Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)

Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)

Valentin Lefèvre (Brussels 1642 - 1682 Venice)

The Judgment of Solomon

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, 120 x 183 mm (4.7 x 7.2 inch); laid down onto a collector’s mount with framing lines in brown ink and gold leaf on blue paper

- Sir John Clermont and Lady Witt, London (Lugt 646a applied on the verso)
- Le Gallerie, Milan, 26 October 1983, lot 35
- Private collection, Venice
- Pandolfini, Florence, 26 November 2013, lot 136

- U. Ruggeri, ‘Valentin Lefèvre interprete di Paolo Veronese’, in: D. Rosand (ed.), Interpretazioni veneziane. Studi di storia dell’arte in onore di Michelangelo Muraro, Venice 1984, p. 425, note 35 
- U. Ruggeri, 'Drawings by Valentin Lefèvre', Master Drawings, vol. XXVI, 1988, no. 4, p. 345, no. 44, pl. 24


Not much is known of the life of the Flemish artist Valentin Lefèvre (also Lefebvre). The fundamental influence on his work, clear also in the present sheet, is the Venetian artist Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), but it has also been pointed out that Giovanni Coli and Filippo Gherardi were significant. Both those painters were working in Venice between 1663-68, in the Library of San Giorgio Maggiore, where Lefèvre was also active around the same period. As an artist Lefèvre mainly concentrated on engravings for illustrations and he is the author of the Opera Selectiora, published in 1682.

The present sheet was first published as Lefèvre by Ugo Ruggeri in 1984, and he also included it in his catalogue of drawings published in Master Drawings in 1988. Ruggeri observed it is a rather finished drawing, drawn in a classicizing style, which points towards Poussin. The handling can for instance be compared with Lefèvre’s drawing of an Allegorical Composition with Apollo in the Louvre (see last fig.).1

The drawing formerly belonged to Sir John Clermont Witt (1907-1982), administrator and patron of the arts, who formed a collection of drawings of the various schools.


1. Pen and brown ink, brown wash, 386 x 283 mm; inv. no. 20043.

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Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
Valentin Lefèvre (1642-1682)
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