- Sir Peter Paul Rubens
- The goddess Diana and her nymphs hunting deer
- oil on canvas
With Galerie Louis Manteau, Brussels;
Acquired from the above by Baron Coppée, after 1923;
Thence by descent.
Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, The World of Bruegel. The Coppée Collection and Eleven International Museums, 29 March – 25 June 1995, no. F24.
S. Leclercq et al., La Collection Coppée, Liège 1991, pp. 138–139, reproduced;
M. Wilmotte, in the catalogue of the exhibition The World of Bruegel. The Coppée Collection and Eleven International Museums, Tokyo 1995, p. 200, cat. no. F24, reproduced.
The canvas has recently been relined but is still slightly loose on the stretcher. The paint surface has also been pressed as a result of the relining. There is a surface scratch lower left by the dog's tail. A long repair on the right hand side has discoloured. 36 cm from the right hand edge is a line of repainting that has discoloured slightly, probably at the joint between the two joined canvasses. The same on the right hand side, 24 cm from the far edge. These are very subtle and do not disturb the overall look of the picture. There are a few medium size patches of uneven varnish and small retouchings throughout.
This lot is offered in an elaborate frame of gilt plaster, which is old and in need of a clean.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This painting would probably originally have had a pendant of the Caledonian Boar Hunt
, for at least one complete such pair has survived.1
Although no certain original for the Caledonian Boar Hunt
has survived, Arnout Balis has suggested that the prototype for the Hunt of Diana
may be the painting with Colnaghi in the 1980s and now in an American private collection, in which the only difference is that the landscape has been extended slightly to the right.2
In each case in the originals, Rubens would have been responsible for the figures, while the painting of the deer was assigned to a second painter, in this case Rubens' frequent collaborator Paul de Vos (1591–1678), and the landscape added by a third painter, most likely Jan Wildens (1586–1653) or his atelier. The source of the original commission is, however, unknown. Balis observes that 'Due quadri, uno... e l'altro La Caccia al cervo, originale del famoso Rubens pittore Fiammingo...
' ('two paintings, one... the other a Deer Hunt, an original by the famous Flemish painter Rubens') recorded in the 1730 inventory of the Marchese Guidi di Bagno in Cesena might have belonged to his forebear Gian Francesco Guidi di Bagno (1578–1641), who was Papal Nuncio in the Netherlands between 1621 and 1627, and a personal friend of Rubens, but they do not appear in his inventory of 1641.3
1. See A. Balis, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. Part XVIII: II. Hunting scenes, Oxford 1986, pp. 208–13 under cat. nos 17 and 18, copies no. 1 and no. 2 respectively. These may well be those recorded in Cesena in 1730 (see note 3 below);
2. Balis, op. cit., 1986, p. 209, cat. no. 17, reproduced fig. 98. The wider landscape is the result of an additional section of canvas being added at a later date.
3. Ibid., p. 208.