Property from an Important European Private Collection | 重要歐洲私人收藏
SEBASTIAEN VRANCX | An extensive landscape with marauders hijacking wagon, a moated castle and the city of Antwerp beyond | 塞巴斯蒂安・弗蘭克斯 | 《強盜搶劫馬車，遠眺被護城河圍繞的城堡與安特衛普城景》
Property from an Important European Private Collection
Antwerp 1573 - 1647
1573 - 1647年，安特衛普
An extensive landscape with marauders hijacking wagon, a moated castle and the city of Antwerp beyond
oil on oak panel
50.8 x 79.8 cm.; 20 x 31½ in.
50.8 x 79.8公分；20 x 31 ½英寸
The large panel adhered to the reverse but appears flat and stable. The panel is constructed out of two horizontal planks, a panel join runs horizontally through the centre of the painting visible in raking light. The paint surface is secure and stable with a clear and even varnish, the pigments are remarkably vivid and well preserved and much of the fluid brushwork still visible. There are no major or restorations visible to the naked eye. Where, with time, some of the pigments have thinned we are able to see throughout much of the painting Vrancx's dynamic under drawing.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals some retouchings along the aforementioned panel join and a few other retouches to minor surface scratches mostly in the sky. In addition there are a few minor restored horizontal cracks at the left margin, one running approximately four inches from the left margin in the tress in the upper left, another one inch in length three quarters of the way up from the left margin of the panel and another the same length at the lower left corner. In remarkable overall condition with no further work required.
Offered in a carved wooden frame with ripple mouldings in good condition.
"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."
Offenheim collection, Austria;
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 18 May 1994, lot 11, for $135,000;
There acquired by the father of the present owner;
Thence by inheritance.
Vrancx lived in turbulent times and he would have clearly remembered the wartime devastation and horrors during his childhood in Antwerp. Throughout his successful career, Vrancx transformed the large-scale battle scenes of the sixteenth century into smaller scale cavalry scenes and skirmishes, in which the reality of warfare for many of his countrymen and day to day life during the Eighty Years War overshadowed any recognition for the heroics of chivalry. In so doing, Vrancx created a standard type for the genre that would be employed by his contemporaries and followers for generations.
This painting does not depict an historical event. In it we see Vrancx’s predilection for the ‘skirmish’ subject matter, which gave him the perfect platform for the theatrical, dramatic tendency that dominates his art throughout his career. The horse-driven cart, laden with household goods, surely cannot be the cause of the extensive and bloody skirmish all around it and instead must simply have found itself unintentionally caught up in it. It is thus purely a centrepoint around which Vrancx’s depiction plays out: the bloody ransacking of a small village. Beyond it, as a counterpoint, is a peaceful and rather beautiful moated castle, and beyond that still, the city of Antwerp, the cathedral spire clearly visible against the skyline. The scene may be inspired by such events as the sacking of Wommelgem by troops of the Dutch Republic on 26 May 1589 after the villagers refused to pay tribute. Vrancx executed several versions of that subject: a painting sold New York, Sotheby’s, 22 May 2019, lot 33; another of circa 1615–20 in the Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf;1 another dated 1629, sold at auction in December 1999, for $565,946;2 and one of circa 1630–40 in a private Belgian collection;3 and there is also a drawing at the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.4
1 Inv. no. 47, oil on oak panel, 55.1 x 85 cm., monogrammed. An autograph replica of this composition is in the collection at the Musée du Louvre, inv. no. 1104, oil on panel, 75 x 107 cm., monogrammed.
2 Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 December 1999, lot 9. Oil on oak panel, 75 x 143 cm.
3 Oil on panel, 87 x 170 cm., monogrammed. See J. van der Auwera, 'Historical Fact and Artistic Fiction, the face of the Eighty Years War in Southern Netherlandish Paintings, in particular those of Sebastian Vrancx (1573–1647) and Pieter Snayers (1592–1667)', in 1648: War and Peace in Europe, exh. cat., 1998, vol. 2, p. 463, reproduced fig. 3.
4 Inv. no. 14237, pen and brown ink and brown wash on paper, 160 x 310 mm., monogrammed.