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Sebastiaan Vrancx, 1608

English, Nederlands

English
Allegory of Winter (1608), by Sebastiaan Vranx (Antwerp 1573 - 1647 Antwerp).

Vrancx’s Allegory would originally have formed part of a series of four such pictures, depicting each of the seasons with an associated assortment of objects at the forefront of the composition and a variety of figures, engaged in seasonal tasks in land- or townscape settings beyond. Given that several versions of each season are known, Vrancx presumably painted numerous sets of the group. The concept of creating four separate allegorical images of the Four Seasons was first explored in a series of engravings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569), published by Hieronymous Cock in around 1564. Vrancx evidently took inspiration from these examples, but introduced his own distinctive inclusion of the heaped still lifes in the foreground of each season.

The painter has lavished great care in rendering the piled still life in the foreground of his Winter allegory, with each element carefully chosen and arranged. To the left, are massed a variety of winter vegetables, cured meat and sausages, staple foods for the average Netherlandish countryman during the winter months. Besides these more prosaic elements, however, the still life celebrates the more joyful aspects of the season. At the centre of the composition are a pair of skates and several snow balls, perhaps those made by the children playing in the background. At the left, propped against the low wall is a kolf stick (a game played on the winter ice) and ball. In the centre foreground is a prominent and ornately decorated Duivekater bread. Traditionally baked in the area north of Amsterdam, this was usually eaten at important religious feasts – Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. On the chair above is a hat, encircled by the paper crown worn by the elected ‘king’ of the feast at Epiphany. Towards the right, behind the figure huddled before his warming fire, is a bundle of cloaks and masks, probably included in reference to Carnival, the celebratory feast held to signal to beginning of Spring.

Oil on oak Panel, 52 x 66 cm
Indistinctly signed in monogram and dated lower right: SV / 1608

Provenance
• Collection Georges Talon
• Anonymous sale, Brussels, Fievez Gallery, 10 March 1927, lot 111 (IV)
• Private Collection
• Thence by inheritance until anonymously sold (“The property of a brother and a sister”), London, Sotheby’s, 30 November 1983, lot 64
• David Koetser Gallery - Talstrasse 37 - CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland. January 2017
• (Probably) Vilain XIIII collection, Belgium (Christie's: 'Property of a noble family')

Auctions
• Christie's London, Old Master Paintings and Sculpture, sale 17293, 4 December 2019. Estimate GBP 100,000 - GBP 150,000; USD 129,200 - USD 193,800

Source: Jos Koldeweij, Anna Koldeweij

Nederlands
Allegorie van de Winter (1608), door Sebastiaan Vranx (Antwerpen 1573 - 1647 Antwerpen).

Olie op eiken paneel, 52 x 66 cm.
Vaag ondertekend met monogram en gedateerd rechts: SV / 1608

Herkomst
• Collectie Georges Talon
• Anonieme verkoop, Brussel, Fievez Gallery, 10 maart 1927, lot 111 (IV)
• Privé collectie
• Daarna vanuit erfenis anoniem verkocht ('Het eigendom van een broer en een zus'), Londen, Sotheby's, 30 november 1983, veel 64
• David Koetser Gallery - Talstrasse 37 - CH-8001 Zürich, Zwitserland. januari 2017
• (Probably) Vilain XIIII collection, Belgium (Christie's: 'Property of a noble family')

Veilingen
• Christie's London, Old Master Paintings and Sculpture, sale 17293, 4 December 2019. Estimate GBP 100,000 - GBP 150,000; USD 129,200 - USD 193,800

Bron: Jos Koldeweij, Anna Koldeweij


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