Anthony van Dyck

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Anthony van Dyck
The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
ca. 1617-1620
Pen and brown ink, brown and gray wash, on laid paper.
9 7/16 x 6 11/16 inches (240 x 170 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
III, 177

Inscribed at lower right, in black ink, "3"; on verso at lower edge, in graphite, "Antony van / Dyck" and fragmentary computations in florins; inscribed on the old mount, in Roupell's hand, in black ink, "RPR / Van Dyck / Martyrdom of St. Lawrence / from the Norblen Collection (Paris) / One of the 50 drawings selected for / Exhibitions by Messrs. Woodburn in the / Lawrence Gallery in July 1835".
Watermark: Fragment, letter "C" and reversed "C".

Possibly Samuel van Huls, former burgomaster of The Hague; his sale, Swart, 14 May 1736, Album M, p. 17, lot 549 ("St. Laurent & 2 autres"); Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine (1745-1830), Paris; Sir Thomas Lawrence (no mark; see Lugt 2445-46); Samuel Woodburn (no mark; see Lugt 2584); Lawrence-Woodburn sale, London, Christie's, 12 June 1860, lot 1208 (to Roupell for £2.15.0); Robert Prioleau Roupell (Lugt 2234); his sale, London, Christie's, 12-14 July 1887, lot 1182; also sale [Roupell], Frankfurt-am-Main, F.A.C. Prestel, 6 December 1888, p. 13, lot 47 ("Eine der 50 von Woodburn gewählten Zeichnungen, die 1835 in der Lawrence Gallery ausgestelt wurden"); Edward Habich (Lugt 862); his sale, Stuttgart, Gutekunst, 27-29 April 1899, lot 246 (bought in for DM 140); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J.P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Tuinen, Ilona van. Power and Grace : Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, 2018, no. 6 (repr.)
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, III, 177, repr.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 120, no. 267 repr.


St. Lawrence was martyred by being burned alive on a hot gridiron, but he suffered very little: moments before his death, he is reported to have requested to be turned over because he was "well cooked" on one side. The young van Dyck executed this drawing while he was working in Rubens's studio, probably with the intention of making a painting. He based his composition on Rubens's large painting of St. Lawrence of ca. 1615 (now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich), which Van Dyck knew well and copied on several occasions. The most striking deviation from Rubens's composition is that rather than gazing up in noticeable agony, van Dyck's almost lethargic saint more closely resembles the Lawrence of the legend. -- Exhibition Label, from "Power and Grace: Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens"

Associated names: 

Huls, Samuel van, 1655-1734, former owner.
Norblin de la Gourdaine, Jean-Pierre, 1745-1830, former owner.
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830, former owner.
Woodburn, Samuel, 1785 or 1786-1853 former owner.
Roupell, Robert Prioleau, 1798-1886, former owner.
Habich, Edward, 1818-1901, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

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