A painting by Cornelis de Baellieur for Kassel

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20/5/23 - Acquisition - Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister - The Gemäldegalerie in Kassel received as a gift from a collector [1] last year a painting by the Flemish painter Cornelis de Baellieur depicting the Christ Carrying His Cross, painted on copper and of a size that is rare for this type of medium.

1. Cornelis de Baellieur (1607-1671)
Christ Carrying His Cross
Oil on copper - 75 x 111 cm
Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Photo: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
See the image in its page

Very little known today, Cornelis de Baellieur, who was a pupil of Franck Francken, was nevertheless sufficiently famous in his time to have been elected dean of the Antwerp painters’ guild.
The few surviving paintings by him are strongly inspired by Francken’s work, from which he sometimes took over certain compositions. They are characterised by the abundance of figures crowded into compositions that are often overloaded, with very meticulous workmanship and vivid colours, processing religious scenes in the manner of genre painting. He also painted amateur cabinets, a genre frequently practised by his master. The Louvre preserves a panel of this subject signed and dated 1637, painted in collaboration with Hans III Jordaens. He executed the figures, while Jordaens was responsible for the interior, where we can also see a work by Frans Francken painted with Abraham Govaerts, The Four Elements. Other pictures with very similar compositions can be found at Harvard and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.

2. Cornelis de Baellieur (1607-1671)
The Crucifixion
Oil on copper - 55.5 x 76.3 cm
Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Photo: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
See the image in its page

The large copper that enters the Kassel collections is of high quality and here too shows the pervasive influence of Frans Francken. The scene, featuring the moment when St. Veronica gives her veil to Christ so that he can wipe his face, leaving the mark of his visage on it, joins a substantial group of Flemish paintings, including a work by Frans Francken, The Arrest of Christ and another unfinished painting by Cornelis de Baellieur depicting The Crucifixion, both of which were also painted on copper.

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