Old Masters Evening Sale | 西洋古典油畫晚拍

Old Masters Evening Sale | 西洋古典油畫晚拍

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 23. JACOB JORDAENS | Christ among the Pharisees | 雅格・約達恩 | 《在法利賽人之間的基督》.

JACOB JORDAENS | Christ among the Pharisees | 雅格・約達恩 | 《在法利賽人之間的基督》

Auction Closed

December 4, 08:03 PM GMT


50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot Details




Antwerp 1593 - 1678

1593 - 1678年,安特衛普

Christ among the Pharisees


oil on canvas


140.3 x 212.4 cm.; 55¼ x 83⅝ in.

140.3 x 212.4公分;55 ¼  x 83 ⅝英寸

Sir Claude Alexander, Ballochmyle House, Mauchline, Scotland;

Acquired by the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, in 1952;

By whom sold, New York, Sotheby's, 28 January 2000, lot 55;

Where acquired by a private collector;

From whom acquired by the current owner. 

W.R. Valentiner, Catalogue of Paintings. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh 1956, pp. 63–64, no. 119, reproduced;

M.C. Donnelly, 'Notes on Old and Modern Drawings: Calvinism in the Work of Jacob Jordaens', in Art Quarterly, Winter 1959, pp. 363–66, reproduced, fig. 5;

Masterpieces of Religious Art, exh. cat., Wichita Art Museum Wichita, Kansas, 1967, no. 36, reproduced;

R.-A. d'Hulst, Jordaens Drawings, London 1974, under no. A351;

R.-A. d'Hulst, Jacob Jordaens, London 1982, p. 253.

Wichita, Kansas, Wichita Art Museum, Masterpieces of Religious Art, 1 December 1967 – 30 January 1968, no. 36.

Painted by Jacob Jordaens in about 1660–70, this depiction of Christ among the Pharisees dates from the years just before the artist's conversion to Protestantism, when the differences between Catholic and Protestant doctrine must have been much on his mind. A rather atypical example of his religious production, this painting seems in fact to belie his Calvinist leanings. 

Jordaens, his daughter, and his household all converted to Protestantism in 1671, when the artist was 78 years of age. His relationship with Protestantism dated much earlier, however; his wife who died in 1659 was buried in the Calvinist church at Putte, just across the Dutch border. The Catholic authorities were suspicious of his leanings even earlier than that; Jordaens was asked to account for the purpose of a trip to Brussels in 1649 (it was, he explained, to deal with a legal matter there). It seems likely that Jordaens refrained from publicly eschewing the Catholic faith for business reasons; in Catholic Antwerp it made sense not to raise the issue with his clientele. 

In depicting Christ among the Pharisees, with the Dove of the Holy Spirit hovering above, Jordaens has in fact created a pictorial religious debate rather than illustrating an actual episode from the New Testament. The books held open by the Pharisees are written in Flemish and the text seems to relate to, but not transcribe, verses from the Old and New Testament (Isaiah 63 on the left and John on the right). The text on the left roughly translates as ‘We saw him but did not recognize him’, a point that Jordaens humorously emphasizes with the half-blind scholar holding large glasses as he cranes his head toward the book and Christ. The group of Pharisees at right are confronted with text from the New and Old Testaments, stating ‘Jesus Christ is the truth. God lives forever’ and ‘I am the resurrected’. Christ, with one hand on the scriptures and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit above, is clearly meant as the one way to salvation. His presence here emphasizes the divine authorship of the Bible. The Pharisees, meanwhile, who see but do not see, represent the erroneous beliefs of the Roman Church.