17th century Flemish and Dutch paintings

Unidentified Antwerp or Frankfurt painter, circa 1630
28.000 €

Unidentified Antwerp or Frankfurt painter, circa 1630
A wicker basket with peaches and black and white grapes, a bird pecking at them
Oil on panel : 46,5 X 63,5 cm
Unsigned
Frame : 62,3 X 78,0 cm
 
I would like to thank Fred Meijer, who places our painter in the immediate vicinity of the likes of Jacob van Hulsdonck, Pieter Binoit and Francesco Codino.

In short
 
The still life expert Fred Meijer was unable to give a precise attribution for our beautiful still life. During the first half of the 17th century the influence of Antwerp nature morte painters spread far beyond the borders of Flanders. Our painter must probably have been active in Germany: in Frankfurt or in nearby Hanau.
 
The historic background of our painting
 
Our painting is a fascinating testimony of the transmission of artistic ideas in still-life painting from Antwerp across Holland and Germany in the early 17th century.
 
During the Protestant Revolt in Flanders in the late 16th century many Flemish families fled to Holland and to Germany. In the early 17th century originated both in Middelburg in Holland and in in Frankfurt and nearby Hanau in Germany schools of still life painters, whose members were often of Flemish origin. These painters were influenced by their Flemish colleagues from Antwerp, such as Osias Beert or Jacob van Hulsdonck.
 
About our painting
 
In this painting a bird is picking at grapes.
Our painter must have had in mind the description of Zeuxis’s picture of grapes that attracted birds. It was described by the Roman author Pliny (Plinius) the Elder in his “Natural History”, written down in the 1st century AD. This encyclopedia of 37 books is the largest single work that has survived from the Roman Empire. Since the Renaissance it has had a huge impact on Western culture.
 
Pliny tells in it of the contest between two famous ancient Greek painters who lived in the 6th century BC. Zeuxis painted grapes, which birds flew up to. But his archrival Parrhasius painted a curtain so realistically that Zeuxis wanted to pull it back to see the picture behind it. Zeuxis had beaten the birds, but Parrhasius had beaten him.
 
Pliny the Elder died while inspecting the explosion of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompei and Herculaneum in 79 AD. The publication of his 
opus magnum was finished by his nephew, Pliny the Younger.
 
About Jacob van Hulsdonck
 
Flemish painter
Antwerp 1582 – 1647 Antwerp
 
Still life painter.
It is not known whom Jacob learned painting with.
 
When Jacob was a young boy his Calvinistic parents moved to Holland, to nearby Middelburg. He does not seem to have been a pupil of Ambrosius Bosschaert I (1573 – 1621), whose parents also had fled from Antwerp and who lived and worked in Middelburg until 1613.
 
Jacob joined the Antwerp Painters’ Guild in 1608. He remained in Antwerp until his death at the start of 1647. In his earliest works can be discerned the influence of Hieronymus Francken II and of, of course, Osias Beert I. 
 
About Peter Binoit
 
German painter
Cologne circa 1590 – 1632 Hanau
 
Still life painter.
 
His father came from Tournai.
Pupil of Daniel Soreau  (before 1565 – 1619), who also came from Tournai, alongside Sebastian Stoskopff.
In 1627 Binoit married with his master’s niece.
Binoit was active in Hanau and following his marriage in 1627 in Frankfurt.
 
About Francesco Codino
 
Italo-German painter
Probably Frankfurt circa 1590 – after 1624/31 Northern Italy
Still life painter.
Franz Godin (which was his original name) was born circa 1590, probably in Frankfurt. His Protestant family must have been of Flemish origin.
He was related to the painter Daniel Soreau, whom he studied under in Hanau before or in 1619. 
 
Codino regularly animated his still lifes with live birds. He must have picked up this idea from Pieter Binoit, whom it is thought he also studied under in Cologne. 
Circa 1620 Codino left for Northern Italy, where he was active in Milan and Lombardy as a still life painter. His eldest dated paintings are from 1621. In Italy he also fell under the influence of Panfilo Nuvulone and also of Fede Galizia. 
Actually “codino”, which was Godin’s Italian name, is in Central Italian dialect the name of a small bird: the wheatear (“il culbianco” in Italian, “tapuit” in Dutch). Sometimes this small bird appears in Codino’s still lifes, pecking at grapes.
 
About Isaak Soreau
 
German painter 
Hanau 1604 – in or after 1645 Frankfurt
 
Still life painter.
 
Pupil of his father Daniel Soreau (before 1665 – 1619). Daniel’s parents moved from Tournai to Frankfurt when Daniel was already an adolescent. He picked up painting at a late age, after moving to Hanau in 1599. Isaak started studying under him in 1615, his father passed away in 1619. That year Isaak continued his studies under Sebastiaen Stosskopff, who had taken over the studio of his father.
 
In or after 1626 he moved to Frankfurt.
He must also have worked in Antwerp, for he was so strongly influenced by Jacob van Hulsdonck (1582 – 1647).
 
Why should you buy this painting?
 
Because it is a magnificently executed, beautifully lit early still life. Did you see the dewdrops in the left foreground? Sheer poetry.
 
Comparative paintings
Click photos for more details