PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF BERNARD PALITZ
Sam Segal has previously dated the picture to the early or mid 1670s (see note in ex-Christie's sale catalogue, 31 May 1991, lot 8), comparing it with de Heem's dated work from 1667 in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Brussels (inv. no. 3166), as well as the artists's last known dated painting from 1675 (the only dated work in his oeuvre after 1655; sold London, Sotheby's, 5 December 2007, lot 38). Particularly in the latter example, the paintings share almost identically rendered green grapes, as well as the same snail, executed with a high sheen on its shell.
Fred Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie has recently examined the picture first hand, and confirms the attribution to de Heem, dating it slightly later than Segal, to circa 1675 or slightly later. He notes that the calligraphy of the signature (with a curly initial J) only occurs in very late work, and that other features found here concur with those in late works by the artist, such as the handling of the apricots and foliage. This work will also be included in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of De Heem, currently in preparation.
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