Lot 20
  • 20

Nicolaes van Verendael

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Nicolaes van Verendael
  • Vanitas still life with flowers, a skull, hourglass, conch shell and silver jug on a partially draped table
  • signed and indistinctly dated lower centre on the parchment: Nicolaes van verendael / anno 1680
  • oil on canvas
  • 98.3 x 77.2 cm.; 38 3/4  x 30 3/8  in.


In the collection of the present owner's family probably since at least the 1960s.

Catalogue Note

Verendael is said by the eighteenth-century biographer J. Weyerman to have spent four days painting a single carnation and indeed it is for the extraordinary realism and finish of his flowers that his works have always been sought.1 This is a mature work and, though the last two digits of the date are somewhat illegible, it seems likely to have been painted in or around 1680. In the profusion of vanitas elements that scatter the surface and the pushing of the vase of flowers to an extremity, it is an unusual work for Verendael in as far as the vast majority of his output, especially at the beginning of his career, consists of pure flower still lifes. It is comfortably his most ambitious work on a vanitas theme.

The painting may be closely compared to another smaller canvas on the vanitas theme in the Galleria Franchetti at the Ca' d'Oro, Venice.2 Dated 1679, the vanitas elements in that work were painted by Hendrick Andriessen. Verendael is known to have collaborated with several other artists in such works that expanded on the pure flower still lifes of his particular expertise; he painted with Carstian Luyckx, David Teniers and others. Both this and the Ca’ d’Oro canvas share several elements such as the candle stick, pipe and pipe cleaner. The skull too may be one and the same.

1. J. Weyerman, De Levensbeschryvingen der Nederlandse Konstschilders en Konstschilderessen, Dordrecht 1729, vol. III, pp. 234–36.

2. RKD online image no. 198002.