Ferdinand van Kessel - ALLEGORY OF THE EARTH
Ferdinand van Kessel
ALLEGORY OF THE EARTH
Oil on canvas, relined. 35.7 x 45.8 cm.
This extremely celebrated composition is known in several versions as revealed by the "Allegory of Earth" by Jan Brueghel the Younger on copper in the present sale (lot 1031). Indeed the 17th-century Antwerp art market was continuously in demand for such works by the Brueghels, a dynasty of painters to which the Van Kessel belonged by the marriage of Hieronymus van Kessel with Paschasia Brueghel, sister of Jan the Younger.
Ferdinand, grand-son of Hieronymus, was therefore able to have easy access to cartoons and drawings allowing him to reproduce the original composition. A similar version attributed to him belongs to a Belgian private collection (canvas, 62 x 94 cm. See "La dinastia Brueghel", Como 2012, nr. 77) and another stylistically close signed P ( ?) van Kessel belongs to the Bamberg Historisches Museum (canvas, 42.5 x 57.5 cm). Slight compositional differences in the right background reveal the present composition to be closer to the latter. - We thank Dr. Hélène Mund, Brussels, for this catalogue entry.
Private collection, Belgium.