Lot 4
  • 4

Netherlandish School circa 1525

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • the virgin and child seated in a landscape, joseph seated in a house to the right
  • bears numbering in brown ink, verso: 1150 A
    pen and brown ink


Richard Cosway (L.628);
Robert von Hirsch, Basel, sale of his collection, London, Sotheby's, 20 June 1978, lot 12 (as School of Brussels, circa 1525)


Frankfurt-am-Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Handzeichnungen alter Meister aus deutschem Privatbesitz, 1924, catalogue by George Swarzenski and Edmund Schilling, no. 18, reproduced p. XII

Catalogue Note

The nature of workshop practice in the Netherlands during the first decades of the sixteenth century was such that there are relatively few artists working in this milieu whose drawings can be attributed with any certainty, and numerous fine drawings remain to this day anonymous.

Although it was catalogued in the Von Hirsch sale as "Brussels School", there is nothing that particularly links this drawing stylistically with that city.  Indeed, the dominant influence seen here would seem rather to be an indirect one from Dürer, filtered through the drawings, and even more the prints, of northern Netherlandish artists, in particular Lucas van Leyden and Jan Gossaert, called Mabuse.  The pose of the child, and the facial types of both foreground figures, are clearly reminiscent of Mabuse (see, for example, his 1520-22 print of The Madonna and Child )1.  Although the handling of the folds in the drapery is rather more angular than anything to be found in drawings from the artist's immediate circle, the treatment of the background foliage provides another link with Mabuse, recalling the leaves in the foreground of Mabuse's drawing of The Adoration of the Magi, in the Louvre.2

1. Reproduced, Jan Gossaert genaamd Mabuse, exhibition catalogue, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, and Brugge, Groeningemuseum, 1965, no. 71

2. Inv. no. 20.000; F. Lugt, Musée du Louvre, Inventaire général des Dessins...Maîtres des anciens Pays-Bas nés avant 1550, Paris 1968,  no. 75, reproduced plate 40