Christie's /Jul 10, 2015
€50,600.88 - €75,901.31
Artworks in Arcadja68
Some works of Jan MetsysExtracted between 68 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Oct 26, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 51
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Jan Massys (Antwerp c. 1509-before 1575) Saint John the Evangelist's vision of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos signed and dated '·1563· / jOANES MASSiiS.PINGEBAT' (lower center, on the rock) oil on panel 46 1/8 x 57 7/8 in. (117.2 x 147 cm.) A wealth of intriguing details defines this impressive composition by the Flemish Mannerist master, Jan Massys. Accompanied by his attribute the eagle, Saint John the Evangelist stands on the shore of the island of Patmos looking toward the tumultuous sky, his twisting pose accentuating the elongation of his limbs. Scattered on the rocky ground before him are the implements he uses to write his Book of Revelation, which brings a close to the New Testament and describes his Apocalyptic visions of the struggle between Good and Evil culminating in Armageddon. Several of John’’’’’’’’s visions are portrayed amidst swirling clouds of ocher and white. To the left of Patmos’’’’’’’’ trees appears a “woman clothed with the sun, and the moon” and wearing “a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1) who is generally identified as the Virgin Mary. Soaring toward the heavens, the infant near her corresponds to the “man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5) described by Saint John, and who is similarly understood to be representative of Christ. The woman is shown with wings, as she was given two “of a great eagle” (Revelation 12:14) so that she might escape the treacherous floodwaters unleashed from the “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 12:3) that may be seen writhing below her. To the right of the trees, an angel hovers beneath an opening in the clouds, having cast a great millstone toward the sea to destroy Babylon, in keeping with the account given in Revelation 18:21. In the distance lies the smoldering city, its fiery remains emitting scarlet-stained plumes of smoke that fill the sky. In the foreground, men and women lament the doomed city and their fate, while merchants on ships throw their arms up in despair as the source of their great wealth is reduced to ruins. On the other side of the composition, more ships with wind-filled sails navigate the sea near a minutely rendered town, while monstrous fish emerge from the water. These vignettes within the panoramic landscape not only enhance the painting’’’’’’’’s narrative content but also serve as a visually pleasing reward for careful inspection of the composition. Unknown to scholars prior to its sale in 2013, this monumental panel dates to Jan Massys’’’’’’’’ second Antwerp period, following his extensive travels through Italy and (possibly) France. The painting’’’’’’’’s horizontal format in which the main protagonist is flanked by the destruction of a city on one side and a calmer landscape on the other recalls Massys’’’’’’’’ Lot and his Daughters (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), which was painted the same year. The artist revisited the latter subject again in 1565 in a similar work now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Here, Massys departed from convention by choosing to include the destruction of Babylon in his representation of Saint John on Patmos; the artist’’’’’’’’s Boschian treatment of the scene adds a nightmarish note to the composition that underscores the harrowing character of the Evangelist's visions.
