Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Holy Family

Artist:
Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) (Netherlandish, Maubeuge ca. 1478–1532 Antwerp (?))
Date:
ca. 1510–20
Medium:
Pen and two shades of brown ink over remains of black chalk
Dimensions:
6 1/8 x 5 in. (15.5 x 12.7 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Eugene V. Thaw Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.190
Not on view
In this drawing, Gossart depicted the Holy Family sitting on a bench next to a tree, of which we can see only the trunk. The Virgin Mary dangles the naked Christ Child on her lap as he turns his head to look at us. Next to them is Joseph, who offers Mary a flower. Gossart paid a great deal of attention to the drapery folds. Their detailed execution and almost sculptural quality are in contrast to the sketchier, less-worked-out figures. In the background, faint lines seem to indicate first thoughts for a possible architectural setting. The exquisite drawing might have been a preliminary study for an unidentified painting or print. Another possibility is that the drawing was meant to be an independent work, but for an unknown reason the artist left it unfinished. Among the most technically virtuous artists of the early sixteenth century and one of the earliest exponents of Antwerp Mannerism, Gossart worked for a number of influential courts and patrons, including Philip of Burgundy, Adolf of Burgundy, and Christian II, king of Denmark.
Eugène Rodrigues (Paris 1853–?1928); Frederik Muller & Cie (Amsterdam), July 12-13, 1921, lot 31 (to Cassirer); Leo Blumenreich; Franz Koenigs (Cologne 1881–1941 Haarlem/Rotterdam)(remaining in the family until 2001); sale, Sotheby's, New York, January 23, 2001, lot 4; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich Donor: Eugene Victor Thaw Gift
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 28, 2002–April 21, 2002.

National Gallery, London. "Jan Gossaert's Renaissance," February 23, 2011–May 30, 2011.

Max J. Friedländer Die Altniederländische Malerei, Jan Gossart, Bernart van Orley. Leiden 1934, 1934, cat. no. 14, p. 65.

Frits Lugt Les marques de collections de dessins et d'estampes... Supplément. The Hague, 1956, p. 128.

Paul Wescher Neue Beiträge zum Schaffen des Jan Gossaert. 1970, fig. no. 77, pp. 106-107.

Max J. Friedländer Early Netherlandish Painting: The Antwerp Mannerists Adriaen Ysenbrandt. vol. 11, New York, Washington, 1974, cat. no. 14, fig. no. 66, p. 42, ill.

Carmen C. Bambach, Elizabeth E. Barker, Colta Ives, Michiel C. Plomp, Perrin Stein, Gary Tinterow "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000-2001." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 59, no. 2, Autumn 2001, p. 24, ill.

Sotheby's, New York Old Master and Modern Drawings and Prints from the Franz Koenigs Collection. Sale cat. New York, January 23, 2001, cat. no. 4, ill.

Maryan W. Ainsworth, Stijn Alsteens, Nadine Orenstein "Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures." Exh. cat.: Jan Gossart's Renaissance: The Complete Works. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010, cat. 71, (entry written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.



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