20
20

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF BERNARD PALITZ

Balthasar van der Ast
A CROWN IMPERIAL LILY, TULIPS, IRISES, ROSES, CARNATIONS, AQUILEGIA, FRITILLARIES AND OTHER FLOWERS IN A SCULPTED URN, WITH SEASHELLS ON A STONE LEDGE, A LIZARD, A CATERPILLAR, RED ADMIRALS, A DRAGONFLY AND A BEE, A CURTAIN DRAPED ABOVE
Estimate
500,000700,000
JUMP TO LOT
20

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF BERNARD PALITZ

Balthasar van der Ast
A CROWN IMPERIAL LILY, TULIPS, IRISES, ROSES, CARNATIONS, AQUILEGIA, FRITILLARIES AND OTHER FLOWERS IN A SCULPTED URN, WITH SEASHELLS ON A STONE LEDGE, A LIZARD, A CATERPILLAR, RED ADMIRALS, A DRAGONFLY AND A BEE, A CURTAIN DRAPED ABOVE
Estimate
500,000700,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings: Part I

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New York

Balthasar van der Ast
MIDDELBURG 1593/94 - 1657 DELFT
A CROWN IMPERIAL LILY, TULIPS, IRISES, ROSES, CARNATIONS, AQUILEGIA, FRITILLARIES AND OTHER FLOWERS IN A SCULPTED URN, WITH SEASHELLS ON A STONE LEDGE, A LIZARD, A CATERPILLAR, RED ADMIRALS, A DRAGONFLY AND A BEE, A CURTAIN DRAPED ABOVE
signed lower left: B. van der. Ast .
oil on canvas
50 3/4  by 40 in.; 129 by 101.5 cm. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Harold L. Leger, London, until 1933;
His sale, New York, American Art Association, 2 March 1933, lot 75, to Grieve;
Fermor-Hesketh collection;
Purchased by Bernard Palitz post sale at Christe's London, 13 December 1991, lot 14.

Catalogue Note

This unusually large canvas showcases van der Ast's extraordinary ability as a still life painter devoted to the meticulous rendering of surfaces, no matter what their size. It is one of only a small number of large-scale upright compositions of fruit or flowers painted by the artist in his entire career. One of the few comparable works of this type is a picture formerly in the Van Hoorn collection, and subsequently sold London, Sotheby's, 6 December 2006, lot 10. That work, similar to the present example, utilizes a similar basalt vase, with the entire composition partially framed with a curtain.

The extremely large shells featured at the base of this composition are particularly impressive. Van der Ast was one of the first northern still life specialists to incorporate shells as a central focus of the composition, due in no small part to their desirability among the Dutch collecting community. Shells had gained enormous popularly as exotic collectibles that formed part of the seventeenth century kunstkammer, and, like tulips, they were the subject of great monetary speculation. 

Van der Ast trained in Middelburg in the studio of his brother in law, Ambrosius Bosschaert, the Elder and, like his teacher, painted almost exclusively still lifes of flowers, fruit, and insects. As his career progressed, van der Ast moved out of Bosschaert's shadow by developing ever more elaborate and densely organized compositions. The dramatic light which imbues many of his compositions, the present example included, provide a strong sense of naturalism that was at the forefront of the still life genre. 

We are grateful to Fred G. Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, for confirming the attribution to van der Ast following first hand inspection of the original.

Master Paintings: Part I

|
New York