Lot 167
  • 167

Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
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  • Anthony van Dyck
  • Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
  • oil on canvas, mounted on panel
  • 14 1/8 in by 10 1/2 in


George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746–1816), by 1806;
Thence by descent.


London, Royal Academy, Exhibition of the Old Masters, Winter 1878, no. 290;
London, Grosvenor Gallery, Van Dyck Exhibition, 1886-87, no. 136;
King's Lynn, The Fermoy Art Gallery, Exhibition of Pictures by Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1963, no. 9;
London, The Queen's Gallery, Van Dyck, Wenceslaus Hollar and the Miniature Painters at the Court of the Early Stuarts, 1968, no. 14;
London, Agnew's, Loan Exhibition. Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1968, no. 14;
Washington, National Gallery of Art, Anthony van Dyck, 1990–91, no. 91;
Wellesley (Mass.), Davis Museum, on long term loan.


Anon., Inventory of the Contents of Warwick Castle, ms., 1806, hanging in the End Room;
W. Field, An Historical and Descriptive Account of Leamington Spa, Warwick 1815, pp. 182, 200 ('A Sebastian - a sketch - by Vandyck (sic)'), in the State Dressing Room, West window, left side;
C. W. Spicer, Vitruvius Britannicus. History of Warwick Castle, London 1844, in Lady Warwick's boudoir;
H. T. Cooke, An Historical and Descriptive Guide to Warwick Castle…, Warwick 1847, p. 64, in Lady Warwick's boudoir;
Cooper’s, History of Warwick and Guide to the Castle, illustrated, 1850, p.95;
W. Kendall, Inventory of Warwick Castle, ms., 1853, in the Boudoir;
Anon., Inventory of Warwick Castle, ms., circa 1860, in the Boudoir;
F. E. Warwick, ‘Warwick Castle’, in The Pall Mall Magazine, vol. XI, January – April 1897, p. 39, in the Boudoir;
Anon., Inventory of the contents of Warwick Castle, ms., 1900, in the State Boudoir;
Anon., A brief account of the Earls of Warwick, together with a description of the castle and some of the more notable works of art therein, Warwick 1959, p. 48, in the Blue Boudoir;
E. Larsen, The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck, Freren 1988, vol. II, pp. 103–04, no. 241 (as Van Dyck c. 1617–18);
S. Barnes et al., Van Dyck. A complete catalogue of his paintings, Yale 2004, p. 65, under cat. no. I.48 (as 'a good copy').


This picture is in very good condition. The support consists of finely woven linen (?) which has been laid down onto panel, probably at an early date. The paint surface has been recently cleaned and there has been a campaign of tiny meticulous retouchings concentrated in the sky upper right, the torso of the saint and the flank of the horse. The varnish is clear. The restoration has been immaculately carried out and the picture requires no further attention.
"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.

Catalogue Note

Though previously attributed to Van Dyck by Larsen (see Literature), the painting was published in the 2004 complete catalogue of Van Dyck's work as 'a good copy'.  It follows the composition of Van Dyck's large canvas in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich. A second autograph version by Van Dyck, generally considered to precede the Munich version, is in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.1 The compositions differ from one another principally in the placement of the Roman soldier on horseback, who in the Munich version (and thus in the present copy) is placed closer to Sebastian, and also in the loincloth which in the Edinburgh version hangs loosely down Sebastian's right leg rather than being taut around Sebastian's waist and left thigh.

1. See S. Barnes et al., under Literature, pp. 63-5, cat. no. I.47, reproduced in colour.