Marten van Cleve - A Bridal Procession

Marten van Cleve - A Bridal Procession - image-1
Marten van Cleve - A Bridal Procession - image-1

Marten van Cleve

A Bridal Procession

Oil on panel (parquetted). 40.5 x 74 cm.

Marten van Cleve was born into a family of artists in Antwerp. Karel van Mander, author of the famous “Schilderboek“, records that he was taught by Frans Floris and adds that unlike his brother Hendrick he did not travel to Italy. Van Cleve became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1551, in the same year as Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and married Maria de Greve five years later. She bore him four sons, all of whom also became painters.
Several art historians have attributed van Cleve's specialisation in genre scenes to the fact that he never travelled to Italy. He obviously specialised in figures, and was often commissioned to add staffage to the landscapes of his Antwerp colleagues. His figures are characterised by their voluminous, unruffled clothing and often bulbous noses. Van Cleve's palette is dominated by vivid colours and strong contrasts. Alongside genre scenes of peasant life, often with a satirical element, he also painted biblical motifs and several portraits.
Weddings were a popular motif in Flemish art, developed in the 16th century by Pieter Baltens, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Marten van Cleve - the latter of which painted this work in the 1570s. He is known to have painted numerous individual works depicting this topic, as well as four recognisable series - the most extensive of which comprises six panels and was sold by Lempertz in November 1986. It is currently not known whether the present work was a stand-alone piece or if it too belonged to a series. The work depicts a bridal procession, wedding feast and blessing of the nuptial bed.
In a recent certificate Klaus Ertz has accepted this painting as an authentic work by Marten van Cleve to be dated to the 1570s.


Klaus Ertz, Lingen, 30.9.2014.


Private collection, Germany.

Lot 1024 Dα

70.000 € - 90.000 €

80.600 €