THE HOLY FAMILY WITH AN ANGEL
Second quarter of 16th century
Oil on wood panel
95 x 42 cm (h x w)
Signed: Marked lower center with metal plate on frame: "COLLECTION PRINCE/ ESTER HAZY/ BUDAPEST." Label on back: "PRINCE ESZTERHAZY/ BUDAPEST" and seals
| 17 647 €
| 19 608 €
This unique panel painting of the Holy Family is a work of exceptional quality that impresses with its deliberate composition outline, harmoniously balanced color, and excellently executed brushwork in the fabric. The individual figures are also charmingly and soulfully portrayed. The figure of the Virgin Mary, as the closest intermediary to God, is here the personification of motherhood, humility and dedication, sitting at the table dressed in a red cloak and on her lap holding the naked Christ Child, who is clutching at her. The background is divided into two halves. On the right half Joseph is leaning towards the pair through a window that offers a view of the landscape.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst was an excellent Flemish painter, sculptor, architect, and designer of wood engravings, goldsmith work, stained windows and tapestries. He worked in Antwerp and Brussels and was appointed court painter to Charles V. He was also a polyglot, translating ancient Roman and modern Italian architectural treatises about architecture into Flemish, French and German. His books played a pivotal role in the dissemination of Renaissance ideas and contributed to the transition from the late Gothic style in Northern Europe. From Italy he returned to Antwerp, where he inherited his father’s very productive workshop. The original The Holy Family with an Angel (right-angle panel, portrait orientation, 95 x 72 cm) is in a private collection. This work by his follower is also of high painterly quality. The subject of the painting was very popular and frequently repeated in various smaller iterations, with various backgrounds, architecture or landscapes or a different interpretation of Mary’s shroud (as documents at the Rijksbureau voor kunsthistorische Documentatie in The Hague demonstrate). The painting accurately characterizes the style of Pieter Coeck, with an ample landscape with tree avenues, a path and houses in the background. The painting's important provenance further increases the value of the painting: it is originally from the Esterhazy collection. Consulted with PhDr. Hana Seifertová.