Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)
The Holy Family with the infant Saint John Baptist adored by a saint or patron (recto); A group of standing men in robes (verso)
with inscription 'A: v : Dyck.' (recto) and 'A vandyck' and 'D. 9 fl.' and with number '200' (verso)
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, possibly with later retouches in brown ink (recto), black chalk, pen and brown ink (verso), pen and brown ink framing lines, watermark interlaced C surmounted by a crown (cf. Briquet nos. 2888 and 2889, Douai, 1605)
6 x 71⁄2 in. (15.3 x 19 cm)
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Professor Michael Jaffé, and by inheritance to the present owners.
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +44 (0)20 7839 9060 with questions.
Neither side of this unpublished sheet can be related to known paintings by Van Dyck, but they are entirely typical for his pen sketches, or ‘crabbelinghe’, from his first Antwerp and Italian periods. Among the drawings to which the recto can be compared are studies for a Sacra Conversazione, dated at the end of the 1620s, at the Albertina and in Chatsworth (H. Vey, Die Zeichnungen Anton van Dycks, Brussels, 1962, I, nos. 97, 98, II, figs. 132, 133). The combined use of pen and wash over a rough sketch in black chalk left visible is often found in his drawn œuvre, as are the hatching and the stippling (for one example, see ibid., no. 13, II, fig. 18). He strengthened and corrected some of the finer lines with brusquer penwork, as was also his habit (ibid., I, nos. 2, 6, II, figs. 2, 9). The composition is inspired by a number of Venetian paintings of the same subject which he studied during his trip to Italy (see the Italian sketchbook at the British Museum, passim, and loose sheets catalogued in Vey, op. cit., nos. 148, 149, II, fig. 188-190; the second drawing is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 2005.253). Two original compositions by Van Dyck are also known (op. cit., I, nos. 115, 116, II, figs. 152, 153, catalogued, probably rightly, as old copies). The gesticulating men on the verso – apostles, priests, monks? – resemble those in a probably Biblical composition, for which the original drawing recently reappeared on the French art market, now in American private collection (for an old copy in a French collection, see ibid., I, no. 104, II, fig. 137).