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Gerard Seghers (Antwerp 1591 - 1651) Study of a male nude posed as Saint Sebastian against a tree

Black and white chalk on grey-blue paper. 570 by 335 mm. Estimate 8,000—12,000 GBP

PROVENANCE: Said to bear unidentified collector's mark, a rat inscribed in a circle, on the verso, but not visible as drawing laid down

EXHIBITED: Rotterdam, Kunsthal, European Master Drawings Unveiled, 2002, pp. 73-74, cat. no. 28, reproduced

NOTE: The attribution of this drawing is based on its similarity to a painting by Seghers of the subject, in the Leconfield Collection, Petworth, Sussex, which is also known through an engraving by Pontius.1 Seghers left Antwerp for Italy where he stayed for almost a decade, absorbing the influence of Caravaggio and his followers. After a trip to Spain he returned to Antwerp where he worked with Rubens and became a court painter to the Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia. For an artist of such importance, very little is known of his drawings and it is to be hoped that more will come to light.

1. See Rotterdam, loc. cit.

Old Master Drawings. 08 Jul 09 11:30 AM. London photo courtesy Sotheby's www.sothebys.com