Auction: Lempertz -May 21, 2016 - CologneLot number: 1219
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Description: Jan Massys was the eldest son of Quentin Massays, and unlike his brother Cornelis, Jan's style is much closer to that of his father. His paintings can be stylistically placed into two stylistic groups: Works corresponding to the first Antwerp period before 1544, the year he was accused of heresy and banished from the town, and the others dating after 1558. Most of his production belongs to the second Antwerp period, the present panel being one of the latest or even maybe the last he achieved. Notes: VAT: Margin scheme Dimensions: 54 x 100 cm Jan Massys, Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Auction: Christie's -Apr 14, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 136
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Jan Massys (Antwerp c. 1509 - 1575) Susanna and the Elders signed and dated ' · ANNO; I / IOHAN' (lower right, on the base of the plinth) oil on panel each 51 ¾ x 43 7/8 in. (131.4 x 111.4 cm.) Provenance with Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1905. Heugel Collection, Paris, c. 1930. (Possibly) anonymous sale; Galerie Fievez, Brussels, 1937. Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 14 December 1977, lot 52A, as dated 1556. Anonymous sale; De Vuyst, Lokeren, 20 October 1984, lot 285. Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 10 July 1998, lot 48, where acquired by the present owner. Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA Literature H. Vollmer, ed., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, XXIV, Leipzig, 1930, p. 227. L. van Puyvelde, La peinture flamande au siècle de Bosch et de Brueghel, Paris, 1962, pp. 195-196. A. P. de Mirimonde, 'Jan Massys dans les musées de province Français', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Paris, December 1962, no. 104, p. 550. L. Buijnsters-Smets, Jan Massys: Een Antwerps schilder uit de zestiende eeuw, Zwolle, 1995, pp. 84-85 and 184-185, no. 29. Lot Notes This superb panel by Jan Massys epitomizes the sophisticated beauty synonymous with the mature phase of the Northern Renaissance. While retaining the meticulous technique developed by his Netherlandish forbearers, Jan Massys moved throughout his career toward a refined mannerist style that paid tribute to Italian art. Jan Massys was born the talented son of Quentin Massys, the leading painter in Antwerp in the early decades of the 16th century. Despite this prestigious ancestry, little is securely known of Jan’’’’s seemingly peripatetic career. Along with his brother Cornelis, Jan most probably took over his father’’’’s workshop upon his death in 1530. He was admitted as a master in the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp two years later. Extremely scant documentation in Antwerp until 1555 has led scholars to believe that Jan travelled extensively during his early years of activity. Based on stylistic affinities, it is possible that he sojourned in Fontainebleau, at the court of Francis I who fostered a vibrant school of painting. The artist also visited Italy around 1549. On his return to Antwerp around 1555, Jan embarked on a period of sustained activity, possibly triggered by a series of financial hurdles. His work appears to have been held in high esteem by his contemporaries, as he was employed by the city council and his name frequently features in local inventories. Although Jan’’’’s style is much indebted to his father’’’’s, his predilection for alluring depictions of the female nude became a feature unique to his art. Using the biblical narrative as a pretext for his iconic renditions of the female form, Jan turned time and again to Old Testament heroines such as Lot’’’’s daughters (Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique), Judith (fig. 1, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts), and Bathsheba (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Susanna and the Elders also belongs to Jan’’’’s favored themes and at least one other treatment of the subject, not signed, but dated 1567, survives today, albeit in a very different composition (Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique). A vivid tale of virtue assailed, Susanna and the Elders (recounted by Daniel 13:1-64) describes how two prominent elderly judges fell for the beautiful Susanna, the chaste wife of Joachim, a respected member of the Jewish community in Babylon. One day as she was about to bathe in her husband’’’’s orchard, the lustful pair assaulted the young woman and threatened to denounce her as an adulteress unless she gave into their desire. With her strong morality and her faith in God, Susanna chose false accusation and certain death over dishonor and refused herself to the Elders. At the trial, the Elders used their eminent reputation to produce a guilty verdict. Upon hearing her condemnation, Susanna appealed aloud to God, and was rewarded for her faith by the young prophet Daniel, who revealed the Elders’’’’ duplicity and Susanna’’’’s innocence. In this monumental panel, Susanna is shown sitting by a small pool. The ornate marble ledge where she rests is covered by a red velvet cushion on which Susanna has discarded her gold embroidered shirt and green cloak. Wearing nothing but a bejeweled headdress and moving away from the Elders that surround her menacingly from the left, she offers the viewer her beautiful nude body. This clever compositional device makes