30
30

LOTS 30-52: PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus
'SARDONICUS': A SARDINIAN HORSE
Estimate
7,0009,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
30

LOTS 30-52: PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus
'SARDONICUS': A SARDINIAN HORSE
Estimate
7,0009,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus
BRUGES 1523 - 1605 FLORENCE
'SARDONICUS': A SARDINIAN HORSE
Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk;
bears old attribution in capital letters in pen and brown ink: Stradano over the original inscription by the artist: Sardonicus;
bears old numbering in pen and ink top left: 2 35 and bottom right: 30
206 by 267 mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Rudolf Düb (died 1939), Brünn (L.2197b);
sale, London, Sotheby's, 26 November 1970, lot 9, where purchased by the present owner 

Exhibited

Caen, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, L'Oeil et la Passion, Dessins italiens de la Renaissance dans le collections privées françaises, 2011, p. 112, no. 29, p. 113, reproduced (entry by Nicolas Schwed)

Catalogue Note

This handsome drawing is the study, in the same direction, for one of a major series of forty prints after Stradanus, depicting the thoroughbred horses in the stable of Don Juan of Austria (1547-1578).  Don Juan, the illegitimate brother of Philip II of Spain, was Governor of the Netherlands for the last two years of his life.  In 1576, the year of his appointment, he commissioned Stradanus to create this extraordinary series of portraits of his horses, published in Antwerp by Philips Galle around 1578 under the title: Equile Ioannis Austriaci Caroli V. imp. f.  The prints of the individual horses were prefaced by an elaborate title page and dedication, and a portrait of Stradanus.

The designs for all forty plates were made by Stradanus, but only in a few cases do the prints include the name of the engravers responsible, and their identification has been the subject of much scholarly debate, as has the original sequence and collation of the prints, which seem to have been published over time, in several parts.  Alessandra Baroni Vannucci has suggested that the first fourteen prints were executed by Hieronimus Wierix, but after the artist was forced to flee Antwerp in 1578, the project was completed by Hendrick Goltzius, who is thought to have made fifteen of the plates, and by Hans Collaert the Elder, his son Adrien Collaert, and others.1 The print after the present drawing (fig. 1), which may have been no 20 or 27 in the series, is now considered to have been engraved by Hans Collaert the Elder (1545-1628).2

Including the present work, ten drawings by Stradanus relating to this grand series are known, seven of them in public collections, and two others recently on the art market.2  This is one of the most engaging and handsome of all the surviving drawings from the group, showing the horse elegantly pacing to the right, his head turned to the viewer, with a very slight and subtle indication of a landscape. 

The drawings were referred to by Raffaello Borghini in Il Riposo, published in Florence in 1584, who wrote that they represent ‘tutte le sorte di cavalli d’ogni provincia’.

1. A. Baroni Vannucci, Jan Van der Straet detto Giovanni Stradano, flandrus pictor et inventor, Milan 1997, pp. 366-7; ‘Sardonicus’ reproduced p. 368, no. 27
2.  A. Diels and M. Leesberg, The New Hollstein, Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700. The Collaert Dynasty, Part VI, Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel 2005, p. 186, no. 1486, reproduced p. 189
3. Florence, Uffizi, inv. no. 861 Orn and 863 Orn (see Vannucci, op. cit., nos 361, 368, reproduced); Philadelphia, Museum of Art, inv. no. 28. 42. 4033 (Vannucci, no. 362); Nancy, Musée des Beaux Arts, inv. no. 1714 (Vannucci, no. 363, reproduced); Leiden, Pretenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit, inv. nos. 1210, 1211 (Vannucci, nos. 364, 367, reproduced); Rome, Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, Fondo Corsini, (Vannucci, no. 366, reproduced); sales London, Sotheby's, The Clifford Collection, 3 July 1989, lot 29 and New York, Christie's, 27 January 2008, lot 17 (Vannucci no. 365); sale New York, Sotheby's, 26 January 2011, lot 519

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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