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The Nativity

circa 1600
16th century
39.4 cm x 31.7 cm (15 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in.)

Maarten de Vos (1532 - 1603) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Flemish
Medium and Support: Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash over traces of black...
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1431

Vos was the leading history painter in Antwerp in the late 16th century. In his work the increasingly dry conventions of the school’s Mannerist painters were transformed by the dynamic compositions and saturated color that he had gathered from his early training in Italy, and especially from the Venetians. With their clear narration and incipient naturalism, his altarpieces dominated artistic production for the Counter-Reformation in the South Netherlands. This draw-ing is closely related to a late altarpiece in Antwerp’s Koninklijk Museum, although its variations in the background, cautious finish, and monogram suggest less a preparatory study than a model for an alternative project or possibly an engraving.

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