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Nature morte aux fruits et papillonsEnlarge image

Nature morte aux fruits et papillons, 1652

Jan Davidsz. de Heem
Pays-Bas, 1606 - 1684
huile sur chêne
32,8 x 48,8 cm
Acheté en 1982
Musée des beaux-arts du Canada (nº 28140)

Cette composition complexe et soigneusement ordonnée témoigne de la maîtrise de son art atteinte par de Heem, l'un des principaux peintres de natures mortes des Pays-Bas. Un bol de porcelaine chinois contient un mélange de fruits qui attire les papillons, les fourmis et autres petits insectes. En décrivant soigneusement la couleur et la texture des fruits mûrs, dont certains commencent même à se décomposer, l'artiste introduit le thème de la vanité ou des ravages du temps.

Marks and Labels 

– Signed, upper right: J D… heem/ fecit

– On verso: Incised VH in ligature, presumably by the panel-maker

Joseph van Haecken

– Stencilled black paint "CP462":

– In white chalk: "CP462"(1) , "colour good" , "lot 40" "25-4-82"

Provenance 

– 1829
M.G. Baronesse van Brakell, Amsterdam (?) [1]

– 1982/04/23
Dr. James Simon (1851–1932) Berlin, Germany; his family, by inheritance [2]

1982/04/23
In auction of "Important Old Master Pictures." Christie's, London, April 23, 1982, lot 40 [3]

1982/04/23 – 1982/12/23
Rosenberg & Stiebel Inc., New York, United States, purchased from Christie’s, >London [4]

1982/12/23 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Rosenberg & Stiebel [5]

Notes 

[1] A painting described as: "Op eene Tafel staat een porseleinen kom met druiven, perziken, pruimen, kerssen, bessen enz., voorts eenig bijwerk; meesterlijk en delicaat gepenceeld, door J. D. e Heem, P., h.3 p. 4 d, br. 4 p. 9 d.’ (`On a table stands a porcelain bowl containing grapes, peaches, plums, cherries, berries etc., plus some additional items; masterly and delicately painted, by J.D. de Heem’ measurements most likely translate to 34 x 49 cm) was sold from the collection of the Baronesse van Brakell at De Vries, Amsterdam, on December 14, 1829, as lot 22 (note: "sold 10.10 guilders to Engelberts") [information kindly provided by Fred G. Meijer, Curator, Dept. of Old Netherlandish Painting, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, in an email dated Sept.4, 2008, NGC curatorial file].

[2] Industrialist James Simon was a Berlin philanthropist and patron of the arts. He gave a large number of old master paintings to the Kaiser Friedrich Museumand is best known for donating the iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti to the city’s Egyptian Museum. See note [3].

[3] The still-life was offered for sale by Christie’s London in 1982 and sold to New York art dealers Rosenberg & Stiebel. The sales catalogue provides the following provenance information: "Simon collection, Berlin, thence by descent". In his justification for acquisition, NGC research curator Myron Laskin Jr. indentifies the former owner as German-Jewish collector James Simon. [Accession records, NGC curatorial file]. See note [2].

[4] The National Gallery of Canada purchased the painting from Rosenberg & Stiebel on December 23, 1982 [NGC curatorial file].

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