Master Paintings

Master Paintings

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 2. Danaë.

Gillis Coignet the Elder


Lot Closed

October 21, 04:02 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 USD

Lot Details


Gillis Coignet the Elder

Antwerp 1542 - 1599 Hamburg


oil on panel

panel: 47⅝ by 67 in.; 121 by 170.2 cm.

framed: 57⅜ by 77½ in.; 145.7 by 196.9 cm.

Please note that there is an updated condition report for this lot.
With Max Nussbauer, Bern, by 1945 (as Goltzius);
Anonymous sale ("Old Master Paintings from a Private Belgian Collection"), Amsterdam, Sotheby's Mak van Way, 26 November 1984, lot 69 (as Vincent Sellaer);
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 4 June 1987, lot 43 (as Vincent Sellaer).  

J. Briels, Vlaamse schilders in de Noordelijke Nederlanden in het begin van de Gouden Eeuw 1585-1630, Haarlem 1987, p. 73, reproduced fig. 68 (as Gillis Coignet);

J. Briels, Peintres flamands au berceau di Siècle d'Or hollandais, Antwerp 1997, pp. 63, 65, reproduced fig. 74 (as Gillis Coignet);

Jan Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen’ in de schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw, Leiden 2000, p. 243-244, under note 69 (as G. Coignet).

This large and vibrant panel of Danaë is considered by Dr. Koenraad Jonckheere, to whom we are grateful, to be one of the "best examples of mythological painting in the Low Countries in the second half of the sixteenth century."1  Although the painting has previously been given to Hendrick Goltzius and Vincent Sellaer, most recently the work was published by Briels as by Gillis Coignet, an attribution also endorsed by Dr. Jonckheere on the basis of digital images.  

The Netherlandish artist Gillis Coignet was born in Antwerp in 1542. Soon after joining Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1561, he travelled to Italy, where he remained for nearly a decade working in cities such as Sicily, Rome, Naples, and Florence. On this southern sojourn, Coignet encountered a number of Italianate schools that would have a lasting impact on his distinct style. The present composition, for example, which harkens back to the work of Titian, is illustrative of the influence of Venetian artists on this northern hand. In 1570, Coignet returned to Antwerp, and he became the Dean of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1585. In 1586, Coignet moved to Amsterdam, followed in the early 1590s by Hamburg, where he would spend the remainder of his career.  

1. Email Correspondence, August 2022.