Jan Boeckhorst (Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp) Apollo on his Sun Chariot
Lot 48
Jan Boeckhorst
(Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp)
Apollo on his Sun Chariot
Sold for £ 93,750 (US$ 118,010) inc. premium

Lot Details
Jan Boeckhorst (Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp) Apollo on his Sun Chariot Jan Boeckhorst (Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp) Apollo on his Sun Chariot Jan Boeckhorst (Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp) Apollo on his Sun Chariot
Jan Boeckhorst (Munster 1605-1668 Antwerp)
Apollo on his Sun Chariot
oil on canvas, unlined
60 x 97.7cm (23 5/8 x 38 7/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The Collection of Michiel Wauters, before 1679
    The Collection of the Verveer family, 1889 (according to a label on the reverse)

    Exhibited
    Ghent, Union des artistes Gantois, 17 March 1889, no. 13 (according to a label on the reverse)

    Literature
    H. Vlieghe, Book review: 'Johann Boeckhorst. Gemälde und Zeichnungen', The Burlington Magazine, February 2014, p. 116, ill. pl. 56


    The present Apollo on his Sun Chariot forms part of a group of eight oil paintings executed in preparation for a series of tapestries depicting scenes from the life of Apollo. Boeckhorst received the commission for this group from Anton van Leyen (1626-1686), collector and alderman of Antwerp. At some point between 1664 and 1668 van Leyen ordered eight studies on which to base his series of tapestries1. These oil sketches are mentioned in the inventory of Antwerp tapestry-maker Michiel Wauters (active 1648-1679) drawn up in October 1679, two months after his death. Until recently, the group was only known through four works: Apollo slaying the serpent, The Judgement of Midas, Apollo killing the sons of Niobe and Apollo's Oracle at Delphi2. Two further drawings from the group, Apollo and the Muses and Apollo on his sun chariot, are known and are now in the the Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels. However, Maria Galen published in 2012 a series of drawings now in the musée municipal de Bergues, which show every design for the group and so now allow us for the first time to understand the cycle in its entirety (fig.1). The complete series comprised: Latona, Apollo slaying the serpent, Apollo and Daphne, The Judgement of Midas, two scenes of Apollo and Artemis killing the children of Niobe, Apollo on his sun chariot, and finally Apollo's Oracle at Delphi3.

    Boeckhorst's time in Italy clearly informed the design for the current Apollo on his Sun Chariot. The composition reveals a familiarity with Guido Reni's Aurora of 1614 for the Casino of the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi. Boeckhorst has used Reni's Aurora as a starting point for his design, he has reversed the composition but the figure of Apollo accompanied by the figures of the Hours and led by Dawn clearly echo those in the earlier Italian work.

    A native of Münster, Westphalia, Jan Boeckhorst arrived in Antwerp as a young man aged 22. He entered the workshop of Jacob Jordaens and in 1633-4 he was made a Master of the Guild of Saint Luke by which point he was actively collaborating with Sir Peter Paul Rubens. The following year he travelled to Italy and on his return he was part of a group of artists, led by Rubens who worked on the large commission for the Torre de la Parada, the hunting lodge of King Philip IV of Spain. He went on to become one of the leading painters of Antwerp, particularly after the death of Rubens in 1640 and van Dyck the year after.

    Notes
    1 Four of the tapestries are variously located in a private Belgian Collection, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, and the Spanish embassy in London.
    2 Now in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, in private collection, the Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts, Antwerp, and the Stadtmuseum, Münster respectively.
    3 See: M. Galen, 'Ensemble de 8 dessins préparatoires pour la série de tapiesseries représentant l'Histoire d'Apeollon' in De Heemskerck à Le Brun les plus beaux dessin du musée du Mont-de-Piété de Bergues exh. cat., Cisinelle Balsamo, 2012, pp. 100-109
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