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Attributed to Master of the Beyghem Altarpiece (Flemish painter, active 16th century) , St Adrian

Core Record

Title St Adrian
Collection Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums): Kelvingrove Museum
Artist Attributed to Master of the Beyghem Altarpiece (Flemish painter, active 16th century)
Attributed to Netherlandish (Antwerp) School
Attributed to Netherlandish (Brussels) School
Previously attributed to Burgkmair, Hans, the elder (German artist, 1473-1531)
Previously attributed to German School
Previously attributed to Orley, Bernaert van (Flemish painter and draftsman, ca. 1492-ca. 1541)
Date Earliest possibly about 1500
Date Latest probably about 1530
Description Saint Adrian was a Roman officer who became a Christian and was imprisoned and executed for his faith in AD 304. He stands on a paved and patterned courtyard in an elegantly contrapposto pose, dressed in highly-ornamented 'alla antica' armour, with an extravagantly plumed helmet. His head is in profile, facing to his right; in his right hand he holds upright from his wait a long sword, with his left he holds the neck of his scabbard. To his left lies a lion, to his right is an anvil on a circular block. An architectural feature behind him includes sculpted reliefs and marble columns; to the right, a hilly landscape. The anvil refers to the manner he was tortured to death: his limbs were crushed on an anvil and his hands were cut off. He is often represented with a lion because another Adrian, after being torn with hooks on the feast of the goddess Fortune, was exposed to a lion which mauled but did not kill him. The picture may conflate aspects of both legends.
Current Accession Number 206
Former Accession Number 130 (1855)
Inscription front lc'S · ADRIANVS' ; front (on the Saint's scabbard) 'BEIV NOAR'; front (around the circular relief) 'VIRTVS · VICTRIX · FORTVNAE · FORTISSIMA ·'
Subject figure; religion (St Adrian)
Measurements 31.0 x 23.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Archibald McLellan 1854.
Provenance Possibly Philip Hollingworth sale, 1828, lot 135, as 'J. V. Eyck. A Portrait of St. Adrianus, with a Lion at his Feet, and with Architecture: a singular and curious Picture.'
Principal Exhibitions International Exhibition, Brussels, 1935, cat. vol. 1, no. 116, as by van Orley; Between Renaissance and Baroque: European Art 1520-1600, Manchester City Art Galleries, Manchester, 1965, cat. no. 215.
Publications The McLellan Gallery: Catalogue of Pictures Bequeathed to the People of Glasgow by the late Archibald McLellan, 1855, p. 12, 'Centre Room: German Pictures', no. 130, as 'German School, 15th century'; Waagen, G. F., Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain ... Forming a Supplemental Volume to the Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London, 1857, p. 461, no. 130, as by Hans Burgkmair; Jameson, A. B., Sacred and Legendary Art, 1896, vol. 2, p. 800; Tombu, J., 'Le Maitre de la Légende de Marie-Magdaleine', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1929, vol. 2, pp. 272-3; Memorial of the International Exhibition, Brussels, 1935, vol. 1, pl. LI; Dutch and Flemish Netherlandish and German Paintings, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museums, 1961, vol. 1, text, pp. 97-98, vol. 2, illustrations, p. 8, as Netherlandish School (; Brussels), about 1520-30; Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin: Katalog der ausgestellten Gemälde des 13.-18. Jahrhunderts, Berlin-Dahlem, 1975, p. 297, under no. 645A.

On back, written in chalk 'NF 130', 'R', Manchester exhibition label.

The circular relief and its circumscription reproduce the reverse of a medal of Margaret of Austria, attributed to Jacques Gauvain, struck in 1501, the year of her marriage at Brussels to Philibert II of Savoy (the figure of Virtue on the left offers her the crown of Savoy). In the 1882 gallery catalogue described as by Burkmair, 1885 as 'Jacopo de Barbarij', then as Orley; M. J. Friedländer 1931 (note on file), as by the 'Master of the Beyghem Altarpiece', c. 1510. An almost identical, but smaller version was with Rafael Valls Ltd. Old Master Paintings, 11 Duke Street, St James's, London, 1990 Recent Acquisitions, 1, as Antwerp School, about 1520.

Rights Owner Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums)
Author Dr Heiner Krellig and Robert Wenley



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