Workshop of Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601-1678) & Hendrick van Balen (Antwerp, 1575 – 1632)
17th century Antwerp School
The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist Surrounded by Angels in a Landscape
Oil on oak panel: h. 54 cm, w. 77cm
Flemish style frame in molded wood
Box: h. 67.5 cm, w. 89.5cm
Our work illustrates a scene from the biblical story recounting the episode of "Rest on the Flight into Egypt." Unlike the traditional versions representing the Holy Family, our painting illustrates the Virgin and Child alone without Saint Joseph.
In the heart of a lush wooded landscape, the Virgin Mary rests in a clearing accompanied by seven joyful putti. Seated to the left of the composition, the Virgin Mary holds the Child on her knees; the young Saint John the Baptist, kneeling, offers him a tulip.
On the right a group of cherubs amuse themselves with the lamb of Saint John the Baptist, thus bringing a jovial character to the scene. One of the angels holds in his hands the bunches of grapes (symbol of the future passion of Christ). A pair of garden putti on the left carry a basket filled with freshly picked flowers.
While in heaven another group of angels appearing in a breakthrough bringing a wreath for Mary.
In the background, in a luminous opening towards the horizon, enriched with shades of green, a small town is emerging with a few grazing animals.
The calm magnitude of this bucolic forest opening onto luminous distances is particularly suited to this sacred scene of Rest on the Flight into Egypt.
Our painting is one of the variants produced in the workshops of Jan Brueghel the Younger and Hendrick Van Balen. His studio works executed by collaborators of the painters in question are inspired by the success of the compositions dating from the late 1620s-1630s, painted by Jan Breughel the Younger in collaboration with Hendrick Van Balen. Many versions of the painters or workshop are kept in public and private collections. It is mostly oil on panels with almost identical dimensions to our panel. The compositions vary around the Virgin and Child by integrating puttis and angels in the different postures.
- Jan Bruegel le Jeune & Hendrick van Balen, Collection Liechtenstein Vaduz– Vienna, oil on panel (53 × 74 cm), vers 1626,
-Jan Bruegel le Jeune & Hendrick van Balen, Columbus Museum of Art, USA, oil on panel h. 49 cm, l. 64 cm vers 1620,
- Jan Brueghel le Jeune & Pieter van Avont, National Trust, Royaume Uni (inv. 436022) , oil on panel (68 × 84 cm), 1636,
- Jan Breughel le Jeune & Hendrik van Balen, Sotheby's London, 10/07/2014, lot n 133, oil on panel, 55 x 77.5 cm, 1626
- Jan Van Balen, Dorotheum auction, Vienna, 24/04/2018, lot 241, oil on panel, 54.5 x 77.7 cm
- Workshop de Hendrick van Balen Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, oil on panel, 54.8cm x 77.8cm