Dulwich Picture Gallery I


Joos van CLEVE

?Cleve, c. 1485–Antwerp, between 10 November 1540 and 13 April 1541
Netherlandish painter

Joos van Cleve [1] presumably was born in the Lower Rhenish city of Cleve. In nearby Calcar he was between c. 1505 and 1508 the pupil of Jan Joest of Calcar(1455/60–1519), together with Bartholomäus Bruyn I (c. 1493–1553/7). Like Joest, Joos van Cleve was influenced by the Bruges painters Hans Memling (c. 1430/40–94) and Gerard David (1450–1523) in his early work, and he may have been active in Bruges from c. 1507. By 1511 Joos was in Antwerp, where he became a master in the Guild of St Luke, and then dean in 1519, 1520 and 1525. His most important surviving work from his early career is the triptych of the Death of the Virgin (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne) [2], of which the original frame was dated 1515.

One reason why Joos found success in Antwerp was his combination of traditional elements of Netherlandish painting with Italian Renaissance motifs characteristic of the group of artists known as the Antwerp Mannerists. This is particularly clear in his many religious paintings, which range from narrative to meditative works. Unlike his contemporaries, however, Joos was influenced by the style of Raphael (1483–1520) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), particularly by the latter’s use of sfumato; he was called the Leonardo of the North. He was also active as a portrait painter, producing numerous images of Antwerp merchants. Among his historical subjects, the most notable is the death of Lucretia (examples in Zurich and Vienna) [3-4].

Between 1528/9 and 1535 Joos disappears from the records of the Guild of St Luke, and it seems likely that for at least some of this time he was in France in the employ of François Ier de France (1494–1547).1 He was probably also in Italy, and he is mentioned in London in 1535/6. On his return to Antwerp he resumed his long and successful career.

Hand 1980; Scailliérez 1991; Hand 1996; Ekkart 1998c; Simonetti & Zanelli 2003a and 2003b; Hand 2004; Leeflang 2007; Van den Brink, Taatgen & Becker 2011; Ecartico, no. 1814: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/1814 (Feb. 15, 2018); RKDartists&, no. 17248 https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/17248 (Feb. 17, 2018)

Joos van Cleve
Self portrait, probably 1519
panel, oil paint 38 x 27 cm
Madrid (Spain), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, inv./cat.nr. 1930.128

Joos van Cleve
The death of the Virgin, 1515
panel, oil paint 65 x 125,5 cm
Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, inv./cat.nr. 430

Joos van Cleve
Lucretia, c. 1518-1520
panel, oil paint 49,5 x 41,5 cm
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, inv./cat.nr. R.6 (Ruzicka-Stiftung)

Joos van Cleve
Lucretia, c. 1525
panel, oil paint 76 x 54 cm
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./cat.nr. 833

Workshop of Joos van CLEVE
DPG271 Salvator Mundi

1510–1600; oak panel, 27.5 x 21.3 cm

Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 13, no. 104 (‘Stair Case contd. / no. 26, Salvator Mundi. Head – P[anel] H. Holbein’; 1'10" x 1'8").

Cat. 1817, p. 12, no. 218 (‘CENTRE ROOM – East Side; Salvator Mundi; Hans Holbein’); Haydon 1817, p. 392, no. 218; Cat. 1820, p. 12, no. 218; Cat. 1830, p. 13, no. 277 (Salvator Mundi; L. da Vinci); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 488, no. 277;2 Denning 1858, no. 277 (‘This is not by Leonardo da Vinci, but probably by one of his school’); not in Denning 1859; Sparkes 1876, p. 201 (School of Leonardo da Vinci); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 38, no. 277 (School of Cologne, about 1500);3 Richter & Sparkes 1892, p. 74, no. 271; Richter & Sparkes 1905, p. 74, no. 271; Cook 1914, p. 170, no. 271;4 Cook 1926, p. 159; Cat. 1953, p. 16; Friedländer, ixa, 1972, p. 57, no. 34b, on pl. 53b (copy after Joos van Cleve); Murray 1980a, p. 300; Scailliérez 1991, p. 106 (n. 99); Beresford 1998, p. 140; Hand 2004, p. 121, no. 31.3; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 53 (workshop of Joos van Cleve); RKD, no. 288318: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/288318 (March 23, 2018).

Single-member oak panel. The ground is a thin, buff-coloured preparation. The panel is in good condition apart from a slight warp. Raised cracks follow the vertical grain of the panel. There is slight wear in the neck and the shadow of the face and a deep (restored) vertical scratch in the orb. There are some small losses down to the ground in the right hand background. No records of previous treatment exist.

1a) Prime version: Joos van Cleve, Salvator Mundi, c. 1516–18, panel, 54 x 40 cm. Louvre, Paris, RF187 [5].5
1b) Workshop of Joos van Cleve, Salvator Mundi, panel, 60 x 47 cm. Prado, Madrid, 2654.6
1c) Possibly workshop of Joos van Cleve, Salvator Mundi, panel, 50 x 36 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (sale Cologne, Lempertz, 7 June 1972, lot 104).7
1d) Copy: Salvator Mundi, panel, 62.1 x 43.2 cm. Church of Ligota Prószkowska, Poland.8
1e) Copy: Salvator Mundi, panel, 50.7 x 34.2 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Christie’s, 14 Dec. 1979, lot 32).9
2a) Quinten Massijs I, The Virgin in Prayer and Christ as Saviour, diptych, panel, 40.9 x 30.6 and 40.9 x 30.8 cm. KMSKA, Antwerp, 241 and 242 [6-7].10
2b) Attributed to Quinten Massijs I or circle of Quinten Massijs I, Salvator Mundi, 1491–1507, panel, 53.3 x 36 cm. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 60.17.62 [8].11

