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2nd half 16th century
"Pen and brown ink, brown wash, traces of black chalk, on laid paper with watermark (6-pointed star in circle, similar to Briquet no. 6097; Italy ca. 1570), 305 x 193 mm, unsigned (mildly creased at upper left corner, professional repair at lower left corner with some loss of paper, weakening paper fiber at head of left angel). Under passe-partout. Two young boys, one playing the double flute (aulos) and another holding a rectangular box, preparing an ancient sacrifice at an altar, decorated with festoons, ram's-heads, harpies and vases. The mythological and antiquated subject manner, as well as the detailed rendering in combination with sepia wash recall the northern Italian drawing practice of Giulio Romano and his followers. The artist can be seen searching with the execution of some elements in the composition, such as the length of the flute, which was altered during the drawing process"
Provenance: Albert van Loock, coll. Stamp (Lugt 3751, Lugt 3752) at lower right corner and verso