Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Prague School DPG353

DPG353 – Marine Deities

c. 1600; panel (oak), oil paint 62,8 x 78,8 cm

Cartwright Bequest, 1686 (no. 176, £7, ‘2 naked women, an ould man with a Long whit beard & red mantell, a doge & a Tritan, a Large pictur on a bord in an ould fashond frame filited with gould’).

Sparkes & Carver 1890, p. 41, no. 96 (no attribution; A Procession of Marine Deities); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 97, no. 353; Cook 1914, p. 210 (Artist unknown); Cook 1926, p. 195; Cat. 1953, p. 47 (under ‘Subject pieces by unknown artists’); Murray 1980a, p. 301 (Unknown (?Flemish)); Beresford 1998, p. 102 (Manner of Floris); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 323 (Prague School; c. 1600); RKD no. 281772: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/281772 (Feb. 8, 2017).

London 1987–8, pp. 26, 62, no. 53 (N. Kalinsky; reminiscent of work by Frans Floris (I)).

Three-member oak panel, with horizontal grain. The paint is thinly applied. The panel has a slight warp and a large split in the central member has been repaired. There are some chips along the right edge and many discoloured retouchings. The varnish is yellowed and very shiny. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–5, Dr. Hell.

1a) Joseph Heintz I, Satyrs and Nymphs, signed and dated IO HE[in ligature]intz. F. 1599, copper, 24 x 32 cm (oval). Alte Pinakothek, Munich, 1579 [1].1
1b) Preliminary study for 1a (?): Joseph Heintz I, Satyrs and Nymphs, 1599 or before, pen and black ink, brush and black washes, red chalk, heightened with white bodycolour, 235 x 320 mm. MMA, New York, 2007.174 [2].2

Prague School, c. 1600
Marine deities
panel (oak), oil paint 62,8 x 78,8 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG353

Joseph Heintz (I)
Satyrs and nymphs, dated 1599
copper, oil paint 24 x 32 cm
Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv./cat.nr. 1579

Joseph Heintz (I)
Satyrs and Nymphs, 1599 or earlier
paper, inkt, heightened with chalk, over red and black chalk 235 x 320 mm
several :
New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv./cat.nr. 2007.174

DPG353, formerly listed as a work painted in the manner of Frans Floris I (1515/20–70), was probably made in Prague or by an artist who had worked there, c. 1600. The style and the oval format recall the compositions by Joseph Heintz I (1564–1609) (Related works, nos 1a, 1b) [1-2]. It seems likely that the picture is a copy of a work so far unknown, the figures fitting uneasily into the elliptical format that the copyist has adopted.

The subject is an unidentified mythological scene. Reading from the left, the painting depicts Triton holding what seems to be the tail of a large fish, two female nudes (perhaps Nereids) separated by the head of a dog, and an old man holding flying red drapery. The inclusion of the dog would suggest that some specific incident was intended, although whether at sea or in a river is unclear. It is presumably significant that one of the female nudes holds what appear to be reins (although it is only one line, and it doesn’t continue to the right); it is unclear whether the old man is intended to be Neptune, as he does not hold a trident. Cartwright himself did not know what the subject of the picture was, as shown by his description of it in his inventory.


1 RKD, no. 282861: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/282861 (Feb. 24, 2017); Dekiert 2006, pp. 266–7; Steingräber 1986, p. 247, no. 1579 (R. van der Heiden); Zimmer 1971, pp. 106–7, A 22, col. pl. IV, fig. 59; see also Alsteens 2007.

2 RKD, no. 282917: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/282917 (Feb. 24, 2017); see also https://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/90050059?rpp=20&pg=1&ft=heintz%2c+joseph+the+elder&pos=4 (July 9, 2020); Metzler 2014, p. 45, fig. 20; Alsteens (2007; with provenance) says that the drawing is related to the picture in Munich.

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