Koller View 3/18

1 Hans Vredeman de Vries. A Gothic church interior. 1594. Oil on panel. 24.5×39.7 cm. Estimate: CHF 80 000 /120 000 2 Simon de Vos. The Visitation. Circa 1639. Oil on panel. 23×17.3 cm. Estimate: CHF 10 000 /15 000 Preview of the Old Master and 19 th Century Paintings auction on 28 September 2018 Discoveries with Roots in Antwerp Among the approximately 100 Old Master works offered at the 28 September auction is an outstanding Madonna and Child by Flem- ish artist Willem Benson (1521–1574) (ill. 6). This intimate image of high artistic quality is a valuable addition to the scant body of known works by Benson. Created presumably after 1555 in Bruges, this oil painting on oak panel is indebted to the tradition of Flemish artists such as Gerard David. An attractive early work by the Dutch ma- rine and landscape painter Simon de Vlieger (1601–1653), a seascape tondo from circa 1626/27 (ill. 4), has recently been discov- ered in a Swiss private collection. The picto- rial form and language point to the influence of de Vlieger’s teacher Jan Porcellis, as well as Hendrick van Anthonissen and Hans God- eris. Nothing in the tondo is arbitrary – in fact, the artist has arranged his composition with a pronounced sense of order in a fine example of classic marine painting. Also rediscovered in a Swiss private collec- tion is a panel depicting The Visitation (ill. 2). A noteworthy addition to the oeuvre of the Antwerp painter Simon de Vos (1603–1676), the composition is identical to that of an altar- piece in St James’ Church in Antwerp, which until now had been considered to be a work by Victor Wolfvoet. The Antwerp altarpiece was produced circa 1639 for the private chapel of the family of the Portuguese consul Franco Lopez Franco. Recent art historical research has identified the painting presented here as a study by Simon de Vos for the altarpiece it- self. Simon de Vos was active as a painter and art collector, and specialised early on in cabi- net paintings and genre scenes in the style of the Utrecht Caravaggisti. From circa 1640 onwards he increasingly painted large-format religious, allegorical or historical scenes in the style of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. One of de Vos’ pupils was Jan van Kessel the Elder. From the 16 th to the 18 th centuries, St James’ Church was the most important parish church in Antwerp and also formed a pantheon of Dutch and Flemish painters. Famous and af- fluent figures are buried there in custom-built chapels, including Peter Paul Rubens and his wife Helena Fourment, the artists Jan and Hendrick van Balen, as well as Jan Boeckhorst and Cornelis Schut. 1 2 3