Gerson Digital : Poland


6.5 Flemish High Baroque

Flemish high Baroque is mainly found in the Warsaw and Poznań collections. Except for a single Rubens-and-workshop Virgin and Child in Wilanów Palace [1]1 there are unfortunately no more works by the ‘Prince of Painters’ in Poland nowadays. Of the three greatest artists of the Flemish Golden Age, it is only Jacob Jordaens whose works are relatively numerous in Polish collections. The National Museum in Warsaw possesses a magnificent early Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, His Parents and Angels of about 1617 [2] and a modello for the Triumph of Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange [3],2 commissioned by Amalia van Solms, the widow of the Stadholder, for Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. The composition of the Warsaw sketch, one of three extant (the other two are in Brussels and Antwerp), is the closest to the final work in the Orange Hall, which was signed and dated by Jordaens in 1652. His other autograph works are in the Łazienki and Wilanów Palaces and in Gdańsk [4-5].

after Peter Paul Rubens
Mary and child, after 1632
canvas, oil paint 159 x 119.5 cm
Wilanów (Warschau), Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie, inv./ Wil 1599

Jacques Jordaens
The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, his parents and angels, c. 1616-1617
panel, oil paint 106 x 222 cm
bottom left of the middle : J.Jordaens inventor et depingebat
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob.17

Jacques Jordaens
The triumph of stadholder Frederik Hendrik of Orange Nassau, 1651
canvas, oil paint 119.5 x 117.5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob.57

Jacques Jordaens
Infant Bacchus seated in a landscape, c. 1640
canvas, oil paint 121 x 106 cm
Wilanów (Warschau), Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie

Jacques Jordaens
Study of a child, c. 1626
paper on panel 38.8 x 62 cm
Gdańsk, Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsku, inv./ MNG/SD/331/M

There are some excellent paintings from the Antwerp circle of Rubens, such as Abraham Janssens’ Ecce Homo and Lamentation [6-7], or Jan Boeckhorst’s Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes, exhibited in the National Museum in Warsaw as well [8].

Jan Boeckhorst
Achilles discovered among the daughters of Lycomedes
canvas, oil paint 129.5 x 179.5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob. 2310

Abraham Janssens (I)
Ecce Homo, c. 1615-1617
panel, oil paint 126 x 96 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ Dep. 2634 MNW

Abraham Janssens (I)
The lamentation of Christ (John 19; Luke 23; Mark 15; Matthew 27), 1621-1622
canvas, oil paint, tempera 155 x 180.5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob. 1680 MNW

A couple of other storia paintings representing the Flemish Golden Age in Polish collections should be also mentioned here: Frans II Francken’s Fortune in the Wawel Castle [9], Pieter van Lint’s Penitent Mary Magdalen in Warsaw Castle [10] and another piece attributed to this artist, a grand composition, Saint Elisabeth of Hungary Praying for Conversion of Berthold von Leinbach in the National Museum in Warsaw [11];3 the Adoration of the Magi by Cornelis Schut in the Porczyński Foundation [12]4 and a monumental Christ at the Pond of Bethesda, now attributed to Artus Wollfort, in Poznań [13].

Frans Francken (II)
Occasio - Allegory of good fortune, dated 1627
canvas, oil paint 149 x 182 cm
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./ 901

Peter van Lint
The penitent Saint Mary Magdalene, dated 1637
canvas, oil paint 152 x 119 cm
center right : PE.V.L. Aº 1634
Warsaw, Zamek Królewski w Warszawie, inv./ ZKW/1996

attributed to Joost de Paepe
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary prays for the salvation of Berthold von Leimbach (Legenda Aurea), 1630's
canvas, oil paint 252 x 382 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ MOb.827 MNW

Cornelis Schut (I)
The adoration of the magi, dated 1652
canvas, oil paint 127 x 181 cm
: CS 1652
Warsaw, Muzeum Kolekcji im. Jana Pawla II

attributed to Artus Wolffort
Christ healing the paralytics at the pool in Bethesda (John 5:1-15)
canvas, oil paint 165 x 225 cm
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./ MNP Mo 74

