Lot 151
  • 151

Flemish School early 17th Century

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  • Flemish School
  • Aeneas and the Cumaean Sibyl in the Underworld

  • bears the mark Pieter Stas on the reverse and dated 1605
  • oil on copper
  • 17 3/4 by 26 3/8 in.; 45 by 67 cm.

Catalogue Note

This picture represents Aeneas and the Cumaean Sibyl's journey into the Underworld, a scene based on Virgil's 6th book of The Aeneid, when Aeneas prayed to be able to see his deceased father once more and is led by the oracle down a pathway into the underworld.  The two figures are shown standing close to one another, the Trojan hero in full armor and holding his sword.  The surroundings in which the two are depicted strongly suggest that the artist was familiar with the works of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450-1516) and his followers.  Hundreds of figures of all ages, some hybrid or skeletal, are shown engaged in a broad range of activities in a dark, eerie and alarming setting, complete with the river Styx, on which is shown Charon's skiff.  There are many fascinating and intriguing details included in this composition, including galloping classicizing sphinges, a man shoveling, a woman playing the tambourine and various real and imaginary animals.