Diana And The Nymphs Bathing In A Cave, Jacques Muller (utrecht 1630 - 1680) Signed: 'j. Muller flag

Object description :

"Diana And The Nymphs Bathing In A Cave, Jacques Muller (utrecht 1630 - 1680) Signed: 'j. Muller"
Jacques Muller (Utrecht 1630 - 1680)
Signed: 'J. Muller f(ecit).'
Pupil of Abraham van Cuylenborch (Utrecht, 1620 - 1658)

Diana and the nymphs bathing in a cave

Second half of the 17th century

Oil on panel (50 x 65 - Framed 67 x 83 cm)

In a charming cave, the chaste Diana accompanied by her faithful nymphs and her greyhound has retreated to regain her strength after a hunt. They are all gathered at the edge of a pool of water in the centre of the ravine, with the goddess intent on undressing ready for a cool bath.

The author has displayed an incredible inventive verve in recreating the fantastic details that enrich the composition, with a series of sculptures, ruins, friezes and architectural details in the classical style, including a warrior who seems to guard the entrance to the cave, a classical sculpture of an ancient Roman consul and a lion with an insignia placed on top of a large stone boulder.

The interior of this cave is thus a fragment of pure poetry, wrapped in a baroque context, offering us a strange but beautiful hymn to classical culture juxtaposed with feminine beauty.

The painting, which dates back to the second half of the 17th century, echoes the famous compositions of the Flemish painter Abraham van Cuylenborch (Utrecht, 1620 - 1658), and is certainly the work of one of his able followers. In particular, it is a work signed by the Flemish Jacques Muller (Utrecht 1630-c.1680), active in Utrecht around the middle of the 17th century and a pupil of Abraham van Cuylenburgh; from the master he inherited a singular figurative repertoire, with this type of depiction of caves studded with details from antiquity, ruins, classical sculptures and architectural fragments. Examples include
- Diana and her Nymphs in a Cave, Kremlin Museum, Russia (https://rkd.nl/images/257942)
- Diana and Nymphs in a Cave, Nationalmuseum Stockholm (https://rkd.nl/images/252453)
- Nymphs in a Cave with Ancient Ruins, Private Coll. (https://rkd.nl/images/275168)

Jacques Muller was a very talented painter, although many of his unsigned works have in the past been wrongly attributed to the more famous master. What makes our work valuable is in fact the presence of the signature, which places it alongside two signed paintings, the first 'Battle between Turks and Christians' with the same signature - J. Muller f(ecit).' - of our painting is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/SK-A-1445) and 'Figures in Oriental Dress near Ancient Ruins' from a private collection (https://rkd.nl/images/6249).

The interiors of these caverns, where the scenery always alludes to the ruined state of the monuments, should be interpreted as a kind of 'vanitas', they are not only fascinating to look at but also subjects charged with strong moral value. The scenery is not only decorative and beautiful, but is intended to inspire the viewer to question deep religious and philosophical ideas, to meditate on death and resurrection, and on the ephemeral nature of life.


The painting is sold complete with a beautiful gilded frame and comes with a certificate of authenticity and descriptive iconographic card.

We take care of and organise the transport of the purchased works, both for Italy and abroad, through professional and insured carriers.

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Price: 7 800 €
Artist: Jacques Muller (utrecht 1630 - 1680) - Signé : "j. Muller F(ecit)
Period: 17th century
Style: Louis 15th - Transition
Condition: Excellent condition

Material: Oil painting on wood
Width: encadré 83 cm.
Height: encadré 67 cm.

Reference: 1362345
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Antichità Castelbarco
Old master paintings
Diana And The Nymphs Bathing In A Cave, Jacques Muller (utrecht 1630 - 1680) Signed: 'j. Muller
+39 349 4296409
+39 333 2679466 (EN) - Alessandro Padovani

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