DPG271 is probably a 16th-century copy made in the workshop of Joos van Cleve of the autograph Salvator Mundi, painted c. 1516–18, now in the Louvre (Related works, no. 1a) [5]. The extensive underdrawing is an indication that it is not a slavish copy. Like many early Netherlandish works, in the 18th century it was attributed to Holbein, and it is as such that it was first listed in Britton’s 1813 inventory of the Bourgeois collection. Whether it was originally part of a diptych, combined with a praying Madonna (like the Prado version, Related works, no. 1b), or of a triptych, is uncertain; if the original frame survived it could provide evidence. Such small paintings were used at home for private devotion.

studio of Joos van Cleve
Christ as Salvator Mundi
panel (oak), oil paint 27,5 x 21,3 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG271

Joos van Cleve
Christ as Salvator Mundi, c. 1515
panel, oil paint 54 x 40 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./cat.nr. R.F. 187

Quinten Massijs (I)
Virgin at prayer, c. 1500
panel, oil paint 40,9 x 30,6 cm
Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, inv./cat.nr. 242

Quinten Massijs (I)
Christ as Salvator Mundi, c. 1500
panel, oil paint 40,9 x 30,8 cm
Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, inv./cat.nr. 241

The theme of the painting – Christ as saviour of the world – was popular around 1500. The Antwerp painter Quinten Massijs I (1465/6–1530) produced the prototype, as part of a diptych of The Virgin in Prayer and Salvator Mundi. The original diptych probably belonged to Nicolaas Rockox (1560–1640), burgomaster of Antwerp (Related works, no. 2a) [6-7].12 A panel generally attributed to the studio of Massijs (Related works, no. 2b) [8] is even closer to DPG271, leaving no doubt that the original by Joos was painted under the influence of Massijs.

In the Dulwich picture Christ is presented frontally, his right hand raised in blessing, the left resting on an orb surmounted by the cross. This orb represents the earth and is divided into three parts for Europe, Asia and Africa; the reflection of a window in the globe has been interpreted as symbolizing redemption.13 The form of Christ’s fingers is symbolic: thumb, ring finger and little finger are bent together, indicating the divine and human natures of Christ, while the forefinger and slightly bent middle finger are held upright. John Oliver Hand has noted that the features of Joos’s Christ are softer and more forgiving than its predecessors, and the artist of DPG271 has taken this even further.14 He has also simplified the intricate golden embroidery of Christ’s mantle and its fastener.

attributed to Quinten Massijs (I) or circle of Quinten Massijs (I)
Christ as Salvator Mundi, 1491-1507
panel, oil paint 53,3 x 36 cm
Raleigh (North Carolina), North Carolina Museum of Art, inv./cat.nr. 60.17.62


1 Fagnart & Lecocq 2017 passim.

2 ‘The Salvator Mundi – Figure half-length. A small picture of the school of Lionardo da Vinci.’

3 ‘Formerly attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and to his school. But it is clear, from the design and colouring, as well from the general conception of the picture, that it is the work of a Northern artist. The features of Christ, the tone of the colours, and the singular glassy look of the eyes, are quite in the style of Cologne under the influence of Master Stephan Loethener (1451).’

4 ‘School of Cologne (German: 15th Century […] quite in the style of Cologne under the influence of Master Stephen (1451)’.

5 RKD, no. 54817: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/54817 (Feb. 17, 2018); https://www.photo.rmn.fr/archive/08-550597-2C6NU0TCNB5N.html (July 17, 2020); Van den Brink, Taatgen & Becker 2011, pp. 82, 83 (fig. 56), 169, no. 21. Foucart & Foucart-Walter 2009, p. 27, no. R.F. 187; Hand 2004, pp. 49, 121, no. 13. It has been suggested that a possible pendant is Joos van Cleve, The Virgin in Prayer (panel, 56.5 x 43.5 cm, Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola, Genoa, GNPS 62): see Van den Brink, Taatgen & Becker 2011, pp. 82, 83 (fig. 57), 169, no. 22 and RKD, no. 41392: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/41392 (Feb. 17, 2018).

6 https://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/galeria-on-line/galeria-on-line/obra/el-salvador-8/ (July 17, 2020); Van den Brink, Taatgen & Becker 2011, pp. 169–70 (fig. 140), no. 23; Hand 2004, p. 121, no. 13.1.

7 Hand 2004, p. 121, no. 13.2.

8 ibid., no. 13.4.

9 ibid., no. 13.5.

10 Hand, Metzger & Spronk 2006, pp. 110–15; Vandamme 1988, pp. 246–7, nos. 241, 242; see also RKD, no. 54771: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/54771 and RKD, no. 248366: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/248366 (both Feb. 17, 2018).

11 RKD, no. 54827: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/54827 (Feb. 17, 2018); Silver 1984, pp. 72, 195–6, no. 4, fig. 44 (attributed to Quinten Massijs I).

12 The diptych appears in a painting by Frans Francken II, Banquet in the House of Burgomaster Rockox, panel, 62.3 x 96.2 cm. Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, Munich; see RKD, no. 232905: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/232905 (Feb. 17, 2018). See also Neumeister 2009, pp. 196–7, and Van Suchtelen & Van Beneden 2009, p. 24, fig. 5.

13 See Gottlieb 1960 and Białostocki 1970.

14 Hand 2004, p. 49.

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