Flemish School, 17th century - Tabula Cebetis - image-1

Lot 1526 Dα

Flemish School, 17th century - Tabula Cebetis

Auction 1185 - overview Cologne
20.11.2021, 11:00 - Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture 14th - 19th C.
Estimate: 15.000 € - 20.000 €
Result: 20.000 € (incl. premium)

Flemish School, 17th century

Tabula Cebetis

Oil on canvas (relined). 69.5 x 130.5 cm.

"This painting is based on the engraving “Tabula Cebetis” designed by Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) and carried out by his stepson Jacob Adriaensz. Matham (1571-1631) in 1592. It in turn is based on an ancient text known as the Tabula Cebetis (Tablet of Cebes), an ethical dialogue written in Greek in the 1st century A.D. that was rediscovered in the late 15th century and disseminated throughout Europe in various translations and illustrations. The work depicts man's journey to a happy life in a highly complex allegorical depiction, fancifully illustrated with countless personifications of virtues and vices (for more on the engraving, see T. Weddigen: Italienreise als Tugendweg. Hendrick Goltzius' Tabula Cebetis, in: Nederlands kunsthistorisch jaarboeck 54, 2005, p. 90-139).
A further painted version of the Goltzius engraving attributed to the Swiss painter Joseph Plepp (1595-1642) is today housed in the Kunstmuseum Bern (inv. no. 276), where it currently forms the central focus of the exhibition “The Way to Happiness – The Bern Tablet of Cebes and Baroque Imagery” (3.9.-28.11.2021). The Musée Vivenel in Compiègne also houses a painted version of the motif based on Goltzius and Matham's engraving, a third version originates from French private ownership and was recently auctioned in Vienna (Dorotheum, 8.6.2021, lot 25).
This painting, the fourth version, features a black clad figure behind one of the three concentric walls in the centre of the image that could be interpreted as a self portrait of the as yet unidentified artist."