Lot 2
  • 2

ADRIAEN ISENBRANT | The Virgin and Child enthroned with Angels before a landscape

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Studio of Adriaen Isenbrant
  • The Virgin and Child enthroned with Angels before a landscape
  • oil on oak panel, arched top
  • 13 x 10 cm


Acquired by the late husband of the present owner on the London art market.


C. Peuckert, in E. Mai (ed.), Das Kabinett des Sammlers, Cologne 1993, pp. 25–27, no. 11, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

Characteristic of Isenbrant in this work, probably the central panel of a dismembered small portable altar made for private devotion, is the soft-focus sfumato technique and the high forehead of the Virgin. Many of Isenbrant's paintings have a compositional prototype in the work of an earlier artist, and this example is no exception, being adapted from several early works by Jan Gossaert, most notably the Malvagna triptych of circa 1513–15, executed in collaboration with Gerard David, another artist on whose style Isenbrant formed his.1 Closer still are other works by Isenbrant himself, including another Malvagna triptych derivation, also a triptych, formerly in the Von Pannwitz collection, Heemstede, in which the Christ-Child also reaches out to a parrot borne aloft by a Cherub. The closest work to the present one however is the Virgin and Child with Angels in the San Diego Museum of Art, of which this is a variant. Infra-red imaging conducted by Tager Stonor Richardson reveals pouncing throughout the composition of the figures and the throne in the present work, with linear dry medium underdrawing limited to the architecture in the background and indications of landscape.4  It is possible that both this and the San Diego picture derive from the same cartoon, although the San Diego picture is larger overall, being extended a little at the sides and a lot at the square top.  Moreover, the underdrawing of the building with a pitched roof and sloping gables in the present work reveals a stepped gable, as found in the San Diego picture. 

1 See M.W. Ainsworth, in M.W. Ainsworth (ed.), Jan Gossaert's Renaissance. The Complete Works, exh. cat., New Haven and London 2010, pp. 131–39, cat. no. 6, reproduced.

2 See M.J. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. XI, Leiden 1974, p. 81, no. 143, reproduced plate 112.

3 Oil on panel, 24.13 x 19.05 cm.; See A. Mongan & E. Mongan. European Paintings in The Timken Art Gallery, San Diego 1969. pp. 52-3, 116, no. 17, reproduced, & online catalogue http://collection.sdmart.org/Obj1012?sid=11956&x=172873, where dated circa 1510-20.

4 Job no. 20181017, 17th October 2018.  Their report is available on request and will be posted online.