Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Putto on a Dolphin

Circle of Gérard van Opstal (Flemish, Antwerp 1594–1668 Paris)
mid-17th century
French, Paris
Overall: 4 × 8 1/2 in. (10.2 × 21.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 532
Collectors in French courtly circles prized van Opstal's reworking in ivory of themes he employed in large-scale architectural reliefs carved for palaces and private mansions in Paris. The land- and sea-based mythological scenes in which he specialized were clearly inspired by his fellow Fleming Rubens, who was, in turn, inspired by antique Roman sarcophagi. Van Opstal's ivories are often pierced and evidently meant to be mounted against a dark background. This example, perhaps by a follower, may have been intended for an ebony cabinet.
[ sale, C.J. Wawra , Vienna, March 26, 1928, unknown lot number ] ; Stephan von Auspitz , Vienna (by 1930) ; [ Klejman , until 1962; sold to MMA ]
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