Jan van der Straet STRADANUS (Bruges 1523 - Florence 1604)

A Prophet or Apostle Sold

Black and red chalk, pen and brown ink and brown wash, heightened with touches of white.
Signed, dated and inscribed ioannus stradanus Achademico / di fiorenza 159[0?] at the bottom.
180 x 128 mm. (7 1/8 x 5 in.)


The present sheet is closely related to a series of around thirty drawings of prophets and other Biblical figures by Stradanus, all of similar dimensions and technique, some of which were engraved by Cornelis Galle. The prints after Stradanus’s drawings appeared in two different printed publications. In 1613, several years after the death of Stradanus, nineteen of the drawings, as well as a title page, were published as 'Icones Prophetarum Veteris Testamenti' by Theodoor Galle in Antwerp. A further seven prints were added to the series when it was republished, sometime after 1636, by Theodoor’s son Johannes Galle, with the title 'Icones Prophetarum Veteris Testamenti à Ioanne Stradano delineatae, à Ioanne Gallaeo excusae, à Corn. Gallaeo sculptae. Antverpiae'. Like a handful of examples from this distinctive group of drawings, however, the present sheet does not seem to have been engraved for either of the known editions of the Icones Prophetarum Veteris Testamenti, and may have been intended for another series of prints of saints or figures from the New Testament that was never published.

Other drawings by Stradanus from this group are today in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Courtauld Institute Gallery in London, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, the Fondation Custodia (Frits Lugt Collection) in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC., as well as in several private collections. A few of these drawings, including the present sheet, bears dates in the 1590’s, and the group as a whole may be dated to the last ten or fifteen years of the artist’s life.

Possibly A. Mos, Arnhem, or Dr. J. Nieuwenhuizen Kruseman, Haarlem
Possibly their sale, Amsterdam, R. W. P. de Vries, 7-8 November 19281
Iohan Quirijn van Regteren Altena, Amsterdam (his posthumous sale stamp [Lugt 4617] on the verso)
Thence by descent until 2014.

Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Foreign Catalogue, 1977, Vol.I, p.277, note 7, under no.6312; Karel G. Boon, The Netherlandish and German Drawings of the XVth and XVIth Centuries of the Frits Lugt Collection, Paris, 1992, Vol.I, p.356, under no.201, note 24; Alessandra Baroni Vannucci, Jan Van Der Straet detto Giovanni Stradano: flandrus pictor et inventor, Milan, 1997, p.331, under no.656; Joaneath Spicer, Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the National Gallery of Canada, exhibition catalogue, Ottawa and elsewhere, 2004, p.42, under no.11, p.167, under no.11, note 2; Stefaan Hautekeete, ed., From Floris to Rubens: Master Drawings from a Belgian Private Collection, exhibition catalogue, Brussels and Maastricht, 2016, p.112, under nos.38-39.

Jan van der Straet STRADANUS

A Prophet or Apostle


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