Information from the museum, 30 March 2015
GASPAR DE CRAYER (1584-1669)
Virgin and Child with Saint-Benedictus, Saint-Bernardus, Saint-Robert de Molesmes and angels
Oil on panel, 67 x 44,5 cm.
After being auctioned in Brussels in 1980, the hereby presented modello only recently reappeared in a private collection in Belgium. See e.g. comparable altarpieces by De Crayer in the Gymnasialkirchen in Meppen (oil on canvas, ca. 400 x 250 cm), in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerpen (oil on canvas, 401 x 243,5 cm) and in the Church of Saint-Servatius in Schaarbeek (oil on canvas, 330 x 220 cm, signed and dated D. CRAYER FE. A° 1661). The painting in the Royal Museum in Antwerpen was commissioned after 1668 by Edmunda de Ibarra for the Abbaye of the Cistercians in Lier and afterwards entered the church of Turnhout where it was bought in 1903. This modello can be considered a late work (the 1660’s) by Gaspar De Crayer.
It will be shown in the Keizerskapel Antwerpen together with two other paintings by him. First an early work (1630) representing Saint-Maria-Magdalene (oil on panel, 37 x 24,5 cm, signed with monogram GDC (in ligature) and dated 1630). Second a grisaille representing The Holy Family with Saint-John (oil on panel, 31 x 24,5 cm). The latter e.g. served as a modello for an engraving by Petrus Van Schuppen (355 x 252 mm, signed Gaspar de Crayer 1653 / Petrus van Schuppen sculpsit) dedicated to the Archduke Leopold-Wilhelm. Gaspar De Crayers original painting for the Archduke (oil on canvas, 149 x 120 cm) is now in the Palazzo Pitti in Firenze. Other versions of Van Schuppens print are dated 1662 and 1665 (see image).
On Gaspar De Crayer: see Hans Vlieghe, Gaspar de Crayer. Sa vie et ses oeuvres, 2 vols, Brussels, 1972; Idem, Addenda et Corrigenda, Gentse Bijdragen tot de Kunstgeschiedenis, XXV (1979-80), pp. 158-208.