PROPERTY OF THE LISE HAAS TRUST
Dr. Leroy d'Etiolles, Paris;
His sale, Paris, Febvre, Hôtel Drouot, 21-22 February 1861, lot 132 (as Jan Baptist Weenix), sold for Fr 2,150;
With Thomas Lawrie, London 1903-1921;
Dr. Gustav Arens, Vienna;
Lise Haas (née Arens), Vienna;
Confiscated and allocated to the Fuehrermuseum in Linz ;
Restituted May 1948 (MCCP inventory no. K1035) and thence by descent.
J.J. de Gelder, Bartholomeus van der Helst. Een studie van zijn werk, zijn levensgeschiedenis, een beschrijvende catalogus van zijn oeuvre, een register en 41 afbeeldingen naar schilderijen, Rotterdam 1921, no. 20;
S. Lillie, Was einmal war: Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens, Vienna 2003, p. 99, inv. no. 58 (as Jan Baptist Weenix);
J. van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Een studie naar zijn leven en werk, Amsterdam 2011, cat. no. S204 (under paintings listed as authentic by De Gelder, but whose whereabouts are unknown).
This painting is a rare collaborative work by Weenix and Bartholomeus van der Helst, both of whom were working in Amsterdam from 1647-1649. Van der Helst painted the figure of the standing shepherd boy at left, scratching his signature in the wet paint on the boy's collar. Weenix's signature is also scratched into the wet paint at upper right and reads Gio Ba Weenix, an abbreviation of "Giovanni Battista Weenix," the manner of signature he used from 1647 onwards after having spent four years in Rome.
We are grateful to Anke A. Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven, Ph.D., who has confirmed this painting to be a work by Jan Baptist Weenix, based on firsthand inspection. We are also grateful to her for providing the early provenance on this painting prior to its ownership by the Arens family. She is currently preparing the catalogue raisonné on the works of Jan Baptist Weenix and his son Jan Weenix.
Dr. Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven has pointed out that this painting was most likely conceived as a "chimney piece" to be hung high up above a large fireplace and seen from below. This would explain the unusual perspective of the painting, with the extremely large scale of the sheep in the foreground, placed right at the edge of the picture plane, and the tiny figure of the owl on the tree branch in the background. According to Dr. Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven, a handwritten note from art historian Abraham Bredius (in the archives of the RKD, The Hague) states that this painting served as a chimney piece in the monastery formerly in the Brigittenstraat in Utrecht, though this information has not been confirmed.Another possible collaborative work by Weenix and van der Helst, Portrait of the Van Aras Family (signed by van der Helst and dated 1654), in which, according to J.J. de Gelder, Weenix painted the hunting dogs and hare, is in the Wallace Collection, London. Judith van Gent (see Literature), however, states that there is no concrete evidence to support this.
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