traces in De Vos‘ oeuvre. After his return to Antwerp in 1628, De Vos worked in the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens and was involved in many important commissions.

The present painting is an example for De Vos style during the transition period between two different artistic approaches. The rather thin and dramatically animated figures as well as the intense colours are characteristic. Certain elements such as the mother with the child or the playing kids can be found in various works by the artist.


The subject Christ carrying the cross seems to have been of interest to De Vos. There are several versions of this subject by his hand.[1] One variant, formerly at Christie’s, shows strong parallels with the present picture.[2] One can assume that both paintings were created around the same time. The dating of the variant to “1631” gives us a terminus post quem.

Two other versions of the subject (one of them dated to “1634”) seem to proof that the two mentioned paintings stand at the beginning of the creative process.[3] Both compositions are inverted. The figures move from right to left. New elements such as Jerusalem’s city architecture and its city gate have been added and the staffage differs from the other versions.




[1] A copy was sold in Winterberg in 2005. Attributed to Simon de Vos, Christ carrying the cross, oil on copper, 21,9 x 28,4 cm, Auction Winterberg, 21. Ocober 2005, No. 222.

[2] Simon de Vos, Christ carrying the cross, oil on panel, 59,7 x 92,7 cm, signed an dated „1631“, London, Christie’s, 4. July 1986, No. 15, London, Christie’s, 26. October 1990, No. 74.

[3] Simon de Vos, Christ carrying the cross, oil on copper, 45,7 x 67,3 cm, signed and dated „1634“, London, Christie’s, 30. June 1965, No. 366.

Simon de Vos, Christ carrying the cross, oil on canvas, 47 x 52,5 cm, signed, Valencia, Real Academia de Bellas Artes.


Erasmus Quellinus - Magnanimity of Scipio

Erasmus Quellinus - Magnanimity of Scipio

(1607 – Antwerp – 1678)


Magnanimity of Scipio

Oil on canvas, 108 x 162,8 cm

Price: 35.000 €


Private collection Brasschaat 1977


The Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (236-183 BC) succeeded in capturing Carthago Nova. During the conquest of Carthaginian bases in Spain, many hostages of Celtiberian origin fell into the hands of the Romans. Allucius and his fiancée were among them, but thanks to the generosity of Scipio they were given their freedom. (Report by Titus Livius (59 B.C.-17 A.D.))


Dr. De Bruyn, author of the catalogue raisonné of Erasmus Quellinus and expert on Flemish Baroque painting, confirmed the attribution of the painting to Erasmus Quellinus.  He describes the work as „of very good quality…. It seems to be in perfect condition.“


According to Dr. De Bruyn, the present painting can be dated to around 1645/50. It is characterised by a classical style. Against the background of ancient buildings, the scene is depicted as if on a stage. Allucius and his fiancée are placed exactly in the centre of the picture – the beautiful king’s daughter is already conspicuous by her bright white robe. Behind her we see her parents, who had tried to obtain their daughter’s freedom through gifts. They are followed by some ladies of the court, pointing to Allucius as the Celtlian leader. The commander Scipio stands elevated by some steps and points with his gesture to a female sculpture of a deity enthroned on an altar lit by flames, inside a temple. The female deity cannot be further identified, but the garlands of fruit refer to her as the goddess of fertility and marriage. A high priest at the foot of the temple, next to the king’s daughter, points to the deity with his gesture. He also holds a small female statuette in his hands. At the foot of the scene lie the precious gifts that were intended as presents to Scipio but are now returned to the bride and groom. On the right, slightly outside the centre of the picture, there is a quotation of Hercules Farnese in side view.

Quellinus treated the theme „Magnanimity of Scipio“ several times. A smaller version on copper was sold at auction together with its counterpart „Coriolanus begs to protect Rome“.  According to De Bruyn, a third version by Quellinus was in the Bailén Collection in Madrid.

For the Antwerp art market and for private patrons, Erasmus Quellinus frequently created several versions of a pictorial theme. For example, there are several versions of Achilles with the Daughters of Lycomedes or Artemisia Drinking the Ashes of Mausolus.  In the case of the latter subject, as with the „Magnanimity of Scipio“, there is a version on copper and a larger one on canvas.

