CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Whereabouts of eight artworks depicting church interiors sought for exhibition ‘Perspective in Antwerp’ in 2016

The director of Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Claire Baisier, asks CODART members for suggestions or possible leads to the current whereabouts of eight Flemish artworks depicting church interiors. Museum Mayer van den Bergh is organizing an exhibition about perspective paintings in Antwerp in the 16th and 17th century, provisionally titled Perspective. Architectural painting in Rubens’ century. Dr. Claire Baisier, curator of the exhibition, demonstrated in her doctoral dissertation that half of the production of the Antwerp School show existing churches or other monuments. The church interiors painted by Peeter I & II Neeffs and Hendrik I & II Van Steenwijck were mostly dedicated to the free market. Their decorative value compensates the lack of reality. The paintings by Willem Schubert von Ehrenberg, Anton Gunther Ghering and Jacob Balthazar Peeters, later in the 17th century, with their accuracy and rendering of details, are much more useful for the study of the original interiors and furnishing of churches in Antwerp and elsewhere.

The exhibition will be the first ever on the architectural painting of the School of Antwerp. Loans are being requested from home and abroad, from private collections and museums as well. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color publication. The exhibition will be on display in Antwerp from 18 June to 16 October 2016.

Claire Baisier is currently trying to locate the following works in private collections:

Sebastiaan Vrancx, Interior of the church of the Discalced Carmelites in Antwerp, 1647, oil on canvas, 82 x 118,5 cm, sold by Lempertz Köln on 15 May 1999, lot nr. 1175.

Peeter I Neeffs, Interior of Saint Georges’ Church in Antwerp, oil on canvas, 52 x 67 cm, sold by Christie’s in London on 12 January 1994, lot nr. 109.

Peeter II Neeffs, Interior of Saint Georges’ Church in Antwerp, 1659, oil on canvas, 58,5 x 82,5 cm, sold by Christie’s in Amsterdam on 20 November 2013, lot nr. 152.

Peeter I Neeffs, Interior of Saint Georges’ Church in Antwerp, ca 1659, oil on canvas, 48,25 x 62 cm, sold by Sotheby’s in Amsterdam on 1 December 2009. lot nr. 28.

Peeter I Neeffs, Interior of Saint James’ church, oil on wood, 43,2 x 70,5 cm, sold by Shannons Fine Art Auctioneers in October 1998.

Peeter II Neeffs, Interior of Antwerp Cathedral, 1654, two quite similar versions, oil on panel, 45 x 65 cm, Leonard Koetser Gallery, Zurich in 1968; and 41,9 x 61 cm, Leggatt Londen in 1929.

Peeter I Neeffs, Interior of Saint Michael’s church in Antwerp, 1658, oil on panel, 38 x 52,5 cm, from the collection l’architetto Andrea Busiri Vici at Rome, sold around 1990.

Hendrik II van Steenwijck, Interior of the Jesuits church in Antwerp, 1627, oil on panel, 42 x 41,5 cm, sold by Sotheby’s in London on 26 April 2001, lot 57.

If you are aware of any other church interiors by Antwerp masters, we would greatly appreciate your information about these. We assume there are still quite a number of unknown works in private collections. It would be a great opportunity to show these ‘discoveries’ to the public.

If you have any information concerning these artworks, please get in touch with Dr. Claire Baisier, curator: