Lot 3027* - A196 Old Master Paintings - Friday, 26. March 2021, 02.00 PM

ANTHONY VAN DYCK

(Antwerp 1599–1641 London)
St Jerome in the Wilderness.
Oil on panel.
47.1 × 40.4 cm.

Provenance:
- Probably Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) collection, Antwerp, 1640, no. 231 (as ‘small kneeling Ierome’, acquired directly from the artist).
- Probably Jan Wildens (1583/1586–1653) collection, Antwerp.
- Thence by family descent, most likely Jeremias Wildens (1621–1653) collection, Antwerp, 1654 (as one of the six depictions of Saint Jerome).
- Probably Joan Baptista Anthoine (d. 1687) collection, Antwerp, 1691.
- Comte Charles Cavens (before 1850–1921) collection, Brussels, by 1909 (as Rubens).
- Lallemand & Le Roy, Brussels, 22.12.1922, lot 142 (as Manner of Rubens).
- Léon Seyffers (1885–1944) collection, Brussels, by 1928.
- P. Nicaise, Brussels, 24.5.1944, lot 54 (as Attributed to Rubens).
- Art trade, Amsterdam, 1.6.1944 (according to expert opinion Friedländer mentioned in auction catalogue Dorotheum 1955).
- Art trade, Brussels, 10.7.1944 (according to literature Erik Larsen: The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck, Freren 1988, vol. II, pp. 95–97, no. 223.3).
- Art trade, Brussels, 10.7.1950 (Certificate Puyvelde, quoted in Díaz Pádron, 1977, vol. I, p. 96–97, see literature).
- Leegenhoek collection, Paris, by 1954 (verso with handwritten note).
- Dorotheum, Vienna, 17.3.1955, lot 30.
- Thence by family descent, Count von Goëss, Austria, acquired at the above auction.
- Christie’s, Amsterdam, 8.5.2012, lot 25 (as Circle of Sir Anthony van Dyck).
- European private collection.

Exhibited:
- Brussels 1909, Les 100 portraits, collection du Comte Cavens, Galerie Royale, 1.5.–1.6.1909, no. 74 (as Rubens (Pierre-Paul)).
- Brussels 1920, Rubens et les peintres du XVIIe siècle, Palais des Arts de Somzée, 20.8.–1.11.1920, no. 101 (as Rubens).
- Paris 1954, Chefs-d’œuvre de la curiosité du monde, Musée des arts décoratifs, 10.6.–30.9.1954, no. 53.

