Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas
Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas

Moses and the golden calf Theodor Helmbreker Oil on Canvas

c. 1670 to c. 1680 Belgium

Offered by Riccardo Moneghini

4,500 eur
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Painting oil on canvas with dimensions of 66 x 81 cm without frame and 85 x 96 cm with frame of the early nineteenth century depicting Moses and the golden calf of the painter Theodor Helmbreker (Haarlem 1633 - Rome 1696).

Let's tell a little about the history of the Golden Calf: in the book of Exodus, Exodus 32, it is said that after the Jews left Egypt, while Moses climbed Mount Sinai to speak with God and receive the Ten Commandments The Israelites, believing that he never returned, asked Aronne to make a god for them to worship ("Make us a god who walks in our head, because that Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt we do not know what happened "). Aaron collected their gold jewels and founding them, he forged a golden statue of a calf, and they adored it declaring: "Behold your God, O Israel, he who brought you out of the land of Egypt!".

Aronne built an altar in front of the calf and proclaimed that the next day was a festival dedicated to the Lord. So the next day everyone got up early and "offered burnt offerings and presented communion sacrifices." The people sat down to eat and drink, then got up to give themselves to the fun. " God told Moses what the Israelites were doing down in the camp, "they did not delay to turn away from the way I indicated them! ... Now let my anger light up against them and destroy them. a great nation. " Moses entreated God to spare the Israelites and to forgive them, and the "Lord gave up the purpose of harming His people." Afterwards Moses went down from the mountain, but seeing the golden calf was angry, he threw down the tables of the commandments, shattering them, and rebuked Aaron and all the Israelites bitterly. Then he burnt the calf in the fire, he reduced it to dust, scattered it in the water and forced the Israelites to drink. Finally he went to the door of the camp and said:

"Whoever is with the Lord, come to me!" All the sons of Levi gathered around him. He shouted to them: "The Lord says, the God of Israel: let each of you keep the sword at your side, pass through the door from one gate to the next: kill each one his brother, each his friend, each his own relative". The sons of Levi acted according to the command of Moses, and on that day about three thousand men of the people died.

The composition is very harmonious and wisely dosed in colors, of great quality especially in the form while the scene represented here undoubtedly falls within the theme par excellence of religious paintings of that period.

A typical characteristic of the Helmbreker in his works is the so-called brush-stroke or small touches of white that make the objects represented more luminescent and here we can recognize it in the objects and drapery represented here. The painter, a great exponent of the childish painting, gives us the image of a self-confident artist, bold, free from already prepared schemes, but he develops a new way capable of bringing out the taste of tactile values; in these paintings we notice how the sinuous drapery touches the heads of camouflage worthy of a specialist and invade the scene with skillful mastery, so much so that he was very successful and worked for important commissions both in Italy and in Holland, thanks to his ability to blend the Flemish style with the Italian one and perfectly blending the concept of landscape painting and genre painting.

The subjects of this canvas are really peculiar representations of that interwoven production, extrinsicised in Rome in the 60/70 seventeenth century, focusing mainly on the subjects drawn with a loose and ductile ductus and subjects with a possibility of almost theatrical surrender as shown here between vivid colors and groups of crowded people and numerous escape routes in perspective able to immediately bring out the overflowing personality of the artist, seeing the departure from the color tradition of his predecessors through a clear preference for the design where both the richness of the details emerge a very methodical and rational disposition of every single object.

This composition, probably painted in the seventies of the seventeenth century having been conceived in the mature age of the painter, is of excellent quality and expresses precisely the phase that painting is experiencing in those moments halfway between a sense of Mannerist inspiration and an adhesion to the naturalistic observation that the Caravaggesque imprint developed a few years ago; also from the point of view of expression and form, with a planning of colors and of the scene so compact and dense, the painter lightened everything with the colors of the objects in the foreground both bright and shaded almost ethereal and with a perspective and a predisposition of objects able to give a sense of peace and truly remarkable sweetness.

I can add that the paternity of this work to Theodor Helmbreker lies not only in the drafting of the same work, in its colors and in its representation, but it is confirmed in numerous works by the artist himself, where however his imprint is known; we can find the same artistic sense present here in other works of the same painter as the Ciarlatano which is found in the Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel and the Saltarello exhibited in the exhibition Nature Morte, countries, bambocciate and caramogi from the Medici collections, held in the Medici villa of Poggio in Caiano.

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Mr. riccardo moneghini
Old Master Paintings - Art Historian
great state of conservation
Menton, private collection
Height 66.00 cm (25.98 inches)
Width 81.00 cm (31.89 inches)
External Height 85.00 cm (33.46 inches)
External Width 96.00 cm (37.80 inches)
Stock Code
oil on canvas
Riccardo Moneghini

Riccardo Moneghini
Via privata F.lli Asquasciati 88
Sanremo, Imperia

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