Lot 75
  • 75

Jan van Huysum Amsterdam 1682 - 1749

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  • Jan van Huysum
  • a still life of fruit in a basket with flowers and other fruit, all upon a marble ledge before an urn and column
  • signed lower left: Jan van Huysum

  • oil on panel


Charles-Ferdinand de Bourbon, duc de Berry (1778 - 1820),
His widow, Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luisa di Borbone, duchesse de Berry (1797 - 1870), exhibited for sale, London, Christie's, April - June 1834, lot 68, for £600, but not sold;
Her sale, Paris,  Palais de l'Elysée, 4 - 6 April 1837, lot 6, bought C.J. Nieuwenhuys (7,100 fs.);
Charles Heusch (circa 1775 - 1848), by 1838, thence by descent to his son
Francis Heusch, from whom acquired between 1850 and 1857 by
Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1808-1879);
Thence by inheritance to his widow, Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819 - 1884), Gunnersbury Park, Middlesex;
Thence by descent to her son, Leopold de Rothschild (1845 - 1917);
Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942), Exbury, Hampshire ;
Edmund de Rothschild (b. 1916), from whom acquired by Tancred Borenius, 15 April 1942;
John Enrico Fattorini (1878-1949);
Mary Fattorini (1909-2000).


London, British Institution, 1838, no. 89;
Liverpool, Dutch Old Masters, 1944, no. 8;
London, Royal Academy, 1952-53, no. 482;
York, City Art Gallery, on loan, 1989 - 2003.


J. Smith, A catalogue raisonné..., vol. VI, London 1835, p. 476, no. 57;
J. Smith, Supplement, London 1842, p. 788, no. 10;
G.F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London 1854, vol. II, p. 252;
C. Hofstede de Groot, Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten Holländischen Maler..., vol. X, Stuttgart/Paris 1928, p. 376, no. 191;
Colonel M. H. Grant, Jan van Huysum 1682-1749, Leigh-on-Sea 1954, p. 31, cat. no. 211, and p. 27, no. 151.

Catalogue Note

This picture belonged to the duc de Berry and, following his assassination in 1820, passed to his widow, who sold it in 1837.  By the following year it had been acquired by Charles Heusch (c. 1775 - 1848), a wealthy merchant, who is first recorded as living in the City, off Ludgate, but was residing at 34 Bedford Square at the time of his death.  When Waagen visited him in 1835, he commented briefly on five pictures in his 'pretty collection' (G.F. Waagen, Works of Art and Artists in England, London 1838, vol. III, pp. 401 - 2) but by the early 1850s, when the collection had passed to Francis Heusch, presumably his son, Waagen praised it as 'one of the choicest collections of this [Dutch] school in England' ( see Waagen, Literature). Between 1850 and 1857, Baron  Lionel de Rothschild acquired a large group of paintings from the collection. Of the thirty-eight pictures recorded by Waagen in 1854, twenty-eight were bought and a further two are given a Heusch provenance in Baron Lionel's inventory, though not mentioned by Waagen.  Waagen describes, 'VAN HUYSUM. - A basket with mingled fruit and flowers, behind a vase. In beauty of arrangement as well as for truth and finish - especially of the grapes - this is one of the most admirable works by the master. Inscribed. From the same collection [i.e. the duc de Berry]. On canvas, 2 ft. 7 in. high, 1 ft. 11 1/2  in. wide. [i.e. 78.8 by 59.7 cm.]' (Waagen, 1854, op. cit., p. 256).  The present picture is on panel, not canvas, but such an error over the description of the support is not unusual for Waagen and the entry for the picture in the 1834 catalogue (the collection of the duc de Berry had been inherited by his wife and was offered for sale en bloc at Christie's in 1834) describes it as being on panel, ''JOHN VAN HUYSUM. 68. On a Marble Table is a sculptured Vase of Grapes, Peaches, and Flowers. In the fore-ground are Plums and other fruits. Nothing can exceed the truth and transparency of the colouring of this beautiful performance. On wood, height 31 inches by 23 1/2  .[78.8 by 59.7 cm.]'. Smith (see Literature), who had presumably been able to examine the Berry picture at first hand when it was on display at Christie's in 1834, provides a description which so closely matches that of the present lot (with the only discrepancy again being the form of the support) that there can be little doubt they are one and the same picture, 'An assemblage of Fruit, consisting of purple and white grapes and peaches, heaped up in a basket, at the side of which lie rich clusters of muscatel grapes, magnum-bonum and other plums, greengages, raspberries, currants, a cut melon, walnuts, filberts &c.; with these are mingled poppies, a cock'scomb, and other flowers, and the whole are tastefully grouped on a marble slab. A handsome vase, containing a broken poppy plant, and a shaft of a column, compose the background.  This is a highly finished work of the master. 2 ft. 7 in. by 1 ft. 11 1/2  in.[78.7 by 59.7 cm.] - C....'.

John Enrico Fattorini (1878-1949), who later owned this picture as well as the previous lot, was the grandson of Antonio Fattorini (1797-1859), one of two brothers from Bellagio in Lake Como who had settled inYorkshire in the 1820s.  The commercial success of the Grattan Warehouses mail order business, which he founded in Bradford in 1912, gave Enrico Fattorini the means to assemble an outstanding collection of Dutch and Flemish 17th-century paintings, during the 1930s and '40s.  Many of his best pictures came from the collection of Edmund de Rothschild (b. 1916) at Exbury.  The collection at Exbury had passed to Edmund de Rothschild on the death of his father, Lionel de Rothschild, on 28 January 1942, and on 15th April of the same year many of the best Dutch and Flemish pictures, including the Van Huysums, were acquired for Fattorini through the agency of Tancred Borenius. Others from this group included Gerard ter Borch's The Music Lesson (sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1997, lot 7; now J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles); Jan van der Heyden's Düsseldorf, the Church of St. Andreas (sold, London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1997, lot 8); Willem van de Velde's A Calm (sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1996, lot 9); Gabriel Metsu's A Maid cleaning Fish (sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1996, lot 10); David Teniers the Younger's The Potter's Fair at Ghent (sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1996, lot 12); Pieter de Hooch's Maid in a sunlit Courtyard (sold London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1996, lot 14); and Adriaen van Ostade's Peasants merrymaking outside an Inn (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, on loan).

Although this picture is unlikely to have been conceived as a pendant for the previous lot, it does seem likely that it is of a broadly similar date, i.e. in the early to mid 1730s.  It has strong stylistic affinities with, for example, the artist's Still life of fruit, flowers and insects in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Schleissheim (inv. no. 2077), which is dated 1735.

This painting has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition on Van Huysum due to take place in 2005 in Houston and Delft.

We are grateful to Sam Segal for providing information about the early history of this lot and to Michael Hall for his assistance in clarifying the Rothschild and Heusch provenance.