A Copper by Otto van Veen Acquired by the Ringling Museum of Art

Otto van Veen (c. 1556-1629)
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on Copper - 87.6 x 73.3 cm
Sarasonta, The John and Mable
Ringling Museum of Art
Photo : Ringling Museum of Art

2/4/13 - Acquisition - Sarasota, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art - The Sarasota Museum purchased a large copper work painted by Otto van Veen (also known as Otto Venius) representing The Adoration of the Shepherds for $56,250 (including charges) last 30 January at Christie’s New York.

Following a stay in Italy from 1575 to 1583 which left a profound influence on his style, van Veen, a native of Leyden, led an important official career, working first in Brussels, then Antwerp where he directed notably the decoration of the city for the entrance of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, then again in Brussels.
An honorable painter, but bereft of genius, today he is known above all for having been Rubens’ master from 1594 to 1598 then keeping his student with him in his studio as a collaborator for another two years until Rubens left for his own tour of Italy. Despite certain limits, the master’s style nevertheless definitely marked Rubens’ work.

Due to its sense of balance and classicism, as well as the almost awkward character of the figures, this Adoration of the Shepherds is typical of the artist’s manner whose main quality is the fact that he strove early on to distance himself from the dominance of Mannerism at the time.
The reason the American museum purchased this canvas is because this establishment already owns a significant collection of Rubens paintings, notably a series of four large tapestry cartoons for the Triumph of the Eucharist, bequeathed by John Ringling, the founder of the museum in 1936, and rounded out by a fifth, acquired in 1980. This copper by van Veen will hang not far from this ensemble.

Version fran├žaise

Didier Rykner, mercredi 3 avril 2013

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