A Group of Six Large Framed Preparatory Lithographs for Sculpture by Mattheus Ignatius van Bree (1773 – 1839)


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Origin: Belgian
Period: Early 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800-30
In Frames:
Five at: 30.75” h x 23” w
One at:  27.5” h x 18.5” w

The group of six large framed and glazed lithographs on thick archival paper in tones from buff to warmer terracotta by Mattheus Ignatius van Bree (1773 – 1839), showing detailed drawings of classical sculptures, and more than likely being preparatory designs for the statues themselves, some with the workshop stamp of ‘JMP Rimerie Lithographique’ and all being numbered and signed, each surviving from the first half of the nineteenth century.

The lithographs show their age with attractive toning and spotting but nothing out of the ordinary other than a couple with water staining as photographed but all remain in one piece with no tears. The contrasting colours make for a nice tonal blend. The frames are contemporary, so in perfect order and have buff inset border slips.

Examples include

Silenus holding the infant Bacchus
Diana the Huntress
Apollo Belvedere
Artemis / Diana of Versailles
The Borghese Gladiator

Mattheus Ignatius Van Bree (1773 - 1839), was an important history painter and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp of which he later became the director. He also helped restore and return many highly prized works of art to Antwerp that had been looted by Napoleon, and returned to Antwerp following the French Emperor’s defeat, which included pieces by Rubens, who's style many likened him to. These designs may indeed have been for statues that he himself would produce as he was also a recognised sculptor. As an artist, he received numerous commissions from the Belgian government and was appointed court painter to the House of Orange and Wilhelm I.

These appear to be comparatively rare and the style of the drawing is classically 18thC in their execution.

A perfect solution to fill an entire wall space in a single hit of classical infused wonderment.