Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
May 19, 2017 12:00 PMCalender

Attributed to Hendrick (Henri) Ambrosius Pacx (Packx) (Dutch, 1602-after 1658) Two Village Battle Scenes: The Melee

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 3010BLocation: BostonDate / Time: May 19, 2017 12:00PM


Attributed to Hendrick (Henri) Ambrosius Pacx (Packx) (Dutch, 1602-after 1658)

Two Village Battle Scenes: The Melee and The Prisoners and Spoils
Melee signed "H. PACX" l.r., Prisoners signed "H." l.l.
Both oil on panel, 9 3/8 x 12 1/2 in. (23.5 x 32.0 cm),framed.
Condition: Retouch, panels partially reinforced.

Provenance: Purchased from Childs Gallery, Inc., Boston, February 28, 1967;
a copy of the invoice accompanies the lot.

N.B. This pair of paintings was reviewed by curators at the RKD-Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis from digital photographs. Because there is very little documentation of the works of Henri Pacx, it is difficult to provide an absolute attribution. The RKD files do not hold any images of paintings by Pacx that are signed, and works attributed to Pacx are often also attributed to other artists, including Paulus van Hillegaert I. There are parallels to the works of Antwerp painters Sebastian Vrancx and Pieter van der Hulst as well.

However, a work historically ascribed to Pacx, and strikingly similar to this pair, was sold at Bukowski's in Stockholm in September of 1936, where it was interpreted as a scene from the Thirty Years' War. The painting was offered again by the dealer P. de Boer in Amsterdam in 1938. The similarities to the pair presented here are strong enough to suggest it could be part of the same series. The painting was described as signed "H. PACX," but the only extant photograph unfortunately does not show the signature. The RKD believes that it is by the same hand as this pair, and their analysis suggests a strong argument in favor of the attribution of the works to Henri Ambrosius Pacx.
Estimate $800-1,200

Fine, stable craquelure. "Melee" with retouch across the sky from the horizon line to the top of the trees, and with a small area of retouch in the dirt road in the lower right corner. "Prisoners and Spoils" with retouch across the sky, mostly in the center above the horizon line and at upper left corner, and with a horizontal line of horizontal retouch at center right side extending to the middle of the composition, corresponding to a hairline crack in the panel, which is reinforced on the reverse.

Framed dimensions are 15 1/2 x 18 7/8 inches for each.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Childs Gallery Inc., Pieter van der Hulst, Sebastian Vrancx, Hendrick (Henri) Ambrosius Pacx, Henri Pacx, P. de Boer, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Stockholm