(Mulhouse 1656 - Zerbst 1696)
Death and the Scholar
Signed Andr Bodan at the lower left.
448 x 295 mm. (17 5/8 x 11 5/8 in.)
SALE PRICE: £6,000
Drawings by Andreas Bodan are very rare, and only a handful are in museum collections. A drawing of The Death of Cleopatra, drawn in Dessau and signed and dated 1691, is today in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, while a signed allegorical drawing of Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Frieze is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Also very similar in subject and technique to the present sheet is a drawing by Bodan of a draped figure surrounded by skeletons, signed and dated 1675, in the Musée de la Ville de Strasbourg.
Among the very few other known drawings by Bodan is an early double-sided sheet with a youthful self-portrait, dated 1674, which was once in the collection of Tobias Christ in Basel, while a pen and wash drawing of a Fortune Teller, signed and dated ‘A. Bodan Roma 1677’ was formerly in the Christian Humann collection and appeared at auction in New York in 1982. A signed pen drawing of Susannah and the Elders, sold at auction in Germany in 2004, is now in a private collection in Augsburg.
This drawing bears the small collector’s mark of Boguslaw Jolles (d.1912), who was active in Dresden and Vienna in the last quarter of the 19th century. He began collecting drawings in the 1870s and continued to add to his collection over the next two decades.
Born into a family of painters from Mulhouse in Alsace, Andreas Bodan trained with his brother Hans-Conrad, and later with Hans Rudolf Werenfels in Basel. Among his first significant commissions was an Allegory of Justice for the Hôtel de Ville in Mulhouse, painted in 1676 and incorporating the artist’s self-portrait. Bodan travelled to Italy, where he spent time in Rome, Naples and Sicily, and also visited Malta. He was later appointed court painter to the Duke of Saxony, Hans Ludwig von Anhalt, in Zerbst, where he died in 1696 at the age of just forty.
His sale, Munich, Hugo Helbing, 28-31 October 1895, lot 726 (as ‘André Joseph Bodem’: ‘Unter einem Säulenbogen eines Prunkbaues eine männliche Figur vor einem Skelette stehend. Bezeichnet: >>Andr. Bodem<<. H.45, B.29.6 cm. Kräftige Feder- und Bisterzeichnung.’)
Hill-Stone Ltd., New York, in 1999