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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Marten van Valckenborch I
A RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH IRON-MINING SCENES
JUMP TO LOT
111

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Marten van Valckenborch I
A RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH IRON-MINING SCENES
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Marten van Valckenborch I
LEUVEN 1534 - 1612 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
A RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH IRON-MINING SCENES
signed with monogram, dated and inscribed lower right: MVV FECIT . 1611  AET . 76
oil on copper
39 by 51 cm.; 15 1/4  by 20 in.
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Catalogue Note

This is Marten van Valckenborch’s last known painting, and is the largest of only three known works by him on copper.  It is one of the most detailed depictions of the mining and smelting process of the late 16th/early 17th century, and one of only two extensive mining scenes by either of the van Valckenborch brothers remaining in private hands.  While it probably does not depict a precise location, Jacques Stiennon’s 1954 essay “Les Sites mosans de Lucas I et Marten I Van Valckenborch” plausibly suggests that most of the brothers’ river valley scenes depicting mining activities are related to the iron industry along the Meuse river valley around present-day Huy in Belgium.

The painting is unrecorded in the literature and was unknown to Dr. Alexander Wied, who confirmed its authenticity in email communication with the present owner.  It is interesting that the painting is not only signed and dated, but that the artist has added his age as well.  Prior to the discovery of this painting, Marten's last known works were dated 1610.1  Only three other paintings, all completed in the last five years of his life, include Van Valckenborch’s age in the signature.2  Wied hypothesizes that this was done to avoid any confusion with the work of his nephew, Marten II, even though Marten the Younger died in 1597.

1. See A. Wied, Lucas und Marten van Valckenborch, Freren 1990, p. 275, cat. nos. M43 & M44, reproduced plates 34 & 35.
2. Ibid., cat. nos. M41, M42, M44.

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