33
33
Jacob van Loo
MELEAGER AND ATALANTA
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 81,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
33
Jacob van Loo
MELEAGER AND ATALANTA
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 81,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Otto Naumann Sale

|
New York

Jacob van Loo
SLUIS 1614 - 1670 PARIS
MELEAGER AND ATALANTA
oil on canvas, shaped
54 5/8 by 64 3/8 in.; 138.7 by 163.5 cm.
54 5/8  by 64 3/8  in.; 138.7 by 163.5 cm.
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Provenance

Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 24-28 April 1906, lot 177 (reproduced in catalogue, as A. van den Tempel; dimensions given as 163 by 189 cm.);
Pierre Eschauzier, The Hague, 1923-1943;
Thence by descent to his daughter, F.E. Wilbrenninck-Eschauzier, Soesterberg, 1947-1993;
Thence by descent to B.A. Wilbrenninck, Arnhem, in 1993;
Thence by descent in the family;
By whom sold, London, Christie's, 8 December 2005, lot 31;
Private collection, United Kingdom;
There acquired.

Exhibited

Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, 1997-2004 (on loan from a private collection, Netherlands). 

Literature

J.W. von Moltke, Govaert Flinck 1615-1660, Amsterdam 1965, p. 232, cat. no. 39 (rejecting an attribution to Flinck);
E.J. Sluijter, De "heydensche fabulen' in de Noordnederlandse Schilderkunst, circa 1590-1670. Een proeve van beschrijving en interpretatie van schilderijen met verhalende onderwerpen uit de klassieke mythologie, The Hague 1986, p. 137 and 467, note 2 (as Jacob van Loo; the same composition as the Wiesbaden picture);
G.J. van der Meer Mohr, "Jacob van Loo een onderbelichte portretschilder,"Origine, 1, 2006, pp. 24-27, reproduced p. 25;
D. Mandrella, Jacob van Loo 1614–1670, Paris 2011, pp. 47, 151, cat. no. P.53, reproduced;
J. Giltaij, Jan de Braij (1626/1627-1697), Schilder en architect, Zwolle 2017, p. 212, under cat. no. 95 (lists the Gemäldegalerie/Wiesbaden version of Meleager and Atalanta as a version or copy of the present painting).

Catalogue Note

This mythological work by Jacob van Loo, depicting Meleager and Atalanta, has been dated  to circa 1650-1655, a period when the artist was still living in Amsterdam and at the height of his fame in that city.  Indeed, the high regard in which he was held is demonstrated by his mention, among other renowned Amsterdam artists such as Rembrandt, Flinck, Bol and van der Helst, in a poem written by Jan Vos in 1654.1  Van Loo was born in Sluis in Flanders and received his first training with his father Jan.  Though it is not known precisely when he settled in Amsterdam, he is recorded in 1635 in connection with a delivery of paintings to the Amsterdam art dealer Marten Cretzer.  In 1642 he was married in Amsterdam to Anna Lengele, sister of The Hague painter Marinus Lengele.  By 1649 his career was already flourishing and he was one of the artists considered to decorate the new royal palace, Huis ten Bosch, in The Hague.  Although not selected, van Loo went on to receive several important commissions during the 1650s, among which was an allegorical painting for the Oudezijds Huiszittenhuis, Amsterdam, and two group portraits of the directors of the Aalmoezeniers Armen Werkhuis (Almoners Workhouse for the Poor) in Haarlem.  Van Loo became a citizen of Amsterdam in 1652.  A document, dated 27 July 1658, details how van Loo, along with several other painters including Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck, all drew and painted from life the same nude model, a certain Catarina Jans.2 Interestingly, this suggests that these artists, together, had formed their own private academic study class.  Van Loo’s involvement in a murder case precipitated his family’s move in 1660 to Paris where, in 1663, he was admitted to the Académie Royal de Peinture et de Sculpture.  He died there seven years later and was followed by a long line of Van Loo family painters.

The story of Meleager is first told in The Iliad, but it is later accounts, such as in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, that recount the specific episode depicted in van Loo’s painting. Meleager was the son of the king of Calydon in Aetolia. His father offended the goddess Diana who sent a wild boar to terrorize the countryside. Meleager and his companions set out to hunt and kill the boar. Among this group was Atalanta, the virgin huntress, whom Meleager loved. She was the first to wound the boar and when it was finally killed, Meleager presented her with the head and pelt of the beast.  This is the moment depicted in van Loo’s painting as Meleager, gazing tenderly at Atalanta, hands her the prize.  Van Loo was possibly inspired by Rubens' painting of the same subject of circa 1616 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 44.22), which was engraved by Cornelis Bloemaert.  It depicts the same point in the story with very similar interaction between Meleager and Atalanta.

The irregular shape of this canvas suggests that it probably once formed part of a decorative scheme.  Another version of this composition by van Loo, slightly larger and with a regular shaped canvas, is in the Museum Wiesbaden (on deposit from the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, 156 by 165 cm.).

1.  Strydt tusschen de Doodt en Natuur of Zeege der Schilderkunst, (Battle Between Death and Nature, or Victory of the Art of Painting), Jan Vos, 1654.
2.  See Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck, Rembrandt's Master Pupils, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam 2017, p. 17, with a reproduction of the notarial document, fig. 2.
3.  The Iliad Book 9, 430-605 and Metamorphoses Book 8, 260-546.

 

The Otto Naumann Sale

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New York