Hendrick van Balen (Antwerp 1575 - 1632) workshop
Possible Jan van Balen (Antwerp 1611 - 1654)
Madonna and Child with Three Angels
Oil on panel
65 x 50 cm. - in frame 94 x 80 cm.
The pleasing sacred image immortalized in this work is based on the canonical compositional layout with the Madonna holding the infant Jesus still in swaddling clothes, seen in a playful moment, while the mother tickles the little one's lip to make him laugh; at their side three chubby little angels who, like curious children, enjoy observing the scene.
Focusing on the refinement of the poses and the vividness of the color material, the sacredness of the image is softened by the spontaneous gestures of the protagonists, leading one to think of a scene from everyday life rather than a religious image. The vivid colors also emphasize the joyful event, although the golden background and the luminous halo propagated by the Virgin recall the divine dimension of the characters.
The stylistic elements of the painting are part of the Romanist current developed in Antwerp on the eve of Rubens' return from Italy, and characterized as a kind of Nordic variant of mature Italian Mannerism.
The author of this work, which can be dated to the early 17th century, although the pictorial stylistic features are still indebted to chronologically earlier models, is to be found in the large group of pupils of the Flemish master Hendrick van Balen. In our opinion, it would be attributable to the hand of his son and pupil Jan van Balen (Antwerp 1611 - 1654) in particular, showing a perfect example of his painting, in whose products we can identify the typical characteristics of the Italianising Flemish current inherited from his father.
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19 500 €