Lot 3
  • 3

Workshop of Cornelis Engelbrechtsz.

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Cornelis Engelbrechtsz.
  • Christ and the woman taken in adultery
  • oil on oak panel


Probably Johann Baptist Anton Franz Ciolina-Zanoli, Cologne, by 1841, as Patenir (noted by Kugler under Literature);
By inheritance to Franzisca von Clavé-Bauhaben, Cologne:
Her sale, Cologne, Heberle, 4–5 June 1894, lot 66, for 315 Marks;
Her sale and others, Cologne, Heberle, 14–15 June 1895, lot 142;  
Anonymous sale, Cologne, Heberle, 14–15 May 1902, lot 90 (reproduced);
Private collection, Berlin, 1935;
Dr Heinrich Bischoff, Berlin, by 2000;
Thence by descent. 


Probably F. Kugler, Kleine Schriften und Studien zur Kunstgeschichte, vol. II, Stuttgart 1854, p. 21;
G. Parthey, Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis..., vol. II, 1864, p. 231, no. 5;
M.J. Friedländer, 'Versteigerung der Sammlung von Clavé-Bouhaben,' in Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 17, 1894, p. 328;
I.Q van Regteren-Altena, 'Aertgen van Leyden', in Oud Holland, vol 56, 1939, pp. 79, 229, no. 20a;
E. Trautscholdt, 'Zur Vor- und Nachgeschichte einer Kölner Gemäldeversteigerung 1894,' in Mouseion. Studien aus Kunst und Geschichte für Otto H. Förster, Cologne 1960, pp. 304–05, n. 48;
J. Bruyn, 'Twee St Antonius paneelen en en anderen verken van Aertgen van Leyden,' in Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, vol. II, 1960, pp. 95–97;
H. Kier & F.G. Zehnder, Lust und Verlust, vol. 2, Corpus-Band zu Kölner Gemäldesammlungen 1800–1860, Cologne 1998, pp. 244–45, no. 66 (as in the style of Lucas van Leyden);
J.P. Filedt Kok, in C. Vogelaar et al., Lucas van Leyden en de Renaissance, exhibition catalogue, Leiden 2011, p. 325, no. 118, reproduced (as workshop of Cornelis Engebrechtsz., attributed to Aertgen van Leyden).


The support consists of two oak planks, the vertical join running behind the kneeling woman. The reverse is cradled. The support appears stable and is flat. There is retouching along the length of the panel join. The paint surface in general is nicely preserved. Some glazes have tuned a little transparent such as on the best of the figure lower right where the beautiful under drawing has been revealed. There are some restored scratches in the upper right section. Inspection under ultra violet light reveals sporadic retouching, mostly minor, and most evident in the shadowed parts of the moustached figure to the right of the Virgin. Sold with a later parcel gilt frame.
"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

Long associated with Lucas van Leyden, this picture was first attributed to Aertgen van Leyden by Van Regteren Altena in 1939. Recently, Jan Piet Filedt Kok has convincingly located it in the Workshop of Cornelis Engebrechtsz. in Leiden around 1520, suggesting that it may well have been painted there by the youthful Aertgen van Leyden. The figure of the Adulterous Woman recalls the figure of Martha in Engebrechtsz.' Christ in the House of Mary and Martha in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the present painting is consistent with the output from Engelbrechtsz. at the end of the second decade of the 16th century, such as The Calling of Saint Matthew in Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.1 The question of Aertgen van Leyden's authorship was reconsidered when the present work was in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin for conservation and study in 1998–99, when Jan Piet Filedt Kok had the opportunity to study it with other scholars.2 Aertgen Claesz., called Aertgen van Leyden, became a pupil of Cornelis Engebrechtsz. in 1516, and was enrolled in the Leiden Guild in 1521.

Infra-red imaging Conducted by Art Analysis Research reveals detailed underdrawing in chalk throughout, seemingly in two stages, since some is done with a thicker heavier chalk (see fig. 1).4  Tree-ring analysis conducted by Ian Tyers reveals that the panel comprises two planks of Baltic oak from the same tree, likely plausible use from circa 1507 to circa 1539. 

Note on Provenance
Franz Ciolina-Zanoli (1800–50), and his father Johann Baptist Ciolina-Zanoli (1759–1837) were of a generation of collectors that thrived in Cologne in the first half of the 19th century whose collecting profited from the dissolution of the monasteries that followed the secularisation imposed by Napoleon. Their collection, much expanded by Franz, is revealed by the reconstruction of Kier & Zehnder to have been diverse in character, spanning Italian, German, Early Netherlandish and Dutch and Flemish 16th- and 17th-century art (including a number of Cologne School panels), with a handful of earlier German Gothic panels, and a pair of 18th-century vedute.3 By far its greatest picture was the Fra Filippo Lippi Madonna and Child now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The collection passed to Franz' daughter Franziska, who in 1848 married Maximilian Clavé von Bouhaben, who predeceased her. The collection was dispersed following her death in 1893.

1. See Filedt Kok under literature, p. 215, no. 9.1, reproduced, and p. 64, reproduced fig. 2.36.
2. Idem, p. 325, n. 3.
3. See Kier & Zehnder under literature, pp. 232–61.
4. Report no. AAR0780A.  A high resolution image is available on request.