- Marcellus Coffermans
- the holy family with an angel, an extensive landscape beyond
- oil on oak panel, shaped top, in a Spanish carved and gilt wood frame from circa 1700
- 97 by 74.6 cm.; 38 1/4 by 29 3/8 in.
It seems almost certain, as Díaz Padrón has argued,1 that Marcellus Coffermans established a strong market between his studio and numerous clients in Spain, there being a plethora of works by him both previously recorded there and still in existence in Spanish public institutions and private collections today. The appeal of Flemish painting to the Spanish in the 16th century is well-known but Coffermans must have gone to greater lengths than most to establish an export process between his studio and dealers on the Iberian peninsula. Certainly, his devotional paintings such as this responded well to the pious demands of his potential clients there.
The present painting was almost certainly one such work painted by Coffermans for a Spanish client and it has probably remained in Spain ever since. The composition itself clearly won great appeal in Spain as there are examples by the artist, usually with differences limited only to the background and colour of the clothing, in the Descalzas Reales, the Carmelitas de Salamanca, the Hospital de Medina del Campo, the parochial church of Elgueta and the Martínez Colon collection in the Puerto de Santa María de Cadiz, to name but a few.2 As Díaz Padrón says, the present version ranks as one of the very best amongst the numerous versions now dispersed the world over.
1. Díaz Padrón, op. cit.
2. For the latter, see Ibid., p. 59, fig. 34.