Oil on copper. 17th century Antwerp school. Workshop by Jan van Balen.
Apollo sitting at the center of our composition is represented with its main attributes: lyre, bow and arrows. Surrounded by the nine Muses, he is Apollon Musagete (conductor of the Muses). It is therefore his position as God of the Arts that is represented by the painter.
Some Muses are identifiable thanks to their attributes: Euterpe in front, the Muse of the music seizes a flute of pan to accompany it. Melpomene on the left, who represents the Tragedy, declaims his text a mask at his feet. Urania, Muse of Astronomy, is probably one of the two figures sitting back from the globe. Calliope, Muse of poetry on the right, recites the verses written on the scroll of paper she holds. Clio, Muse of history, is crowned with a laurel wreath ...
A work by Jan van Balen entitled "The Childhood of Bacchus" sold in Paris in 2009 can be compared to ours. It borrows the same spatial construction: a tight framing on several characters occupying almost all the space.
The palette used with a dominant of low intensity cold colors offers a soft and peaceful atmosphere. On the back, a label is pasted and an old annotation in ink is inscribed: van Balen.
Sold in a rare Flemish frame with reversed profile in blackened wood veneer and guillochures of the seventeenth century.
Dimensions: 18,5 cm x 25 cm the view - 48 x 55 cm with the frame
Jan van Balen (Antwerp 21.07.1611 - Id 14.03.1654) is the son of the great Hendrick van Balen who taught him his art. In the footsteps of "his father's master", he excels in history painting (religious or mythological subjects) and genre scenes. Received master at the Guild of St-Luc of Antwerp in 1639, its production is abundant and its success is certain. Like his father who painted "with four hands" with Jan Brueghel the Younger or Joos de Momper, Jan van Balen collaborated in the creation of works with his brother Gaspard, his brother-in-law Theodoor van Thulden, with Erasmus Quellinus the Younger, But also with Jan Brueghel the Younger. With the latter, he produced "garland paintings".
The nine Muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the adjective mnemotechnic follows: memory). Born on the Piederian Mountains near Mount Olympus, they are present at the feasts of the Gods. They are the inspiration of the artists of Greece and ancient Rome. Often depicted accompanied by Apollo, they watch over thought: eloquence, persuasion, wisdom, history, mathematics or astronomy.
In a simplified way, the nine Muses are:
Clip: muse of the history - Euterpe: muse of the music - Thalia: muse of the comedy - Melpomene: muse of the tragedy - Terpsichore: muse of the dance - Erato: muse of the song - Polymnie: muse of the rhetoric - Uranie : Muse of astronomy - Calliope: muse of poetry.
28 000 €