PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Like so many of Soreau's still lifes, this painting bears the unmistakable influence of the Antwerp painter Jacob van Hulsdonck and it is widely considered that Soreau spent some time in his studio. Not being a member of the guild there, Soreau would not have been able to sell his paintings under his own name and, so close is his style to Hulsdonck's, it is likely that his paintings were sold in that city as the work of his master.
Soreau was probably still in Antwerp in 1638 as a work dated to that year is a partial copy of a painting by Hulsdonck from circa 1615.1 His only other dated work is from 16452 but by this time Soreau must have been back in Frankfurt as the painting is quite different from his earlier work and instead is clearly influenced by the leading Frankfurt still-life painter, Georg Flegel. After this date there is no further sign of life.
Soreau was born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, and was the son, and probably the pupil, of Daniel Soreau, a painter, architect and wool merchant who had emigrated from Tournai to Frankfurt by 1586. After Daniel's death in 1619 his studio was placed in the hands of Sebastien Stosskopf and it is probable that Isaak, together with his twin brother Peter (1604-before 1672), trained under him before Isaak moved to Antwerp after 1626.
Bott states that this painting was sold in London, Christie's, 29 June 1973, but it does not feature in the catalogue for that sale. The provenance he gives for a comparable work by Hulsdonck in fact applies to the present lot.
1. Sold New York, Sotheby's, 11 January 1996, lot 73.
2. See G. Bott, under Literature, p. 188, no. WV.IS.50, reproduced.
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