57
57
Abraham Janssens the Elder
SAINT JEROME
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
57
Abraham Janssens the Elder
SAINT JEROME
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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New York

Abraham Janssens the Elder
ANTWERP 1567 - 1632
SAINT JEROME

Provenance

A Carthusian Convent in Lier, Belgium;
Private collection, Lower Austria;
By whom sold, Dorotheum, Vienna, 18 March 1992, lot 58 (as Janssens);
From whom acquired by the present owner.

Catalogue Note

Like many of his contemporaries, Janssens travelled to Italy, where he was recorded in Rome in 1598 and 1601. He was strongly influenced throughout the rest of his career by what he saw there. His monumental figures, such as the present strikingly sculptural Saint Jerome, are strikingly Michelangelesque, more so than the works of any of his countrymen. He also certainly fell under the spell of Caravaggio. Janssens' Caravaggism, the dominant facet of his mature style, probably underwent repeated renewal through the prism of fellow Northern artists returning from Rome over the succeeding decades. The present highly Caravaggesque painting, for example, with its dramatic diagonal lighting, strong chiaroscuro and almost totally dark background, is particularly close to Caravaggio's Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness in Kansas City, which dates from circa 1604, although Janssens returned to his native Antwerp in circa 1602.1 

The present composition evidently enjoyed considerable publicity, since it is known in several other autograph versions: in The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia;2 in The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest;3 in Ampleforth Abbey, Yorkshire;4 and in a work sold at Sotheby's in New York, 25 January 2017, lot 27, for $400,000 hammer price.5

1. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, inv. no. 52-25; see E.W. Rowlands, Italian paintings 1300-1800. The collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City 1996, pp. 215-26, cat. no. 25, reproduced in colour p. 217.
2. Inv. no. 71.459, 152 by 118 cm.; see D. Weller, Saints and Sinners, Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and his Dutch and Flemish Followers, exh. cat., Norfolk 1998, p. 152, cat. no. 26, reproduced. 
3. Inv. no. 731, 181 by 141 cm.; see Weller 1998, p. 154, under cat. no. 26, reproduced fig. 1.
4. 176.5 by 141 cm.; photograph kept in the Witt Library, The Courtauld Institute, London.
5. 190 by 149.5 cm.

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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New York