It is interesting that quotations from sculptures by his brother Arthur Quellinus often appear in paintings by Erasmus Quellinus. The extent to which the sculpture in the priest’s hand can be traced back to such a work has not yet been clarified.


Erasmus Quellinus II, was the son of the sculptor Erasmus Quellinus I and brother of Artus Quellinus I and Hubertus Quellinus. He became master of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1633/34 after training with Rubens. In the 1630s he worked regularly with Rubens, for example on the commission for the Pompa Introitus or the Torre de la Parada. Both the large number of his historical and mythological pictorial subjects and his extensive library bear witness to his humanistic and philosophical education. After the death of Rubens, in 1640, he became city painter of Antwerp. Quellinus is considered one of Rubens‘ most important successors. He decisively developed Flemish Baroque painting and introduced a more classical Baroque style.  From the 1640s onwards, his compositions take on a more sculptural appearance with an overall classicist impression. This is connected with his collaboration with his brother, the sculptor Artus (1609-68). In the work of the two brothers an idealised type of figure is increasing. Their cooperation can be seen for example in the grisailles created by Quellinus, which often reproduce designs or concrete sculptures by his brother.




De Bruyn, Erasmus II Quellnus. De Schlderijen met Catalogue Raisonné, Freren 1988, pp. 196f. , no. 127 with illustration.


Further literature on Erasmus Quellinus

J.-P. de Bruyn, ‚Erasmus II Quellinus (1607-1678). Een stijlkritische benadering‘, Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen 1984, p. 271, afb. 11

J.-P. de Bruyn, ‚Erasmus Quellinus (1607-1678)‘, Tijdschrift der stad Antwerpen, dec. 1984, p. 190, no. 4, afb. 8

Exhibition catalogue ‚Erasmus Quellinus – in het voetsporen van Rubens‘, De Bruyn et al, Musée de Flandre, Cassel 2014


Erasmus Quellinus

Erasmus Quellinus

(1607 – Antwerpen – 1678)

attributed to Esau  selling his birthright to Jacob (Lentil Stew)

Oil on panel, 50,2 x 63,8 cm

Price: 18.000 €

In Genesis, Esau returned to his twin brother Jacob, famished from the fields. He begs Jacob to give him some „red pottage“. Jacob offers Esau a bowl of lentil stew in exchange for Esau’s birthright ( the right to be recognized as firstborn son with authority over the family), and Esau agrees. Thus Jacob acquires Esau’s birthright.


This subject is rare in 17th Century Flemish Painting. Stylistically the painting can be attributed Erasmus Quellinus.


Flemish School of the 17th Century - Orpheus and the Animals

Flemish School of the 17th Century

Orpheus and the Animals

Oil on canvas, 146,5 x 217 cm

Price on request

Provenance: South German private collection.


On an impressive, room-filling format, this painting depicts „Orpheus and the Animals“.

The harp-playing Orpheus sits centrally in front of a tree whose trunk forks above his head. This central tree frames the scenery with its crown towards the horizon and at the same time offers space for many birds through its branches. The left half of the picture is dominated by a seascape, at the edge of which the ruins of a castle can be seen deep in the background. This seascape, which is framed by mountains on the horizon, is the only area where sky can be seen. On this side, waterfowl such as storks, swans and ducks can be seen. In the right half, the viewer looks into a deep European forest. On this right side, more land animals can be found, such as deer, rabbits and lions, among others. Orpheus wears opulent red and gold clothing with gold trim, and under his blue breastplate we see a white shirt. His feet are adorned by elaborate sandals. His head is surrounded by a radiant laurel wreath („poeta laureatus“). The young man is clearly recognisable by his harp, the laurel wreath and the animals surrounding him as the singer and poet of Greek mythology, Orpheus.


Orpheus was one of the Argonauts who, under Jason, was searching for the Golden Fleece. He sang so beautifully that he even conquered the angry sea and enemies by the magic of his lyre. During the journey, Orpheus is said to have even drowned out the sirens with his singing. It is said that he was the greatest of all poets and charmed people, animals, stones and trees with his song.

