Bonhams to Sell Old Master Painting by Lucas Gassel that Shows Importance of Tennis

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LONDON.- Estimated to sell for £70,000 to £100,000, this oil painting by Lucas Gassel shows the grounds of a Renaissance palace with episodes from the story of David and Bathsheba, an extensive landscape with mountains and a harbour beyond. On a tennis court in the foreground, two players are using what appear to be very modern style tennis strokes. The present work is one of a group of paintings that originated in Flanders in the years between 1530 and 1560, three of which are attributed to Lucas Gassel (Helmont c.1500-c.1570). The location of eleven of the pictures is known and there are several more which are only known by hearsay. Four of the series are in public collections. There is one at the MCC, Lords, London, and one in the Louvre Museum, Paris. By the 16th century tennis had become one of the most popular of all games in the royal courts. The court shown here is similar in construction to those at Falkland, Bruges and Richmond, but these pictures are of tremendous int