31
31

THE PROPERTY OF A BELGIAN FAMILY

Marten van Cleve the Elder
AN OUTDOOR WEDDING DANCE
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 187,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
31

THE PROPERTY OF A BELGIAN FAMILY

Marten van Cleve the Elder
AN OUTDOOR WEDDING DANCE
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 187,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London

Marten van Cleve the Elder
ANTWERP CIRCA 1527 - BEFORE 24 NOVEMBER 1581
AN OUTDOOR WEDDING DANCE

Provenance

With Robert Finck, Brussels, by 1965;

From whom acquired by the father of the present owners in late 1965 or January 1966.

Exhibited

Brussels, Galerie Robert Finck, Exposition de tableaux des maîtres flamands du XVe au XVIIe siècle, 26 November – 12 December 1965, no. 16.

Literature

G. Marlier, Pierre Brueghel le Jeune, Brussels 1969, p. 349, fig. 215 (as an important work by Marten van Cleve);

H.-J. Raupp, Bauensatiren. Enstehung und Entwicklung des bäuerlichen Genres in der deutschen und niederländischen Kunst ca. 1470–1570, Niederzier 1986, p. 260, reproduced fig. 249;

K. Ertz, Pieter Brueghel d.J. (1564–1647/38). Die Gemälde mit kritischem Œuvrekatalog, Lingen 2000, vol. II, pp. 682, 733, cat. A 992, reproduced p. 682, fig. 557 (also possibly identical with p. 735, no. A 1008, reproduced; as not by [Abgeschriebung] Pieter Brueghel the Younger, but hard to judge from a photograph);

K. Ertz and C. Nitze-Ertz, Marten van Cleve 1524–1581, Lingen 2014, pp. 65, 195, cat. no. 127, reproduced (as Marten van Cleve).

Catalogue Note

The likely prime version of this composition, a beautifully preserved work by Marten van Cleve, only came to light earlier this year when it was sold at Sotheby's in London on 6 July 2016 for £880,000 (see fig. 1). The present painting was noted in the sale catalogue entry as one of the two other known autograph versions, of which the other was with Houthakker in Amsterdam in 1934 and is known from a poor photograph; there remains a possibility that the latter two are one and the same painting.

The inspiration for the composition derives from two principal sources: Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Wedding Dance, dated 1566, now in the Detroit Institute of Arts (inv. 30.374), and an engraving by Pieter van der Heyden after a design by Bruegel the Elder, which Van Cleve himself interpreted in a wonderfully free and unselfconscious drawing. Infra-red imaging of the present picture (see fig. 1) reveals a mixture of probably traced outlines with more freely-drawn working-up of figures, especially those around and near the table to the left, as well as some architectural elements. 

The work of Marten van Cleve seems to have been the principal painted medium via which the designs and pictorial ideas of Pieter Bruegel the Elder were transmitted to Pieter Brueghel the Younger, who was an infant when his father died, and whose earliest dated works emerge towards the end of the 16th century.   

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London