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The Bronze Serpent
Anonymous (Copy after Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Cornelis)
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Anonymous (Copy after Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Cornelis)

The Bronze Serpent

XVII century. Oil on canvas. On display elsewhere

As Pieter J. van Thiel suggests, this painting may be a copy made after an engraving by Jan Muller (1590) of Cornelisz. van Haarlem`s original Fortune bestowing her Favours, today at the Musée d´art et d´histoire of Geneva, which is also known through a grisaille executed by van Haarlem himself as a model for the engraving and through a copy of the original painting (Gothenburg, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, inv. 7). In the Prado painting, the copyist would have replaced the figure of Fortune in the engraving-with feet resting on a sphere and arms wide open-by the cross with the serpent, thereby transforming the original allegory into a biblical scene.

Nevertheless, in the copy the cross with the serpent is frontally positioned-and not obliquely, as in the figure with wide-open arms in the engraving-and the figure of Moses has been added, while a few of the characters depicted in the engraving have been eliminated.

It should be pointed out in this connection that the inventory of the Michiel Hinloopen collection (1619-1708) compiled in Amsterdam in 1708 mentions A picture showing the children of Israel contemplating the serpent, by Cornelis van Haarlem 1610, of which neither the whereabouts nor any engravings are known. It is therefore reasonable to think that Van Haarlem painted two very similar compositions, one allegorical and one biblical, and that the present work is a copy of the Bible scene. (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 301).

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009, p.54; 301

Technical data

Inventory number
P005100
Author
Anonymous (Copy after Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Cornelis)
Title
The Bronze Serpent
Date
XVII century
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 73 cm.; Width: 96 cm.
Provenance
Museo de la Trinidad

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, II. Museo de la Trinidad, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1991.

''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Extremadura. I. Cáceres. Museo de Historia y Cultura ''Casa Pedrilla'', Boletín del Museo del Prado, 17, 1999, pp. 168.

Elsig, Frédéric, La Naissance des Genres: la Peinture des Ancienspays-Bas (avant 1620)au Musee D'Art et D'Histoire de Geneve, Somogy Éditions, Paris, 2005, pp. 82-83.

Álvarez Lopera, José, El museo de la Trinidad : historia, obras y documentos (1838..., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 131.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 54; 301.

Other inventories +

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 168.
168. / Cuadro apaisado. La serpiente de metal com- / posicion de muchas fig.s desnudas ecepto la de Moi- / ses figª como de atercia escasa y cuerpo entero. / Autor / Rdo alto 0,73 1/2; ancho 0,96. / id.id.id. / Nº 35 / S.P.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Cáceres - Diputación Provincial de Cáceres. Palacio de Carvajal (Deposit)

Update date: 08-05-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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