17-18th C. Spanish School. Erythraean Sibyl
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Lot: 4
17-18th C. Spanish School. Erythraean Sibyl

"Sibila Eritrea". Oil on canvas. With inscriptions on the upper left.

Inventory label on the back "[...] He left it here deposited on December 30, 1918 at the Colegio del Santo Ángel in Seville".


- Private collection. ffs. S. XIX.

- By descent to the current owners.

The sibyls, prophetesses of the Greco-Roman period, reached a great diffusion since the Italian Renaissance, integrating into Christian iconography as heralds of the arrival of the Savior. In this context, it was common to find them, as a series, among the collections of Flemish merchants in the 17th century. The one that concerns us, the Eritrean Sibyl, is a copy of the original by Jan van den Hoecke (Antwerp, 1611-1651), a student of Rubens, and known by historiography as The Painter of the Sibyls, a theme that he made his own and was to have great success among his contemporaries, since the mentions of the prophetesses appear in large numbers in the Antwerp inventories of the time.

She appears with a net full of fish on her lap, related to the ichthus, fish in Greek, whose pronunciation is similar to that of Jesus and also works as an acronym for Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter or Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior , symbol used since the early Christian period. In addition, the inscription of his prophecy can be seen on the pages of an open book in the upper right corner of the composition: eliget sibi ex piscatoribus abiectis numerum duodecim (he will choose them for himself from among fishermen and humble in number twelve). Finally, in the upper left corner, and almost imperceptible, the number 8 followed by the identification of the Sibyl as Eritrea in capital letters. 121,5 x 86,3 cm

Sibila Eritrea
121,5 x 86,3 cm
Painting technique

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