A total of 51 birds and 37 different species are depicted in the painting. .[1]  Most of the animals are depicted in great detail and, with the exception of a few, can be identified. Mainly European species are shown. Exceptions are the ostrich-like nandu peeking out from behind the deer, the large parrot at the upper left, and the two lions. The same applies to the large animal directly behind Orpheus on the right. The shape of the head suggests an arctic fox from the polar regions, even though the body is much too large. The arctic fox was first described in 1555 by Olaus Magnus. However, it could also be a depiction of a brown or black bear.

An unusual detail is the animal, which is relatively isolated in the right background and looks to the left. It is not clearly identifiable, but it bears some resemblance to the Australian kangaroo. This was first described by Vespucci in 1500 and further by Francisco Pelsaert in 1629. If it is indeed a kangaroo, this would be one of the earliest surviving pictorial representations of a kangaroo.

In this painting, Orpheus is accompanied by a small monkey playing a viola da gamba. This is an iconographic peculiarity. In general, this painting has some peculiarities compared to other paintings with „Orpheus and the Animals“. The central positioning of Orpheus is quite common, but he usually holds a lyre and is dressed in an antique style, but not as opulently. The choice of animals is also remarkable: European animals in particular are to be seen, hardly any exotic features such as camels or elephants.

The two lions in the right foreground are a quotation after Peter Paul Rubens and his depiction of „Daniel in the Lion’s Den“, which was realised in an engraving.


On the basis of its painterly and compositional conception, the present painting can be classified as belonging to the Flemish School of the 17th century. There are numerous depictions of this Orpheus theme from the circle of Jan Brueghel the Younger, who used the occasion to show as many exotic animals as possible. There are also echoes of Spanish painters such as Juan de Arellano or the Italian Sinibaldo Scorza. The composition of the tree landscape is also reminiscent of Jan Brueghel the Younger and Roelant Savery. One must assume that the artist of the present painting knew some depictions of Orpheus and combined them here in a kind of capriccio. Moreover, one must assume that he had seen some of the animals either in the original (menageries), as stuffed animals or also in copper engravings. This access and this education alone speak for a creation of the painting in the circle of a court or a highly educated patron.



[1] We would like to thank Mr. Ruud Vlek, Amsterdam, for his research and for his help to identify the different species and their meaning.


Follower of Jacopo Amigoni

Follower of Jacopo Amigoni

(1685 –1752)

Saint John the Baptist Preaching

Oil on canvas, 22 x 31 cm

Price: € 8,000

Gottfried Libald

Gottfried Libald

(c. 1610 Hamburg – 1673 Vienna)

Still life with birds, fruits and vegetables

Oil on canvas, 101 x 84 cm

Signed upper left „G Libald “ (G and L ligated)

Price: € 48.000

Provenance: Private collection Brussels; Private collection Ghent (Belgium)

Gottfried Libalt was a German Mannerist artist who was particularly active in Hamburg, Krakow and Vienna.

Two of his major works can still be found in the church of St. Peter in Hamburg. He was famous for his still lifes and the excellent rendering of materiality.

The present painting is published in the specialist literature on Libalt and is recognised as an authentic work by the artist. It is also listed in the Rijksarchief voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie (RKD).



Z. Kazplepka, The „unknown Gottfried Libalt (1610-1673). Additions to his life and work. Umeni/Art, XLVI, 1998, pp. 212-218, fig. 1 (p. 213).


Jan van der Bent

Jan van der Bent

(1650 – Amsterdam – 1690)

Southern landscape with resting shepherdesses before ruins

oil on canvas, 87 x 75 cm

Price: 16.500 €

Belgium, Private Collection until 2016
So far, little is known about life and work of Jan van der Bent. He may have been a pupil of Philips Wouwerman as his oeuvre shows strong parallels to this artist.
The present painting is based on a work by Wouwerman, today in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. There are several versions of this painting but the execution and the condition of this work is remarkable.