Lot 44
  • 44

Jan Davidsz. de Heem

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jan Davidsz. de Heem
  • Still life of fruit on a pewter plate and in a wan-li krak porcelain bowl, a partially peeled lemon and a sprig of cherries on a table draped with a gold-hemmed cloth
  • signed lower right on the edge of the table: J. D. de Heem f.
  • oil on panel
  • 11 7/8  by 16 3/4  in.; 30.3 by 42.7 cm.


Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 14 December 1977, lot 87;
With Richard Green, London, 1978;
N. Pokutta, Munich, 1989;
With Galerie de Jonckheere;
By whom sold to a private collector, Switzerland;
By whom anonymously sold ("Property of a Private Swiss Collector"), New York, Sotheby's, 28 January 1999, lot 314, where purchased by the present collector.

Catalogue Note

Jan Davidsz. de Heem, son of the artist David de Heem, was born in Utrecht but moved to Leiden in 1625, and while little is known of his training, it was there that his painting began to flourish. De Heem's first still lifes date from the late 1620s and were influenced by the paintings of Balthasar van der Ast and the more muted style of Pieter Claesz.  By 1636, he had moved to Antwerp, where he was exposed to the freer, more decorative and colorful style of the southern Netherlands.  De Heem's great achievement was to synthesize these two approaches and forge a new style that was both painterly and extraordinarily illusionistic.  He is perhaps best known today for his innovative pronkstillevens or luxury still lifes, with their tables heaped with exotic food, silver, and sea shells, but at the same time he painted smaller works, which, though simpler, convey a remarkable sense of the beauty and the physical presence of the objects depicted.  

It is this more magisterial style that distinguishes his works of the 1650s. His paintings during these years, including the present example, are characterized by a greater monumentality and depth that distinguishes him from the artists of the previous generation; it is in panels such as this that de Heem shows to great effect his enormously influential integration of the colorful Flemish style with the more intimate scale and restrained mood of the northern Netherlands.  

Based on photographs, Fred G. Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie, The Hague, has confirmed this painting to be a work by de Heem which can be dated to circa 1653.  It will be included in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist.