31
31

THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY

Erasmus Quellinus the Younger
THE TRIUMPH OF GALATEA
JUMP TO LOT
31

THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY

Erasmus Quellinus the Younger
THE TRIUMPH OF GALATEA
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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Erasmus Quellinus the Younger
ANTWERP 1607 - 1678
THE TRIUMPH OF GALATEA
signed lower centre on a spoke of the paddle-wheel: E. Quellinus f.
oil on canvas
132 x 215 cm.; 51 1/2  x 85 1/2  in.
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Provenance

S.B. Goldsmith, Frankfurt-am-Main;

His sale, Vienna, Schwartz, 11 March 1907;

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 28 April 1971, lot 65;

Baron Louis Empain, Brussels;

Sale, Brussels, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, 14 June 1977, lot 27, when believed to have been acquired by the late father of the present owners.

Exhibited

Taiwan, Museum of Art, 1988;

Cassel, Musée départemental de Flandre, Erasmus Quellinus in de voetsporen van Rubens, 5 April – 7 September 2014, no. 1.19.

Literature

Possibly J. Denucé, Kunstuitvoer in de 17e eeuw te Antwerpen, De Firma Forchoudt, Antwerp 1931, pp. 122, no. 29;

M.-L. Hairs, Dans le sillage de Rubens. Les peintres d'histoire anversois au XVIIe siècle, Liège 1977, p. 113;

J.-P. De Bruyn, Erasmus II Quellinus (1607–1678). Leven en werken, doctoral diss., Ghent 1982, pp. 76;

J.-P. De Bruyn, 'Erasmus II Quellinus (1607–1678), een stijlkritische benadering', in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1984, p. 314, reproduced fig. 20;

J.-P. De Bruyn, 'De samenwerking van Peter Boel en Erasmus II Quellinus', in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1985, pp. 280, 282, reproduced fig. 3;

J.-P. De Bruyn, Erasmus II Quellinus. De schilderijen met catalogue raisonné, Freren 1988, pp. 40, 63, 243, cat. no. 203, reproduced;

A. Balis (ed.), The Golden Age of Flemish Painting, exh. cat., Taiwan, 1988, p. 75, reproduced on the cover;

J.-P. De Bruyn, 'Erasmus II Quellinus (1607–1678): addenda en corrigenda I,' in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1990, reproduced fig. 4; 

J-P. De Bruyn, Erasmus Quellinus in de voetsporen van Rubens, exh. cat., Cassel 2014, pp. 92–93, no. 1.19, reproduced, and p. 157 (Œuvre catalogue), no. 30, also reproduced on the cover.

Catalogue Note

Although the story of the Nereid Galatea is related by Ovid, XIII, 750–897, her Triumph is described in Hesiod's Theogony, 188 ff. The subject presents a glorious opportunity for sumptuous description, and Quellinus must have enjoyed rising to the challenge, since he has here presented the viewer with an unrestrained Baroque parade of shimmering and near-naked figures frolicking in the creamy waves, illuminated by a rich golden light. He entrusted the marine creatures to his customary collaborator Pieter Boel (Antwerp 1622–1674 Paris).

De Bruyn used to date this work circa 1655–60, but has more recently moved it earlier, to circa 1645. Given that Boel was not recorded back in Antwerp following a lengthy sojourn in Italy until 1650, it may perforce date from towards the end of the decade.  

It has been suggested that his picture might have been the painting mentioned in an invoice preserved in the Antwerp archives issued by Antwerp dealer W. Forchondt, documenting a sale on 14 November 1671 to Graf Berckel in Linz of two paintings by Quellinus and Boel (from a shipment of some hundred pictures from Antwerp to Vienna), one of them a work described as a Seegodt van Quellinus, de vissen van Peter Boel.1 Among surviving works by both artists there are several possible candidates, for example another Triumph of Galatea by Quellinus and Workshop and Pieter Boel at Schleissheim, similar in style and presumably also in date to the present picture, but in which Galatea and her triumphal procession are reversed; and – rather less likely – a rather nondescript upright painting of a River God, possibly a fragment, by Quellinus and Boel in Dieppe.2  The strongest candidate however is the Neptune in Prague, Národní Galerie, in which Boel's contribution is far more significant.3

1 Denucé 1931.

2 Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, inv. no. 1235, on loan to Schleissheim, oil on canvas, 76 x 128 cm., De Bruyn 1988, p. 224, no. 168, reproduced; and Dieppe, Château-Musée, inv. no. 4861-974.2.1, oil on canvas, 130 x 110 cm., De Bruyn, 1988, p. 221, no. 167, reproduced.

3 De Bruyn 2014, p. 136, no. 3.4, reproduced. 

Old Masters Evening Sale

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