Prague School
Angels rescuing Souls from burning in hell-fire

PROVENANCE: Richard Holtkott senior (Cologne 1866 or 1868-Rhndorf 1950 (his mark verso not in Lugt); An unidentified collectors mark, lower right corner (a butterfly); Anonymous sale, Phillips, London, 8 December 1993, lot 63 (as B. Castello); Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011).

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, squared for transfer in black chalk, watermark kneeling saint in a shield [see attached image]

255 x 205 mm. (10 x 8 1/8 in.)


Our drawing was in the collection of Richard Holtkott an industrialist from Bedburg who collected prints and drawings. After he died his collection was dispersed among the heirs and a lot of works were sold. A part of his collection went to his grandson Richard Holtkott junior who continued the collection. There are two collectors' marks one initial H and one Holtkott both in bright blue, the mark on our drawing is the former. I would like to thank Rhea Blok from the Fondation Custodia for this information. 1

A number of scholars have looked at this drawing and have placed it in in the circle of Johann Rottenhammer (1564-1625) or another artist working in this area. Indeed Joachim Jacoby has suggested from a photograph the figure styles seems somewhat close to Rottenhammer, a similar drawing style you will find in sheets by. e.g. Hans Freyberger.2

1.Written communication, 11 February 2011.

2.Written communication 15 July 2007. Heinrich Geissler, Zeichnung in Deutschland, deutsche Zeichner, 1540-1640, exhibition catalogue, 2 vols., Stuttgart, 1979-1980, I, nos F 21-22, p.253-4.