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Willem Panneels. c.1600–c.1634. (after)

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Adoration of the Shepherds after Pieter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). c. 1630. Engraving. Hollstein 5, volume 15; And. 4, LeBl. 7. Reversed image of an unrecorded state without the uneven platemark or the text or Wijngaerde's address. 11 3/8 x 7 1/4 (sheet 13 5/8 x 9). Printed on laid paper from an antique sacramentary -- an altar missal. Ex-collection Dr. Eugene A.Noble. Initialed 'P' in reverse above the top of the upright support. $175.

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Very little is known about his personal life. He was born around 1600 probably in Antwerp. Until his arrival in Rubens' workshop in 1624-1625 no information about him is known. When he left Rubens’ workshop in 1630, he traveled to Cologne, Baden and Frankfurt am Main. In 1631 he stayed in Mainz, where he worked for the prince-bishop Anselm Casimir Wambold von Umstadt. In 1632 he traveled on to Strasbourg and after that date the historical records are silent about him. It is assumed he died around 1634 in Baden-Baden.

Willem Panneels began working for Rubens in 1624-1625 as an engraver. In 1628 he was registered with the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. The register states that he was an assistant of Rubens. The fact that Panneels registered with the Guild is exceptional since Rubens and the members of his workshop were exempted from registration with the Guild because of Rubens' appointment to the court as a court painter. Only two other of Rubens' assistants were registered with the Guild. Panneels' registration with the Guild shows that he had fulfilled the requirements towards becoming a master and that he was ready to start his own workshop. However, he remained at Rubens' workshop for another two years.

When Rubens spent a year-and-a-half abroad in 1628-30, he charged Panneels with the care of his drawings, kept in a locked cabinet that he called his cantoor, or office. When Rubens returned, Panneels left his service to go to Germany, armed with letters of recommendation by Rubens and Cornelis van der Geest.

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