Portraiture is represented by works such as a splendid full-figure Warsaw image of Marie Louise Gonzaga, the future Polish queen, by Justus van Egmont [14], a charming Portrait of a Lady in the manner of Anthony van Dyck in the Princes Czartoryski Museum [15], and A Boy with a Dog and a Hat in the manner of Cornelis de Vos in the National Museum in Kraków [16]. Also worth mentioning are: a very interesting Family Group in a Garden, painted by Jan II van Kessel in Madrid in 1672 [17], and Jacob Ferdinand Voet’s Duke Orazio Archinto [18] (both in the National Museum in Warsaw) and the latter’s Philippe, Chevalier de Vendôme in the Porczyński Foundation [19].

manner of/after Anthony van Dyck
Full-lenght portrait of a young lady ('Lady Pembroke'), after 1634
panel, oil paint 33 x 21 cm
lower right : LADY PEMBROCK
Kraków, Muzeum Ksiazat Czartoryskich

Justus van Egmont
Portrait of Louise Mary Gonzaga (1611-1667), 1645 (dated)
canvas, oil paint 228 x 145 cm
on the back : Mariae Principi Mantuanae, Ducissae Nivernensi... Justus d'Egmont Pinxit a. 1645, Parisii.
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ m. ob. 568.

manner of Cornelis de Vos
Portrait of a boy wit a dog and a hat
canvas, oil paint 109 x 75 cm
Kraków, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie

Jan van Kessel (II)
Portrait of a family in a garden, dated 1679
canvas, oil paint 126 x 167 cm
upper center : Van Kessel 1679 Pinxit Matriti
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob.813 MNW

Ferdinand Voet
Portrait of Duke Orazio Archinto (1611-1683), c. 1680-1683
canvas, oil paint 78 x 58.5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M.Ob.925 MNW

Ferdinand Voet
Portrait of Philippe de Bourbon, Duc de Vendôme, Grand Prior of the Knights of Malta in France (1655-1727), 1666-1678
canvas, oil paint 71.5 x 60.5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Kolekcji im. Jana Pawla II, inv./ 86 (cat. 1991)

The lesser, decorative genres of Flemish baroque painting are represented by works by artists such as Frans Snijders (an early Kitchen from ca. 1608 in Warsaw [20] and a magnificent Boar Hunt in Poznań [21]), Paul de Vos, David de Coninck and Daniel Seghers. Of the latter, two flower compositions are worth mentioning: one with an illusionist relief portrait of Nicolas Poussin in Warsaw [22], and another containing a similar image of the Holy Family in Poznań [23]. Impressive panoramic vista with The Temptation of Christ, signed and dated 1663 by Philips Augustin Immenraet, in the Porczyński Foundation [24], is one of the most attractive examples of the mature Flemish landscape in Polish collections.5 Numerous Flemish Golden Age paintings from public collections in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków and Wrocław were presented at a big exhibition in the National Museums in Warsaw and Gdańsk in 2007-2008.6

Frans Snijders
Stil Life with a Deer
canvas, oil paint 167 x 115.5 cm
Łódź, Muzeum Sztuki w Lodzi, inv./ MS/SO/M/143

Frans Snijders
Dogs attacking a wild boar, c. 1620
canvas, oil paint 193 x 342 cm
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./ MNP FR 438 (oud MNP Mo 91)

Philips Augustijn Immenraet
The temptation of Christ, dated 1663
copper, oil paint 83.5 x 118 cm
bottom (positional attribute) : IMMENRAET / 1663
Warsaw, Muzeum Kolekcji im. Jana Pawla II

Daniël Seghers and Anoniem Zuidelijke Nederlanden (historische regio) ca. 1650-1661
Sculpted cartouche adorned with flowers surrounding a relief with a portrait of Nicolas Poussin, c. 1650-1661
canvas, oil paint 98 x 79.8 cm
lower right : Daniel Seghers Soc.tis JESV (tis in superscript)
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./ M. Ob. 566 MNW

Daniël Seghers
Holy Family in a wreath of flowers, c. 1640
canvas, oil paint 82.3 x 64.6 cm
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./ MNP Mo 89


1 Mieleszko 2005, cat. no. 49.

2 D’Hulst 1993, no. A9, p. 252, 254, fig. A 82 C, note 7.

3 Jan Kosten, RKD, attributed this painting to Joos de Paepe (see RKDimages 194659).

4 Kwiatkowski 1991, p. 72; Michałkowa 1992, cat. no. 112.

5 Kwiatkowski 1991, no. 76.

6 Sixty-two Flemish paintings, both mentioned and not mentioned in the present survey are illustrated in Ziemba 2007. This publication, accompanying an exhibition, is not a traditional catalogue, functioning rather as a reference book for the history of the Flemish Golden Age painting.

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