Maarten van Heemskerck illustration valued at $250,000
An illustration by Maarten van Heemskerck will lead an auction of old master drawings at Christie’s London on January 27 with a valuation of $150,000-250,000.
Titled Tobit Burying the Dead, Visiting Prisoners and Feeding the Poor, the work shows the righteous Israelite (sometimes known as Tobias) performing his charitable works.
The Book of Tobit is considered canonical by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, but is less well known in the Anglican Church.
It’s from a series of eight engravings showing the states of Beatification and illustrates the virtue of Mercy.
Christie’s comments: “The compositions for the Beatitudes follow the same format - a general condition of blessedness described through a simultaneous narrative of Biblical stories…
“Heemskerck himself was an erudite, devout and versatile artist, a painter and draughtsman who made many drawings for prints, such as the present lot.
“He traveled to Rome in 1532 and encountered the work of contemporaries such as Raphael and Michelangelo as well as works from Antiquity…
“All eight engravings were produced, but only four other drawings for the series are known.”
A portrait of Nicolas Vleughels by Jean-Antoine Watteau’s will also feature, with an estimate $120,000-180,000.
Vleughels often sat for Watteau as the two men were close friends.
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