Kristianstad, 1977, no. 35, reproduced in the catalogue, p. 21;
Münster, Baden-Baden, Stilleben in Europa, 1979-80, no. 118;
Antwerp, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, David Teniers the Younger. Paintings. Drawings, May-September 1991, no. 10.
Granberg, 1885-6, no. 52;
Göthe, 1895, pp. 25-6, no. 59;
Granberg, 1911-12, no. 74, reproduced plate 26;
E. Greindl, Les peintres flamands de nature morte au XVIIesiècle, Paris/Brussels1956, p. 129;
S. Speth-Holterhoff, Les peintres flamands de cabinets d'amateurs au XVIIe siècle, Paris/Brussels 1957, p. 132;
H. Gerson & E.H.. Ter Kuile, Art and Architecture in Belgium, 1600 to 1800, London 1960, p. 145;
Hasselgren, 1974, pp. 115, 120, reproduced p. 188;
I. Bergström, `Kommentare zu einigen Bildern der Ausstellung', in Stilleben in Europa, exhibition catalogue, Münster 1979-80, pp. 557 ff, reproduced;
C. Klemm `Weltdeutung. Allegorien und Symbole in Stilleben', in Stilleben in Europa, exhibition catalogue, Münster 1979, p. 206, reproduced (reversed);
E. Greindl, Les peintres flamands de nature morte au XVIIe siècle, 2nd ed., Brussels1956, p. 163;
M. Klinge, David Teniers the Younger. Paintings. Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Antwerp 1991, pp. 48, 50, 52, no. 10, reproduced facing page in colour.
This signed pure still life is apparently unique in Teniers' oeuvre. He included still lifes in his interiors, and other still life paintings have been attributed to him, but nothing like this magical little picture is known of him.
As Margret Klinge and others have pointed out, the date on the drawing attached to the wall is almost certainly the date of the painting. It is certainly unlikely to date from any later, since in the same year Teniers included it, on a much larger scale, hanging on the back wall of the artist's atelier, in a painting which includes his own self-portrait, sitting at his easel (see fig. 1).1 In any event, a dating to the mid-1630s is highly probably on grounds of style, by comparison with the brushwork in still life elements in other works.
As Horst Gerson and several subsequent scholars have observed, this picture appears to reflect the influence of Dutch monochrome still life painters.2 Its simplicity and studied informality and the use of subtle muted colours are reminiscent of artists working in Leiden and Haarlem, and certainly nothing like it is known in Antwerp at this early date. It is by no means clear however if Teniers was directly influenced by these artists, and if so how. He was influenced around this date by Adriaen Brouwer, who had returned from Haarlem to Antwerp in 1631-2, but who was not as far as we know a painter of still lifes. Teniers' early work also reveals contact with Rotterdam artists of the same age such as the Saftleven brothers and Pieter de Bloot, but none of these artists were still life painters.3 The Sparre still life recalls, as Margret Klinge has observed, still life painting in Leiden, but it may also reflect the influence of Jan Davidsz. de Heem, who arrived in Antwerp in 1635, the date of this picture.
1 Private collection. Oil on panel, 54.6 by 77.5 cm.; see Klinge under Literature, pp. 50-3, no. 11, reproduced in colour p. 51. This work is dated in the same way as the Sparre still life, but in any case cannot be any later in date, since the form of its signature, with the S of the painter's name missing, is not used after 1635.
2 See under Literature
3 Margret Klinge discusses the contacts between Teniers and Brouwer and the Rotterdam painters in her introduction to the 1991 exhibition catalogue; see under Literature, pp. 18-19.
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