FLEMISH SCHOOL, 18TH CENTURY | THE PRODIGAL SON
Property of a Distinguished New York Collector
FLEMISH SCHOOL, 18TH CENTURY
THE PRODIGAL SON
possibly signed lower right
oil on canvas
canvas: 23⅝ by 29⅛ in.; 60 by 74 cm.
framed: 30½ by 35⅝ in.; 77.5 by 90.5 cm.
The canvas is lined. An elegant image reads well with the paint surface beautifully preserved, for example, the still life on the table and fabrics of the figures. Inspection under UV reveals a few scattered, thin inpainting on the bottom right quadrant, bottom left corner, and the black dress of the lady on the floor at left. There is a spot of retouching outlining the head of the female figure playing the lute that is also visible to the naked eye, as well as two other spots of strengthening, possibly addressing old craquelure, one left of the atlas, while the other is left of the caryatid. Further reading is impeded due to a milky varnish. Painting can hang as is. Offered in a giltwood frame that is elaborately carved.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
This painting repeats a composition in the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, currently attributed to Hieronymus Janssens (inv. no. 2637). There are also two other known versions of this painting, one recorded in a private Viennese collection, 1943 and the other in a private collection in Scotland, 1960.
The subject of this painting is the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-13), which was a popular theme in Northern Europe from the 16th century well into the 18th century. It depicts the moment when the prodigal son squandered all his wealth in wild living in a distant place from home.