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Lot number: 44414
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Estimates : $ 6,000 - $ 7,500
Item is sold for $ 4,500

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Publisher: SPANISH FORGER or follower
Title: Joan of Arc.
Published: Paris (?), c.1890-1920

Size: 16.1 x 13.8 inches.
41.0 x 35.0 cm.
Colouring: Oil painting on wood panel.
Condition:  Painting on wooden panel, emphasized with gold and silver dots. The paint is cracking to mimic a period (middle-age) painting. Edges a bit weared, cracks in lower left corner. Generally very fine.
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Showing a scene where Joan of Arc, holding her sword and in her typical haircut. She is being dressed up by two men, to her left several knights, one knight is holding the Pennon, also called the Little Standard, and a shield each with three fleurs-de-lys. To her left two noble women in typical medieval dresses, in the back-ground a castle is rising above the crowed. The painting is attributed to the ‘Spanish Forger’. The Spanish Forger was named from the first work identified as a fake, in 1930. This was a panel in the style of Jorge Inglés, who was active in Spain in the 1440s, but was English by birth. Since then there have been suggestions that the forger was Portuguese, Belgian, Swiss, English or, most plausibly, French. He seems to have worked over a long period, from the 1890s to the 1920s

Bella da Costa Greene gave him this name because one of the first works she exposed in 1930 had been previously attributed to Jorge Inglès who had been active in Spain. The number of miniatures and panel paintings attributed to the Spanish Forger has steadily grown.
In 1939 it was thought to be 14. By 1978, when New York’s Morgan Library curator William Voelkle held a show, it was 150. Mr Voelkle, who is still at the Morgan, says his latest tally is 348. All are in the style of 14th- and 15th-century artists. He “suspects there are more examples in private collections and even some in museums, which have not been recognised”.

They are mostly painted on wood panels or on old vellum, taken from an Italian antiphony of around 1400. Music remains on the reverse, while the front has been scraped before the illuminations were added.

His figures all have high cheek bones, small pursed lips and disinterested expressions, commonly incline their heads at approximately 30°.
With time, the Spanish Forger became a full-fledged artist, with his imitations being highly looked and avidly collected by institutions and private collectors alike, and were exposed as forgeries in the mid-twentieth century (see J. Backhouse "The Spanish Forger", British Museum Quarterly 33, 1968, pp.65-71, and W. Voelkle’s comprehensive catalogue The Spanish Forger, 1978).

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Item category: Medieval Manuscripts

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Item category: Medieval Manuscripts

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