Lot 14
  • 14

Jan van Os

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jan van Os
  • Still Life with Fruit and Flowers, Together with Oysters, Mussels, A Glass of Wine, a Decanter and other Objects on a Stone Ledge, a Landscape Beyond
  • signed lower left on the stone ledge:  J. Van Os fecit.
  • oil on canvas


Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 27 January 2006, lot 243;
With Colnaghi's, London;
From whom acquired the present owner.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting is in beautiful state and has been fairly recently restored. The canvas has a good, old lining. The varnish is slightly soft but if the surface were to be lightly cleaned and varnished, the painting would be ready to hang. There appear to be no retouches visible either to the naked eye or under ultraviolet light. The painting is in beautiful state.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

This beautiful still life is a fine and characteristic example of Jan van Os's asymmetric pyramidal compositions.  The sumptuous arrangement of flowers and food stuffs, executed in high-keyed color, reveals the artist's indebtedness to his predecessor Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), who was executing paintings in a similar vein as early as 1722.  Here, Van Os has stacked the elements of his composition in the near foreground, building up an enticing mound of beautiful flowers and flavorful food and drink.  He as even skewed the perspective of the pewter dish in the lower left, tilting it up ever so slightly in order to provide a better view of the oysters and lemons within it.  The brown fruit at the center of the composition could perhaps be intended as an allusion to vanitas or mortality, as could the peeled lemon and shucked oysters.  The chickadee perched at the top of the arrangement appears in the same pose with its head down in a number of other works by the artist, including the Flowers and Fruit in the Brocklehurst collection, Jersey and Fruit and Flowers with Goldfish in and English private collection (see P. Mitchell, Jan van Os 1744 - 1808, Leigh-on-Sea 1968, nos. 9 and 21 respectively, reproduced).

When this work was last sold in 2006, Fred Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, confirmed the attribution to van Os based on photographs.  He has dated the work to circa 1771.