JACOB VAN DER ULFT | THE PHIDIAN STATUE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA, WITH OLYMPIC GAMES TAKING PLACE AT ITS FEET
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 GBP
Property from the SØR Rusche Collection
JACOB VAN DER ULFT
Gorinchem 1627 - 1689 Noordwijk
THE PHIDIAN STATUE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA, WITH OLYMPIC GAMES TAKING PLACE AT ITS FEET
signed lower left: J.v Ulft. ft
oil on panel
unframed: 36.5 x 58.2 cm.; 14⅜ x 22⅞ in.
framed: 45.5 x 67.5 cm.; 18 x 29½ in.
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The panel is uncradled, flat and stable. An old, horizontal repaired split runs the width of the panel around a third from the upper margin, and there is associated retouching along this line. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms this, and reveals an additional handful of small scattered retouchings. In overall good condition.
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.
With S. Nystad, The Hague, 1955;
F.C. Butôt, Sankt Gilgen, Austria;
His posthumous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 16 November 1993, lot 40, when acquired.
Salzburg, Museumpavillon im Mirabellgarten, 12 July – 12 September 1972; Münster, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, 26 September 1972 – 14 January 1973, Niederländische Kunst aus dem Goldenen Jahrhundert, unnumbered;
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Hollandse en Vlaamse Kunst uit de 17e eeuw, 16 February – 1 April 1973, unnumbered;
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 28.
The SØR Rusche Collection has been exhibited extensively over the last two decades. Please click here for further information.
Niederländisches Kunst aus dem Goldenen Jahrhundert--Gemälde und Zeichnungen im Umkreis grosser Meister aus der Sammlung F.C. Butôt, exh. cat., Salzburg 1972, pp. 150–51, reproduced;
Hollandse en Vlaamse kunst uit de 17e eeuw: hoogtepunten van minder bekende meesters: schilderijen en tekeningen uit de verzameling F.C. Butôt, exh. cat., Rotterdam 1973, pp. 154–55, reproduced;
L.J. Bol, G. Keyes and F.C. Butôt, Netherlandish paintings and drawings from the collection of F.C. Butôt by little-known and rare masters of the seventeenth century, London 1981, p. 228, cat. no. 97, reproduced;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M. J. Bok et al., At Home in the Golden Age, exh. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 51, cat. no. 28, reproduced in colour;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 4, Historien und Allegorien, Münster/Hamburg/London 2010, pp. 426–30, cat. no. 73, reproduced in colour.
Jacob van der Ulft is known principally for his architectural and topographical views. As a work of fantasy, the present work is somewhat of an anomaly within his painted œuvre. The colossal statue of Zeus is seated in the centre of the temple; to the right is a statue of Hercules, one of Zeus' sons, standing with his club and a lion skin. Spectators watching the Olympic Games wrestling and equestrian competitions; and in the foreground a kneeling athlete is awarded a laurel wreath.
The main elements of the composition follow the engraving of 1572 by Philips Galle, after a drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck - part of a series depicting the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The artist Willem van Nieulandt the Younger also depicted the scene, and appears to have inspired the bright palette of Van der Ulft’s painting. Such a subject reflects the learned Early Modern fascination with the Ancient World.