Frans Francken the Younger - Allegory of a Session of the Council of Trent - image-1

Lot 1226 Dα

Frans Francken the Younger - Allegory of a Session of the Council of Trent

Auction 1132 - overview Cologne
18.05.2019, 11:00 - Fine Art
Estimate: 40.000 € - 60.000 €
Result: 81.840 € (incl. premium)

Frans Francken the Younger

Allegory of a Session of the Council of Trent

Oil on copper. 40.5 x 53 cm.
Signed lower right: FFranck (FF conjoined).

This work is a symbolic representation of a session of the Council of Trent held in 1562 under the auspices of Pope Pius IV, in which participants discussed the true presence of Christ in the blessed sacraments of the Eucharist. Particularly prominently among the figures on the left we see the Pope himself flanked by the church fathers Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine. In the centre of the composition our eye is led towards an altar upon which rests a monstrance containing a wafer above which floats the dove of the Holy Spirit and figures of Mary and John the Baptist praising Christ as the saviour of the world.
In her expertise, Ursula Härting mentions that this composition, which first appeared on the market from private ownership in 2017, was already known to her through an unsigned copy by Frans Francken's studio housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d´Archéologie in Troyes (inv. no. 0850-1-15, oil on copper, 42 x 53 cm). She also suspected the existence of a prime version upon which the present work may have been based, and this original signed composition by Frans Francken did in fact appear on the market in 2018. That piece, like the present work, is also painted on copper and bears almost identical dimensions (41.9 x 52.9 cm). The piece was sold in 2018 under the title "Disputation of the Holy Sacrament" by Christie´s in New York (30.10.2018, lot 19).
The present work reiterates the prime version in all details, and is considered to be a replica painted by Frans Francken himself. Both works are thought to have been made around 1610 in the Catholic region of Antwerp. The fact that this work is identical to the Christie's version in both quality and subtlety of rendering once again opens up discussion as to which of the works is the first example and which the replica.


Dr. Ursula Härting, Hamm 17.7.2017.


North German private ownership.