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Jan Miel

(circa 1599 Beveren near Antwerp – 1663 Turin)

The Flight into Egypt. Etching. 17.2 x 22.8 cm. Hollstein 1.

The Flemish painter and etcher, Jan Miel, studied under Gerard Seghers in Antwerp before travelling to Rome in 1638, where he lived and worked until 1658. Miel made friends there with the painter, Pieter van Laer, and was admitted to the Bentvueghels, a cooperative association of Dutch and Flemish artists. In this Schildersbent the artist was also known by his nicknames: Bicke, Giovanni Milo and Giovanni delle Vite. Miel acquired a wider reputation for his scenes from everyday life in Italy and, in the autumn of 1658, moved to Turin, where he was appointed court painter to Duke Karl Emanuel.

The present etching of The Flight into Egypt is extremely rare. Hollstein mentions just one impression in the Rijksprenten­kabinet in Amsterdam, although a few others are to be found in various museum collections (e.g. the British Museum in London). The scene, which has been executed in a very free, spontaneous and extremely confident manner, combines all the features of a “painter’s etching”. The varying degrees of etching in the different parts make for an evocative chiaroscuro effect. The light and superficially treated landscape background, in particular, enhances the atmospheric and spatial effect of the intimate scene. An ancient head and the frag­ment of a column in the shade in the foreground give added character to the scene and bring the concept of vanitas to mind. A superb, contrasting impression with thread margins. A small thin spot in the top right-hand margin, otherwise in excellent condition.

12.000 €

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