Jan Harmenz. Muller, Stecher
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, ehemals zugeschrieben
Das Gastmahl des Belsazar / Belshazzar's Feast, 17. Jahrhundert
The drawing pictures the feast of Belshazzar. It is a study after an etching by Jan Muller that borrows from a painting by Frans Francken the Younger.
The work was clearly cropped at the top and on the right, suggesting a desire to match it to the print. The artist first sketched the figures in light black lines, then organized them with seemingly flowing brushstrokes, at the sam time creating their volumes. The positions of the heads in the back row to have been corrected in red chalk. Altogether, however, the artist was, greatly interested in the figures; he was more concerned with the organization of a scene with a large table.
The drawing was formerly attributed to Diego Velázquez on the basis of the inscription. Diego Angulo Iñiguez and Alfonso Pérez Sánchez presented it as anonymous and were inclined to consider it not Spanish, while Benito Navarrete Prieto believes it to be the work of an artist from Madrid.
A drawing in the Musée du Louvre that came from the collection of Frank Hall Standish has a “Belazquez” inscription very similar to the one on the present sheet.
1. The Illustrated Bartsch, vol. 4.1 (265), 444: see Navarrete Prieto, Zapata Fernández de la Hoz and Martinez Ripoll 2008, 19 and fig. 10; Dückers 1994, 191.
2. See a similar correction' in inv. no. 38488, cat. no. 98.
3. Portrait of a Standing Painter (Portrait de peintre de pied), 75/8 x 4 3/16 in. (194 x 106 mm), Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. no. 18478.