Netherlandish School, late 16th Century Danaë

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Lot 13* TP
Netherlandish School
late 16th Century
Danaë

£ 18,000 - 25,000
US$ 24,000 - 33,000
Netherlandish School, late 16th Century
Danaë
oil on panel
153.5 x 194.4cm (60 7/16 x 76 9/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Frederick Mont Collection, New York, before 1967 (according to Fondazione Zeri entry 45043)
    Sale, Dorotheum, Vienna, 10 June 1998, lot 7 (as Friedrich Sustris)

    Literature
    M. Falomir (ed.) with the participation of Paul Joannides and Elisa Mora,'Dánae y Venus y Adonis, las primeras "poesías" de Tiziano para Felipe II' in Boletín del Museo del Prado, numero extraordinario, 2014
    C. Hope, 'Titian's Danae for Philip II of Spain: a clarification', in Burlington Magazine, CLVII, October 2015, pp. 672-677, ill., fig. 3

    The three best known versions of this subject are what was most likely Titian's original, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid (oil on canvas, 129.8 x 181.2 cm.); that in the National Museum of Capodimonte, Naples (oil on canvas 120 x 172 cm.), and the version which in his article of 2015 Charles Hope believes to be partly after Titian, which is in the Wellington Collection, Apsley House, London (oil on canvas, 115 x 194 cm.). The present work, although evidently by a northern hand, comes closest to the Apsley House version in terms of its composition and differs from the Prado and Capodimonte versions most notably: since Danae's left leg is draped; the shower of gold is of golden rain; not gold coins; in the pose of the maid (the Naples versions includes a Cupid here); and in the presence of the head of Jupiter and the eagle. Although the latter are not present in the Apsley House version, this is most likely because it has been cut down at some point. These elements in the sky, however, can be found in an engraving of upright format by what is thought to be an anonymous Flemish printmaker possibly after Gillis Coignet of circa 1580; although this also incorporates a shower of gold coins. A further version, thought to be partly by Titian, in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, includes golden coins along with the other distinctive elements of the Apsley House version, as well as the head of Jupiter in the clouds but no eagle.

    In their 2014 article Falomir and Joannides draw attention to a statement of Karel van Mander that Anthonis Mor made various copies for Philip, including one of Titian's 'wonderfully well painted' Danaë. They suggest that this happened 'probably soon after it arrived in Flanders'; and they suppose that the present copy, which certainly does not seem to be Spanish, was based on the one by Mor, which must therefore itself have been full-size. Hope's subsequent article, on the other hand, argues that Philip II's Danaë was recorded in Spain by the end of 1553, and had presumably been sent there directly from Venice, suggesting that Mor must therefore have made his copy in Spain, most probably when he was working there for Philip in or about 1559–61.
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