Peter Paul Rubens, studio of - The Finding of Moses - image-1

Lot 2048 Nα

Peter Paul Rubens, studio of - The Finding of Moses

Auction 1097 - overview Cologne
18.11.2017, 11:00 - Old Master Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture
Estimate: 120.000 € - 150.000 €
Result: 148.800 € (incl. premium)

Peter Paul Rubens, studio of

The Finding of Moses

Oil on canvas. 123.8 x 156.2 cm.

The story of the discovery of the child Moses is recounted in the second Book of Moses in the Old Testament: when the Pharaoh commanded that all the sons of the people of Israel should be drowned, Amram and Jochebed laid their son in a basket of reeds on the banks of the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter found the child, nursed it, and took him as her own son, giving him the name Moses.
At the centre of the composition we see the boy surrounded by three women and in the background parkland with trees. This theme was depicted in particular in Italy in the Renaissance and Baroque periods by important artists such as Veronese, Tintoretto, Orazio Gentileschi and Nicolas Poussin. The present painting is by an artist from the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens, with the landscape enabling it to be dated to the 1630s. The figures refer back to creations by Rubens, in particular the female figure kneeling in the left foreground. A sketch featuring this figure by Rubens (cf. fig.1, Inv. No. 8295) and dated to around 1617 is found today in the Albertina in Vienna.
The painting, for a long time in the Cook Collection in England, featured in the great exhibition ‘Treasures of the United Kingdom’ in Manchester in 1857. At that time, and even into the 20th century, it was believed that the figural group portrayed Rubens’ wife with her child, her sister and a further woman. Correspondingly, the painting was titled by Théophile Bürger and also Max Rooses.


Possibly Samuel Woodburn (1780-1853). - Auctioned by Christie's, London, 15-20.5.1854, lot 102. - William Angerstein, by 1857. - Possibly Anderson Collection. - Possibly acquired by Sir Francis Cook, first Bt., Doughty House, Richmond. – Sir Frederick Cook, 2nd Bt., Doughty House, Richmond – Auctioned by Sotheby's, London, 25.6.1958, lot 119. – With W. Hallsborough Gallery, London, by 1959. – M. Jean P. François, Geneva. - Auction Christie´s, London, London, 26.11.2012, Lot 9. – Continental private collection.


André Lavice: Revue des Musées d' Angleterre, Paris, 1867, p. 130. - Téophile Thoré Bürger: Trésor d'Art en Angleterre, Paris, 1869, p. 194. - Max Rooses: L'oeuvre de P.P. Rubens: Histoire et description de ses tableaux et dessins, Antwerp 1887-1909, vol. IV, p. 173. - Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond, London 1903, p. 38, no. 220. - J. O. Kronig: A Catalogue of the Paintings of Doughty House, Richmond and elsewhere in the Collection of Sir Frederick Cook, London 1914, vol. II, no. 336. - Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey, in the Collection of Sir Herbert Cook, London 1932, p. 48, no. 336. - Ludwig Burchard and R.-A. d'Hulst: Rubens Drawings, Brussels 1963, pp. 77-8, under no. 44 and p. 164, under no. 99. - Erwin Mitsch: Die Rubenszeichnungen der Albertina, Vienna 1977, p. 62, under no.26. - Didier Bodart: P.P. Rubens, exhibition catalogue, Tokyo-Yamaguchi-Tsu-Kyoto, 1985-1986, p. 52, no. 56, illustrated. - R.-A. d'Hulst and Marc Vandenven: Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. III: The Old Testament, pp. 80-2, no. 19, fig. 46.


Art Treasures of the United Kingdom, Manchester 1857, no. 594 (no. 576). – Peter Paul Rubens, Tokyo 1985/86, no. 56.