Anonymous sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 16 June 1987, lot 22.
B. Dorival, Supplément au Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre de Philippe de Champaigne, Paris 1992, cat. no. 83, p. 84, reproduced fig. 83 (as by Philippe de Champaigne and Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne).
Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne was born in Brussels but in 1643 he left for Paris to study under his uncle Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674). Though his early works are heavily influenced by his uncle, Jean-Baptiste left the studio for a tour of Italy in 1658 and after that gradually began to form his own style and receive his own royal commissions. The present work still exhibits the influence of his uncle, and indeed it was previously published as a collaboration between the two artists (see Literature).
We are grateful to Frédérique Lanoë for confirming the attribution to Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne based on photographs.
The canvas has been relined. The paint layer is flat and the colors are well-preserved and bright. Ultraviolet light reveals scattered retouching and strengthening throughout, though it is mostly in the sky and along the four edges. There is minimal repaint in the figures, other than in some of the darker areas and shadows of the group to the left. There is strengthening in the sky and buildings which flouresces as well. To the naked eye, none of this restoration is evident or distracting. The work can be hung as is. Offered in a carved giltwood frame. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.