Luyckx: Decidedly Living Nature

On 11 March 2020, by Sophie Reyssat

Carstian Luyckx's brush gives eternal life to these 17th century flowers.

Carstian Luyckx (1623-1670), Garland of roses, carnations, orange blossoms, butterflies and insects, oak panel, two uncradled boards, signed "Cristian Luyckx F.", 49 x 38 cm.
Result: €80,000

Carstian Luyckx had an excellent teacher in the flower specialist Philip de Marlier, with whom he started out. He became a master in Antwerp in 1645 and his success attracted the favours of the King of Spain. Though little is known of his life and work (mostly still lifes) this did not prevent his refined bouquet from being carried off at almost three times its estimate. The fragile blooms were echoed by a Laying in the Tomb carved in Brabant, or possibly Brussels, in the last third of the 15th century. This element from a polychrome oak altarpiece (43 x 44 x 15 cm), showing Christ being laid to rest in his tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, fetched €26,250. In contrast, an irrepressible gust of life imbues Loie Fuller, The Dancer, the icon immortalised in gilt bronze in around 1900 by Raoul-François Larche (1860-1912). A sorceress of light, making play on it with her veils, here the choreographer becomes the "electricity fairy" in lending her body to a lamp cast by Siot (€25,000). The sculpture's success was echoed by a libation cup in rhinoceros horn, which garnered a similar bid.

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