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Est: €10,000 EUR - €15,000 EURSold:
Sotheby'sMay 19, 2004Amsterdam, Netherlands

Item Overview


signed lower right: Battem

gouache en grisaille on brown prepared paper
Inv.nr. N 144


196 by 227 mm.

Artist or Maker


Amsterdam/Dordrecht 1994-5, cat. no. 19


K. Andrews, "Ein Rotterdamer Maler und Radierer geringer Ordnung", in: Essays in Northern European Art Presented to Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann on his Sixtieth Birthday (ed. A.-M. Logan), Doornspijk 1983, p. 25;
H. Verbeek, Gerrit Battem Constrijck Schilder 1636 - 1684, Leiden 1983 (unpublished thesis), p. 23, cat. no. Hb 3


Possibly Louis Fabritius Dubourg (1693 - 1775), Amsterdam
His posthumous sale, Amsterdam, R. Steenberger, Ph. van der Schley, J. de Bosch, C. Ploos van Amstel, H. de Winter and J. Yver, 15 January 1776, kunstboek G, nr. 82;
Van den Brande collection, Middelburg;
By descent to E.C. Baron van Pallandt, his sale, Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 26 September 1972, lot 275, reproduced


Battem is best known for his highly original and decorative landscape gouaches, which survive in considerable numbers, but he also made a few monochrome gouaches heightened with white, representing religious subjects, which, like many of the artist's landscapes, have few direct stylistic parallels in the work of other 17th-century Dutch artists. Including the present example, 14 such works are currently known, of which all but two depict subjects from the New Testament. Two others, showing Christ and the Woman of Samaria, and The Crucifixion, were until 1972 together with the Unicorno drawing in the famous Van Pallandt collection (see lots 43 and 92), where they had presumably been since the 18th century, but despite this shared provenance it does not seem that they can have been part of a series, as their subjects and formats are too diverse.

Though Battem's technique in these religious gouaches was very unusual, his compositions draw heavily on prints by other artists, and the present drawing recalls in particular two Rembrandt etchings of 1654, one with the same subject and the other showing The Circumcision (B. 46 & 47). Battem's Crucifixion also appears inspired by a Rembrandt print, of the previous year, so it seems reasonable to date the drawings to the second half of the 1650s, when Battem seems to have been living in Amsterdam. A secondary influence on Battem's religious compositions of this type was that of Adam Elsheimer (again probably through the medium of prints by Hendrik Goudt after Elsheimer's paintings), although Elsheimer's impact on Battem's style is perhaps most readily apparent in some of the latter's landscapes.

Auction Details

The Unicorno Collection: Fifty-five Years of Collecting Drawings

May 19, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

De Boelelaan 30, Amsterdam, 1083 HJ, NL