PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH PRIVATE COLLECTION
Thomas Jones (d.1848), The Charterhouse, Hinton, Somerset;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Little is known of the life and career of Cornelis de Bryer, by whose hand fewer than a dozen works survive today. He is recorded as the pupil of Daniel van Middeler in Antwerp in 1635, but thereafter he did not go on to become a Master in the local Guild. The style of his extant work, however, strongly suggests that he may have settled in that city. Four of his works bear dates between 1651 and 1658, and all bear eloquent witness to the influence of the school of Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-1684). One of these, a signed Still life of grapes, roemer and bread in the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht suggests first hand knowledge of the work of Jan Davidsz. and Cornelis de Heem, while another, formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Beaufort, similarly recalls the work of their contemporary Joris van Son.1 A signed Still life with fruit and gilt mounted nautilus shell was sold, New York, Sotheby's, 3 June 1988, lot 132, and was later with Rafael Valls, London. Good parallels are afforded by a larger canvas (82 by 115 cm.) formerly with Gebr. Douwes in Amsterdam, in which a very similar arrangement of fruit in a basket is also accompanied by a lobster and oysters on pewter plates on a draped table.
We are grateful to Fred G. Meijer of the RKD, The Hague, for proposing the attribution on the basis of photographs.
1. Sold London, Sotheby's, 10 December 1980, lot 132, as by Cornelis de Heem.
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