Early 17th century Northern School (1600 - 1650)

The Martyrdom of Saint Peter Sold

Gouache on vellum, with framing lines in brown ink, laid down on wood.
76 x 96 mm. (3 x 3 3/4 in.)


The artist responsible for this pair of Biblical scenes must have been inspired by the paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610), and in particular the small-scale religious scenes on copper painted by the artist in the first decade of the 17th century in Rome. Elsheimer’s small paintings, often crowded with figures and full of detail, were highly influential on the succeeding generation of Dutch, Flemish and German artists working in Rome. It is likely, therefore, that the author of the present pair of gouaches, each characterized by a dynamic composition and highly refined technique, may be found among the Northern artists active in Rome in the first quarter of the 17th century.

A tentative attribution to the German painter Pieter Schoubroeck (c.1570-1607) has recently been suggested. Of Flemish origins, Schoubroeck worked in Nuremberg and Frankenthal, and is best known for small and crowded scenes of Old and New Testament subjects, landscapes and battle scenes, often painted on copper.

André Novak(?), according to a label on the old backing boards.

Joachim Jacoby, Die Zeichnungen von Adam Elsheimer: Kritischer Katalog, Frankfurt am Main, 2008, p.343, note 262.

Early 17th century Northern School

The Martyrdom of Saint Peter


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