Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
HENDRIK VAN STEENWIJCK THE YOUNGER
Antwerp 1580 - 1640 Leiden (?)
THE LIBERATION OF SAINT PETER
signed and dated upper left: H.V.STEIN. / 1611
oil on copper
unframed: 10.7 x 10.3 cm.; 4¼ x 4 in.
framed: 18.5 x 18.2 cm.; 7¼ x 7⅜ in.
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Property from the SØR Rusche Collection is available to view at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, 13 – 18 September (weekdays 9am – 4.30pm; weekend 12-5pm).
The copper plate is flat and stable - the paint surface is slightly dirty but the varnish appears to be clear. The paint surface has a very fine indistinct pattern of cracqeulure.
Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals spot retouching scattered around the edges with a more concentrated area in the center of the left and right margins. The main composition is largely untouched save for some scattered spots in the center and a larger spot at the bottom of the column at the center left. In overall 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.
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Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
Private collection, Northern England;
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 22 May 1998, lot 159, where acquired.
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 122.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al, At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 116, cat. no. 122, reproduced in colour;
J. Howarth, The Steenwyck Family as Masters of Perspective, Turnhout 2009, p. 209, cat. no. II C.2, reproduced p. 482;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 4, Historien und Allegorien, Münster/Hamburg/London 2010, pp. 378-81, cat. no. 64, reproduced in colour.
Prison scenes such as this were particularly favoured by Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger, and like church interiors, they offered an opportunity for the artist to display his talent for architectural depiction, with the additional challenge of minimal lighting. The episode of Saint Peter being liberated by an angel from imprisonment by Herod Agrippa was popular in Dutch painting. In most treatments of the subject, Steenwijck placed Saint Peter and the angel prominently in the foreground, in others however – such as the present work – the protagonists are barely perceptible in the impenetrable darkness of the background.