Master Paintings Part II

Master Paintings Part II

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 522. Venus and Adonis resting in an extensive landscape, with Cupid and hunting dogs and their quarries.

Property from the Estate of Paul Kasmin

Roelandt Savery | Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem

Venus and Adonis resting in an extensive landscape, with Cupid and hunting dogs and their quarries

Lot Closed

January 30, 03:22 PM GMT


150,000 - 200,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from the Estate of Paul Kasmin

Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Roelandt Savery

Haarlem 1562 - 1638

Venus and Adonis resting in an extensive landscape, with Cupid and hunting dogs and their quarries

signed with monogram and dated on the bank: CvH / 16[...]0

oil on oak panel

panel: 29 1/8 by 40 1/8 in.; 74 by 101.8 cm.

framed: 36 1/2 by 47 in.; 92.7 by 119.4 cm. 

Possibly private collection, Amsterdam, 1633;1
Anonymous sale, Berlin, Leo Spik, 18 September 1950, lot 300;
Anonymous sale, Berlin, Leo Spik, 24 November 1951, lot 265 (as 'Diana and Actaeon');
On the art market, Paris, 1969;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 24 June 1970, lot 81, for £7,000, to Lady P. Cator (as dated 1608);
With David Carritt Ltd., London, 1971;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 28 June 1974, lot 62 (as 'Mars, Venus and Cupid', datable to the early 1620s), where acquired by the late father of the previous owner;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 7 December 2016, lot 36;
There acquired by Paul Kasmin.
M. Díaz Padrón et al., Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577–1640): exposición homenaje, exh. cat., Madrid 1977, p. 138, cat. no. 127, reproduced p. 253, fig. 127 (as dated 1600);
K. Ertz, Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601–1678). The paintings with œuvre catalogue, Freren 1984, pp. 70–71 and 422–23, cat. no. 262, reproduced p. 423 (as Jan Brueghel the Younger);
E.J. Sluijter, De 'Heydensche Fabulen' in de noordnederlandse schilderkunst, circa 1590–1670. Een proeve van beschrijving en interpretatie van schilderijen met verhalende onderwerpen uit de klassieke mythologie, doctoral diss., Leiden 1986, pp. 39, 125 and 136, reproduced fig. 66 (as dated 1622);
P.J.J van Thiel, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, 1562–1638: a monograph and catalogue raisonné, Doornspijk 1999, pp. 125, 136, and 362, cat. no. 172, reproduced plate 203.

Collaborative works were not uncommon in early seventeenth-century Netherlandish art and some artists were regular partners, such as Denijs van Alsloot and Hendrick de Clerck, or Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrick van Balen, but a work such as this, where one major artist has, some eight years later, taken the work of another major artist and extended it, is exceptional. The result is poetic, with the lithe, smoothly painted figures of Venus and Adonis reclining in a landscape busy with all the naturalistic detail we expect in Savery's best works.

This painting was first conceived by van Haarlem alone as a much smaller panel, measuring 35 x 57 cm. (13 3/4 x 22 3/8 in.), extending from the figure of Cupid in the lower left corner, to Adonis' left hand in the upper right corner. This composition was enlarged considerably by Roelant Savery who extended Adonis' lance, added the cave and woods behind the couple and the deer in the lower left corner, as well as the hunting dogs and the extensive landscape.

The date of the original panel is difficult to discern, but the third figure – the least legible – most probably reads as a '1'. A date of 1610 is also loosely supported by the fact that Venus' pose here is almost identical to that of the figure of the goddess in Cornelis' Venus and Mars, in the National Museum, Warsaw, which is dated 1609.2

The extension of the panel is most likely to have occurred in 1618, when Savery worked briefly in Haarlem before moving to Utrecht later that year. Savery frequently collaborated with other artists to people his landscapes, but only one other example of a partnership with Cornelis is known: The Fall of Man, signed by Savery and dated 1618.3

1. According to information from Jan Briels, a painting described as 'Venus and Adonis', with figures by Cornelis and landscape by Savery is recorded in an Amsterdam inventory of 1633; see K.J. Müllenmeister, in Roelant Savery in seiner Zeit (1576–1639), exhibition catalogue, Cologne 1985, p. 36 (incorrectly identified with cat. no. 90 in that catalogue).

2. Inv. no. 137; see Van Thiel 1999, pp. 125 and 366, cat. no. 184, reproduced plate 201.

3. Present whereabouts unknown; see Van Thiel 1999, pp. 136, 183 and 292, cat. no. 3, reproduced plate 236.