Lot 39
  • 39

Aert Schouman

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Aert Schouman
  • A helmeted guinea fowl and a black headed ca├»que on a branch; and A red ibis and a Victoria crowned pigeon
  • both signed
  • oil on canvas, a pair


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. Both of these pictures are roughly in the same condition. No further restoration is required, and the pictures can be hung in their current condition. The canvases are both lined. While the details and fine brushwork in the fowl seem to be un-abraded, there have been some isolated losses and damages throughout both pictures that have required retouching. In the composition of the red ibis and Victoria crowned pigeon, there may be a couple of small breaks in the canvas in the upper left. In the composition of the helmeted guinea fowl, there appears to be a repaired horizontal tear which runs about 6 inches in the lower right. All of the restorations are isolated, and for the most part there is no noticeable weakness to the paint layer.
"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

These two canvases exemplify the passion and skill that Schouman brought to his depictions of animals and plants, and most particularly birds.  He was an unusually versatile and industrious artist, working in oils, watercolor, prints and even engraving glass; in his estate he left over 850 natural history studies.

While his watercolors of birds abound, it is much rarer to today to find large scale oil paintings.  Although maintaining a close attention to detail and scientific accuracy, he imbues these birds with real energy and liveliness.  This is most evident in such areas as the delicate feathers in the crest of the pigeon.  He treats the background much more loosely, sketching in the rocks and foliage in diluted pigments.  

The pair is accompanied by a preparatory drawing of the guinea fowl (fig. 1), executed in pen and ink and watercolor, which allows us to see first hand the care he took in preparing his compositions.