Two Northern paintings acquired by Châlons-en-Champagne

1. Vincent Malo (c. 1600-1645 ?)
Moses led the children of Israel
out of Egypt

Oil on panel - 56 x 86 cm
Châlons-en-Champagne, Musée des Beaux-Arts
et d’Archéologie
Photo : Musée de

8/12/09 – Acquisitions – Châlons-en-Champagne, Musée – Despite budgetary restrictions affecting many museums, some of these manage to maintain an active acquisitions policy. This is the case for Châlons-en-Champagne which wishes to emphasize its already extensive Flemish and Dutch holdings and has thus acquired in 2008 and 2009, with help from the Fonds Régional des Acquisitions des Musées, two paintings on the international art market.
The first one (ill. 1), from the Kunsthandel Schlichte Gallery in Amsterdam is by Vincent Malo, a native of Courtrai who trained in the workshop of David Teniers the Elder as well as that of Rubens. He worked in Genoa, then Florence and Rome where he probably died. The painting acquired by Châlons-en-Champagne, with the monogram VM on the base of the tomb, is an early work done before he left for Italy and shows the influence of Frans Franken.

2. Abraham Hondius (c. 1625/1630-after 1695)
The sacking of a monastery
Oil on panel - 25.7 x 34.3 cm
S.b.g. : A. Hondius
Châlons-en-Champagne, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie
Photo : Musée de Châlons-en-Champagne

The second painting represents the sacking of a monastery (ill. 2) by the artist Abraham Hondius, a Dutch painter from Rotterdam who also worked in Amsterdam then, in 1666 went on to London where he died. Although known mostly for his animal scenes, he also depicted mythological or religious themes revealing the luminist qualities of the Utrecht Caravaggists. The work acquired by Châlons-en-Champagne, a pillaging, is an atypical subject even if the slightly elongated and sketchily contoured figures present the stylistic characteristics often found in Hondius’ art.

Didier Rykner, mardi 8 décembre 2009

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