Description: oil on canvas
Dimensions: measurements note 37 by 48 cm.; 14 1/2 by 19 in.
Valenciennes, Musée de Beaux-Arts, Gerborgene Kunstwerke aus dem besetzten Nordfrankreich , 1918, p. 70, no. 320.
Literature: Probably S. Causid, Verzeichniß der Hochfürstlich-Hessischen Gemäldesammlung in Cassel, Kassel 1783, p. 75, no. 30a;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., vol. V, London 1913, p. 320, nos. 30 & 30a (as now not to be found in the Kassel Gallery);
E. Trautscholdt in F. Thieme and U. Becker, Allgemeine Lexikon der bildenden Kunst, vol. XXIX, Leipzig 1935, p. 570, no. 30;
E. Herzog, Die Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Kassel, Hanau 1969, p. 54, no.23;
T. Beherman, Godfried Schalken, Paris 1988, pp. 89-90, no. 9, reproduced (as whereabouts unknown).
Provenance: Probably in the collection of the Landgraves of Hessen-Kassel, Schloss Altstadt, Kassel, 1783 (1783 inv. no. 75);
Probably removed to Paris by Napoleonic troops under General Lagrange in 1814 or slightly before;
Marquise d'Aoust, Paris, circa 1910;
Her sale, Paris, Lair-Dubreuil, 5 June 1924, lot 83 (the subject wrongly identified as a 'Scène de séduction').
Notes: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
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This picture, lost since 1924 and known only from an old photograph, has only recently come to light.
The subject is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter XV, verses 8 & 9. The subject is relatively unusual in Dutch art of the time, but later in his career, in a work dated 1700, Schalcken did paint another Parable - of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.υ1
Beherman dates this picture circa 1675-80 on grounds of style, but notes that if the figure of a young man in the left background is indeed a self-portrait, as the catalogue of the 1918 Valenciennes exhibition proposed, then on the basis of the artist's apparent age, it would have to be earlier, and date from between 1665 and 1670.
Although the majority of the several thousand paintings looted by the French from the Hessen-Kassel collections were returned after the defeat of Napoleon, a large number remained in France where they were dispersed. Even though weakened by these losses, the collection, now belonging to the Staatliche Museen Kassel and housed at Wilhelmshöhe has a strong group of Dutch cabinet pictures, including five works by Schalcken.
1 Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen; see Beherman under Literature, pp. 90-91, no 10.