17th century period.
Oil on oak panel (three boards joined and parqueted) : 47 x 62 cm
Presented in a blackened molded wood frame.
Dimensions with the frame : 71 x 85 cm
This beautiful painting, painted on an oak panel, is to be placed in the circle of the Antwerp painter Frans II Francken (1541-1642) who made a speciality and a European reputation by producing small and medium size paintings illustrating religious, mythological or historical scenes.
Francken and his workshop repeatedly treated the theme of St. John the Baptist preaching in a landscape, obviously the surrounding nature has nothing to do with the one where the Baptist was born. The painter has transposed the scene into a lush green nature with large trees as it was in his native Flanders in the 17th century.
The great plastic quality, the fluidity of the execution and the fineness of the colors may plead in favor of an autograph execution, or at least of an intervention of the Master in his workshop. Dating from the first half of the 17th century, it is marked by the last fires of Mannerist aesthetics, many of whose stylistic traits can be found here.
Here too, the representation of the Baptist preaching is used as a pretext to stage a rich assembly of characters; a means of multiplying the figures with their precious elegance, rich pseudo-oriental costumes and delicate headdresses.
Like most of the Francken's works, several different versions are scattered in museums and in private collections.
Very good condition. Sold with invoice & certificate.