the beholder at once the witness of Susanna’’’’s innocence and a participant in the scene: a voyeur complicit in the Elders’’’’ sinful attempt. Massys frames the beautifully delineated body of the recoiling Susanna against the Elders’’’’ agitated figures, creating an eloquent network of hands. Indicative of their age, the Elders are clad in old-fashioned garb, including chaperons, long tunics and wide hanging sleeves. The ostentatious fur-lined fabrics they sport reveals the vanity of their ways, while their grotesque facial types and crooked stances allude to their moral corruption. The Elders’’’’ exaggerated features and toothy grins are reminiscent of Jan's father Quentin Massys's own popular caricatures of old age, based on famous drawings by Leonardo, such as The Tax Collectors (Vaduz, Lichtenstein collection), and The Ugly Duchess (London, National Gallery). The accentuated contrast between young and old age at play in this picture is a deliberate reference to a lively earlier tradition in Northern painting: the theme of the ill-matched lovers. These moralizing secular scenes involved an old lecher fondling a willing young woman, often in exchange for gold. It had been popularized by Quentin Massys, in works like the well-known panel now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (fig. 2). Jan himself took up the subject in a painting now in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. To the right of the composition is an elaborate fountain featuring gilded bronze statues. In this virtuosic passage, Massys shows the full extent of his handling, adopting an energetic, free, and graphic touch to model the fountain’’’’s sculptures, that contrasts vividly with the smooth trompe l’’’’oeil rendering of the adjacent columns of polychrome marble. Again, this subtle sense of texture and taste for multicolored polished marble is a feature of Quentin Massys’’’’s art, visible for instance in the Madonna of the Cherries (The Hague, Mauritshuis) or the Virgin and Child in a niche (London, Courtauld Gallery), which Jan brilliantly continued. On the fountain’’’’s upper register, holding a lightning bolt and sitting atop an eagle is a statue of the Greek god Zeus. Known for his voracious amorous pursuits and numerous extra-marital affairs, Zeus’’’’s features are reminiscent of those of the bearded Elder nearby, possibly drawing a parallel between the mythological and the biblical licentious figures. Despite the resemblance, however, Zeus is shown turning away from this wrongful scene of seduction, perhaps in a gesture of condemnation, a witty humanist detail on the part of Massys that would have appealed to his educated audience. The beautiful landscape background is infused with further symbolism. For instance, the numerous rabbits that populate the meadows were, because of their notorious fecundity, commonly used as a reference to lust. The peacock has a multilayered meaning: from the ancient belief that its flesh never decayed, it became a Christian symbol for the resurrection and incorruptibility and in this picture, it could stand for Susanna’’’’s virtue. In addition, the peacock was the attribute of Zeus’’’’s wife Hera, goddess of marriage, and it is perhaps no coincidence that this embodiment of marital duties is visually aligned with Zeus’’’’s riotous eagle. Dazzling in its minutely-rendered details, the idyllic garden and ornate cityscape beyond constitute a genuine homage to the Netherlandish landscape tradition initiated by Joachim Patinir in Massys’’’’s native Antwerp. Bushes are dotted with virginal roses and lilies, while fanciful gothic edifices evoke the exotic splendor of Babylon. The painter’’’’s subtle use of atmospheric perspective, with carefully grading blue tonalities to suggest spatial recession, carries an immense poetic appeal.
Auction: Christie's -Jul 10, 2015 - LondonLot number: 107
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Lot Description Jan Massys (Antwerp c. 1509-before 1575) A merry company signed and dated 'JOANNES MASSIIS / 1557?' (centre right, on the table) oil on panel 28 7/8 x 40 3/8 in. (73.4 x 102.6 cm.) Lot Condition Report I confirm that I have read this Important Notice and agree to its terms. View Condition Report Saleroom Notice This Lot is Withdrawn. View Lot Notes >
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 5, 2013 - LondonLot number: 104
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With Gösta Stenman, Stockholm. 104 Jan Massys ANTWERP CIRCA 1509 - BEFORE 8 OCTOBER 1575 CHARITY oil on panel 46.3 by 32.4 cm.; 18 1/8 by 12 3/4 in. Estimate 12,000 - 15,000 GBP Print The panel is bending very slightly outwards, but there are no major splits. The paint surface is flat and even overall. There are two very minor lines of paint that are beginning to lift at the centre of the figure's head band. The paint is slightly thinner in the hair at the nape of her neck and at the flaming heart, but their are details that are very well-preserved, like the touches of detail along the collar of the figure's dress and the curls in her hair. There have been some minor patches of retouching to the right side of the figure's face and veins of repainting in the background right. Inspection under UV light shows spot retouching across the rights side of the figure's shoulders and neck. Also an 8 cm repair running downwards from centre upper edge, and some retouching to frame marks along the right hand edge. This lot is sold in a plain wooden frame, in good condition.