This composition derives from an oil sketch by Rubens in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich (oil on panel, 64 x 50 cm; inv. no. 107) which was the design for the large painting in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (oil on canvas, 394 x 295 cm; inv. no. 2087). Both date from circa 1622-1625.
The actual painting is less dark and less strong in tone than the catalogue illustration would suggest.
The painting is in a satisfactory good condition. It seems to be unlined or has a very thin and fine lining. A small repaired damage can be seen in the pillars upper center, one near the head of the Medusa on the right. There is some stronger vertical stretcher(?) marks running at ca. 1 cm from the right edge. The painted surface is covered with a strong and dense craquelure pattern. Thinness can be observed in places especially between the figures. The colours seem to be nicely preserved. Minor discolored retouchings throughout.
Under the UV light
The painting is under a green uniform varnish which fluoresces completely.
Offered with an ornate plaster 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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."