Abraham Janssens II - Allegory of Spring
Abraham Janssens II
Allegory of Spring
Oil on panel (parquetted). 123.2 x 93.3 cm.
The present work depicts an allegory of spring as a young blonde female half-figure accompanied by a putto who grins malevolently at the beholder. She wears a shimmering silver satin dress and an opulent floral crown. She holds a bunch of flowers in her right hand and reaches for a rose in a basket with her left. The satin dress, the red velvet cushion upon which the figure rests, and the carpet beneath the basket of flowers combine to lend the piece a luxurious air. The open curtain behind the figure reveals a view into a park landscape bathed in the golden light of dawn.
The figure's monumentality, the vivid colour palette, and the elegant brushwork are all typical characteristics assigning this work to a Flemish artist of the 17th century. One possible candidate is Abraham Janssens the Younger, who took over his father's workshop following his death in 1632. Like many other artists from the Netherlands, Janssens later resettled to Rome, where he shared an accommodation with Johannes Lingelbach for a brief period. Janssens was influenced both by his father, a leading narrative painter in Antwerp in the early 17th century, and by Peter Paul Rubens. In this work, presumably painted in the 1630s, the colour palette, depiction of the skin, and landscape background especially attest to the influence of the great Flemish artist. Joost Vander Auwera plans to discuss the present work by Abraham Janssens II in detail in his upcoming catalogue raisonné of the works by the artist's father.
Auctioned by Lepke, Berlin, 8.5.1906. – F. Gurlitt, Berlin, 1925. – Auctioned by Leo Spik, 26.6.2003, lot 329. – Kunsthandel Bernheimer, Munich (labelled to the reverset). - Auctioned by Sotheby´s, London, 24.11.2015, lot 8. – Continental private collection.