Literature:
- Most likely F. M. Michel: Histoire de la vie de P. P. Rubens, Chevalier, et Seigneur de Steen…, Brussels 1771, p. 159 and 284, no. 231.
- Jan van Meurs : Specification des peintures trovvees a la maison martvaire dv fev messier Pierre Pavl Rvbens, chevalier, &c., Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des Manuscrits, Fonds Français 18967, fols. 200–205, (as ‘Vn petit Saint Ierosme du mesme (Cheualier van Dyck)’). Translated into English: s.n.: An Inventory of Pictures found in the howse of the late Sr Peter Paul Rubens Knt: after his death: Inprimis pieces of Italian Mrs:, London, Courtauld Institute, The Princes Gate Collection, Seilern Collection (as ‘A small kneeling Ierome, by the same (van dyke) vppon Cloth’) (the latter translation incorrectly describing the support). (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- J. B. Colijns and H. Fighé: ‘Inventaris van alle de goeden van wylen Signor Jeremias Wildens Janssone wylen, in synen leven Constschilder was, overleden opden 30en Decembris 1653, bynnen synen woonhuise gestaen inde Lange Niewstraete alhier, naerlaetende voor syne geinstitueerde erffgenaemen … de kinderen van wylen Abraham, Henrick ende Sara Wildens, mitsgaders de kinderen ende kintskinderen van wylen Magdalena van vosbergen, geprocreert by Cornelis Cock’, Antwerpen 1654, fols. 495-541 and fol. littera N., no. 50, 55, 262, 272, 462 or 698. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- J. M. Lodewijcx: ‘Inventaris van alle ende yegelyecke de goederen … competerende den sterffhuyse van wylen Mijnheer Joan Bapta Anthoine riddere ende postmeester binnen dese stadt, overleden 27 Meert 1687 in syne huysinge gestaen int Kipdorp, naerlaetende negen kinderen … daer moeder van was vrouwe Susanna Maria de Lannoy’, Antwerpen 1691, fols. 156-160 and 1697, fol. 204), no. 71 (as ‘Jeronimus op pinneel Van Dijck’). (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Jaques van der Sanden: ‘Oud Konst-tooneel van Antwerpen’, Antwerp c. 1771, PK 171–173, vol. II, p. 279–305, no. 231 (as Een klynen Heilige Hiëronymous door den zelven (Ridder Van Dyck)’). (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- F. Donnet: ‘Van Dyck inconnu’, Bulletin et annales de l’académie royale d’archéologie de Belgique, Belgium 1898, 5e série I, p. 393 ff. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Frans Josef van den Branden, ed.: ‘Verzamelingen van schilderyen te Antwerpen’, Antwerp 1904, vol. XXII, p. 381–395, no. 50, 55, 262, 272, 462 or 698. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Jean Denucé, ed.: De Antwerpsche ‘Konstkamers’: Inventarissen van kunstverzamelingen te Antwerpen in de 16e en 17e eeuwen / Inventare von Kunstsammlungen zu Antwerpen im 16. u. 17. Jahrhundert, Antwerp 1932, p. 66, no. 231; p. 156, 160, 161, 164 and 170, no. 50, 55, 262, 271 (for 272), 462 or 698; p. 357, no. 71, ‘Jeronimus op pineel van van Dyck’. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Jean Denucé, ed.: Historical sources for the study of Flemish art, vol. II: The Antwerp art-galleries: Inventories of the art-collections in Antwerp in the 16th and 17th centuries, Antwerp and The Hague 1932, no. 231. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Erik Duverger, ed.: Fontes Historiae Artis Neerlandicae / Bronnen van de Kunstgeschiedenis van de Nederlanden, vol. I: Antwerpse kunstinventarissen uit de zeventiende eeuw, Brussels 1984–2004, vol. IV, 1989, inventories 1084–1086, p. 298, 306 and 314, no. 231; vol. VI, 1992, inventory 1902, p. 477, 485, 486, 490 and 496, no. 50, 55, 262, 272, 462 or 698; vol. XII, 2002, inventory 3988, p. 92, no. 71. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Alfred Michiels: Van Dyck et ses élèves, Paris 1881, p. 50–51 (incorrectly identified as the Prado picture) and 235, no. 4. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Heinrich Rosenbaum: ‘Der Junge Van Dyck (1615-1621), Munich, 1928, p. 64. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Gustav Glück: Van Dyck: Des Meisters Gemälde in 571 Abbildungen (Klassiker der Kunst in Gesamtausgaben, XIII), 2nd edition, Berlin / Stuttgart / London / New York 1931, p. 526, (under the note to p. 65, ‘besser … skizzenhaftes Bildchen’). (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Matías Díaz Padrón: Museo del Prado: Catálogo de pinturas, I: Escuela flamenca: Siglo XVII, Madrid 1977, vol. I, p. 96–97, no. 1473 und vol. II, p. 70, no. 1473 (with ill.).
- Exh. Cat. Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577–1640), ed. by Matías Díaz Padrón, Madrid 1977, p. 51–52, no. 26. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Erik Larsen: L’opera completa di Van Dyck, 1613–1626, Milan 1980, p. 92, no. 108 (with ill.).
- Exh. Cat. The Young van Dyck / Le jeune van Dyck, ed. by Alan McNairn, Ottawa 1980, p. 160 and 162–163, no. 160. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Erik Larsen: The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck, Freren 1988, vol. II, p. 95–97, no. 219, 223.1, 223.2, 223.3 and most likely no. 223, ill. 219.
- Jeffrey M. Muller: Rubens: The Artist as Collector, Princeton 1989, p. 134, no. 231. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Exh. Cat. Anthony van Dyck, ed. by Arthur K. Wheelock, Susan J. Barnes et al., Washington 1990, p. 95, no. 8. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Matías Díaz Padrón: El Siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado, Barcelona 1995, vol. I, p. 420, no. 1473 (with ill.).
- Exh. Cat. A house of art: Rubens as collector, ed. by Kristin Lohse Belkin and Fiona Healy, Antwerp 2004, p. 332, no. 231. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Susan J. Barnes, Oliver Millar, Nora de Poorter and Horst Vey: Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London 2004, p. 51, no. I.35. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).
- Exh. Cat. El joven Van Dyck / The Young Van Dyck, ed. by Alejandro Vergara and Friso Lammertse, Madrid 2012, p. 272–275, no. 70. (Lit. refers to the painting in the Rubens inventory, see Michel 1771).

With a dendrochronological Analysis from the Jordaens/Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project, April 2019.

The painting is registered in the RKD, The Hague under no. 241291 as an authentic work by Anthony van Dyck.

Dr. Susan Barnes examined the painting in the original in 2018 and has confirmed its authenticity.

This depiction of St Jerome in the Wilderness is a masterpiece by Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck. Its thickly applied and virtuoso brushwork is characteristic of the artist’s early creative period, when he worked closely with Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in Antwerp.

The theme of St Jerome in the Wilderness exists in several versions in Van Dyck’s œuvre. Three such paintings were recorded in the estate of Peter Paul Rubens (see Michel, 1771). One showed the saint with an angel (Barnes 2004, I.33), another was a large-format composition, and the third was a small painting depicting St Jerome on his knees. This last one is possibly the painting offered here, and attests to Rubens’s appreciation of this work by his contemporary and pupil.

Anthony van Dyck is recorded in Rubens’s circle between 1616 and 1620. Around 1616–18, Van Dyck maintained his own workshop in Antwerp, where in 1618 he was recorded as a master in the Guild of St Luke. At that time, he received a remuneration comparable to that of Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678) and Peter Paul Rubens, in whose workshop he also worked as a freeman.

Our composition of Saint Jerome is most closely related to a large oil on canvas in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Barnes 2004, I.35, pp. 50–51). That version, like ours, shows the saint with a stone in his clenched right fist, just before he strikes his chest with it to stifle his desire. In our version, Jerome firmly holds the stone even closer to his chest, reinforcing the dynamic of the composition. The powerful posture contrasts with the aged body of the saint. The execution of the background and the saint’s attributes, such as the skull and prayer book, are rendered in less detail than in the Dresden version, helping to draw the viewer’s attention to the protagonist.

The present work was identified as being by van Dyck as early as 1944 by Max Jacob Friedländer, followed in 1950 by Leo van Puyvelde, by Prof. Dr Robert Eigenberger in 1955 and Erik Larsen in 1988 as well as Matías Díaz Padrón in 1995. Susan Barnes, who also examined this painting in 2018 and confirms its authorship, makes the tantalising suggestion that our version could be a study for the Dresden painting. However, the original and fully executed quality of this composition could also be an indication that it is a stand-alone work.

Estimate on request.

Estimate on request

Sold for CHF 2 443 300 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.