Jan Claudius de Cock
Brussels 1668-1735 Antwerp
An Allegory of Sculpture: A Female Sculptor

PROVENANCE: Christies London, December 6, 1988, lot 170A; Private collection, UK.

Signed in pen and brown ink Jean Claudius de Cock/ inv: del in the lower right margin, black chalk, grey wash, black chalk framing lines on laid paper

326 x 194 mm. (12 x 7 in.)



The condition of the chalk and wash and paper are excellent, very minor surface dirt, 3 pin head sized white spots. The drawing is laid onto an 18th century mount.

Claudius de Cock was apprenticed in the workshop of Peeter Verbrugghen the Elder (circa 1609-1686) in Antwerp. After Verbrugghens death de Cock established himself in that city, although he later moved to Breda where King William III Stadholder of the Netherlands commissioned him to work on sculpture for the courtyard in the town. However by 1697 or 1698 de Cock had returned to Antwerp to devote himself to teaching, establishing a large workshop with many pupils, some learning drawing, other goldsmithing. In 1720 he wrote a didactic poetical treatise for his students, Eenighe voornaemste en noodighe regels van de beeldhouwerije om metter tijdt en goet meester te woorden, [Some chief and notable rules from the sculptor in order to become a good master in due course] though it remained unpublished till the 19th century. Our drawing, which shows a female sculptor modelling a recumbent Venus is close to a number of others which are outlined below, and could have been intended to illustrate this treatise.

An Allegory of Sculpture, which is dated 1706, was sold on 19 April 1988 at Christies London, lot 140, is very close to our drawing in all aspects of composition, except it is drawn mainly in pen and brown ink. Other comparable drawing include one sold Christies London, December 6, 1988, lot 170B, of An Allegory of Sculpture, and An Allegory of Painting, in the collection of Katrin Bellinger [2001-037] as well as Allegory of Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art [2010.533].1

1.Teylers Museum, Haarlem and Sir John Soane Museum, London, Drawn from the Antique: Artists & the Classical Ideal, 11 March -26 September 2015, A. Adriano and Anne Varick Lauder, number 14.