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3 janvier 2020

Flemish School, 17th century, The Tower of Babel

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Lot 14. Flemish School, 17th century, The Tower of Babel, oil on canvas, 35 by 43¾ in.; 89 by 111.1 cm. Estimate: 250,000 - 350,000 USD. © Sotheby's.

Provenance: Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 28 January 2016, lot 24;
Where acquired by the present collector.

NoteThe subject of the Tower of Babel is from Genesis (11:1-9) and recounts how the people, who all spoke a common language, decided to build a tower, the top of which would reach to the heavens. As punishment for their hubris, God confused the people’s language so that they could no longer understand one another, and scattered them over the face of the earth. The story provided a rich source of subject matter for Flemish artists in the 16th and 17th centuries whose depictions were inspired by the two iconic representations by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum , dated 1563; and Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, circa 1565). The present example, filled with abundant detail, appears to be by a Flemish artist working in the second half of the 17th Century.

Sotheby's. Master Paintings Evening Sale, 29 Jan 2020 

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