Lot 9
  • 9

School of Northern France, early 16th century

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
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  • School of Northern France, early 16th century
  • The Presentation of the Virgin
  • Oil and gold on panel

    Verso: a Pope and a bishop saint, en grisaille

  • 76cm by 87cm


Cannon Louis Burgeon, Dean of the Church of Saint-Brice in Tournai, before 1866;

Madame Burgeon, widow of the above, Brussels, 1866;

Her daughter, Madame Brulé-Burgeon, Brussels;

With Galerie de Heuvel, Brussels;

Acquired from the above by Baron Coppée, 19 April 1928;

Thence by descent.


Budapest, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Exhibition of Flemish Art, 1927;

Brussels, Exposition universelle internationale, Cinq siècles d'art, I: Peintures arts anciens bruxellois et sections étrangers, 24 May – 13 October 1935, no. 23 (as Follower of Van der Weyden);

Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, De Van Eyck à Bruegel, 1935, no. 35 (as Flemish School, late 15th century);

Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, La Société la Peau de l'Ours, 66 tableaux de maîtres anciens, parmi lesquels quelques chefs d'œuvre, August – September 1937, no. 41 (as Flemish School 15th–16th century);

Brussels, Exposition d'Art Ancien, Noël dans l'art ancien, 18 December 1941 – 6 January 1942, no. 1 (as Follower of Van der Weyden);

Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, The World of Bruegel. The Coppée Collection and Eleven International Museums, 29 March – 25 June 1995, no. F1 (as Franco–Dutch School).


S. Leclercq et al., La Collection Coppée, Liège 1991, p. 4, reproduced p. 5;

M. Wilmotte, in the catalogue of the exhibition The World of Bruegel. The Coppée Collection and Eleven International Museums, Tokyo 1995, p. 154, no. F1, reproduced p. 155 (as Franco–Dutch School).


The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Structural Condition The panel ,which is painted on the reverse, is secure and stable within the framing arrangement and is providing a sound structural support. Paint Surface The paint surface has an even varnish layer and inspection under ultraviolet light shows a number of carefully applied retouchings, the most significant of which are: 1) Two vertical lines covering joins in the panel. These are approximately 29 cm from the left and right vertical framing edges, 2) a third vertical line of retouching approximately 23 cm from the right vertical framing edge. 3) A thicker, slightly diagonal line running down from the upper horizontal framing edge, approximately 8 cm in from the upper right corner down into the face of the standing woman, second from the right of the composition. I would assume that this covers a repaired split in the panel. 4. There is an area of retouching in the sky just below the upper horizontal framing edge which measures approximately 8 x 3 cm, and 5. small spots on the pink robes of the standing saint, third form the right of the composition. There are other small scattered retouchings and there may be other retouchings beneath older opaque varnish layers which are not identifiable under ultraviolet light. Summary The painting would therefore appear to be in a very good and stable condition having been carefully conserved in the past and it is encouraging to note that the fine detail of the painting appears to be intact with no evidence of abrasion in the past.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Although the principal subject depicted in the centre of the panel is The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, two other subjects from the Life of the Virgin are also included: the Apparition of the Angel to Joachim in the background, and the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate to the left. Like many depictions of the Life of the Virgin, this account is based on Jacobus de Voragine's thirteenth-century text The Golden Legend.

Once given to the following of Rogier van der Weyden in Brussels, and to that of Simon Marmion in Amiens and Valenciennes, more recently both Henri Pauwels and Jacqueline Sonkes have suggested that this panel originated in Northern France in the early sixteenth century. Its author certainly seems to have been aware of current developments in Flemish painting in Brussels in the wake of Van der Weyden, such as the work of the Master of the Van Orsoy altarpiece. This work, however, with its curiously elongated and sometimes misproportioned figures, remains more provincial in character, and very probably reflects a more westerly reflection of these trends. Another example of these cross currents is the triptych of The Deposition in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose wings depict two episodes from the Life of the Virgin: the Presentation in the Temple (fig. 1) and the Marriage of the Virgin.1 The former wing offers good comparison with the Coppée panel in its strong local colours, awkward perspective and figure types strongly derived from Van der Weyden. The Cambridge triptych has also been thought to be French and specifically Burgundian, but equally has been attributed to the Brussels School, on account of its stylistic connections to the work of the Master of Van Orsoy altarpiece himself.



1. H. Gerson and J. W. Goodison, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Catalogue of Paintings. Dutch and Flemish Schools, vol. I, Cambridge 1960, p. 40, no. M25, reproduced plate 20 (as Flemish early 16th century).