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Flemish School, After or Follower of Quentin Massys, also spelled Matsys and Massijs (1466-1530), 18th century oil on panel triptych depicting three religious scenes of Christ’s early life. 1st panel: Nativity scene, depicting The Virgin Mother and St. Joseph kneeling around the Christ-child in a manger outside of a barn with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above. Reddish wax seal en verso. 2nd (central) panel: Large arched painting depicting the Adoration of the Magi in a continuing narrative that conveys the kings’ journey to Bethlehem in the background, with the ornately dressed Magi presenting gifts to the Holy Family in the foreground, while God the Father and angels watch from above. 3rd panel: Interior scene depicting Christ’s Presentation in the Temple with the Holy Family accompanied by St. Simeon and two other Saints. All housed in Cassetta style wood frames with red velvet lined friezes. Sights ranging from 64 cm H x 23 cm W to 87 1/2 cm H x 48 1/4 cm W. Frames ranging from 92 3/4 cm H x 51 1/2 cm W to 109 1/4 cm H x 68 1/2 cm W. Note: this painting is recorded at the RKD in the Hague and by Friedlander as “after” or “follower of” Quentin Massijs, with an old photograph of the work, and an uncertain 16th century attribution (ref.https://rkd.nl/explore/images/54759 ). While this triptych directly relates to known compositions by Massys and the artistic quality is high, the painting itself and the age of the panel is more consistent with the late 18th century. Literature: Notes and Queries, Connoisseur Magazine (1928/2, pp. 66-71, 168.) Max Friedlander, Early Netherlandish Painting, VII, no. 59d.
PROVENANCE: H.A. Reed, London; G. Littlewood, London (1928); Parker Collection, London; Mabry Collection, New York; by descent to private Tennessee collection.
CONDITION: All panels with craquelure and some abrasion to the perimeters of the scenes. Central panel with scattered paint loss to upper margin, largest area approximately 1″, and third panel with natural wood shrinkage crack extending from lower margin to center. Two smaller panels have undergone professional restoration with light scattered inpainting and infill to natural age cracks. Central panel with minor areas of inpainting, largest area 2″ L, near the Christ child’s face, visible under UV light inspectional frames with scattered wear and losses to inner and outer frames, and overall loss to velvet liner.