THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR (THE RAFAEL BELGICA COLLECTION)
Private collection, France;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Piasa, 24 June 2005, lot 33;
With Johnny van Haeften, London, December 2005;
With Salomon Lilian;
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
By comparison with much Netherlandish seventeenth-century still-life painting they are devoid of artifice, so that the soft brushwork and subdued lighting alone permits a wholly convincing sense of depth. At their best, and like the present outstanding example, they are reminiscent of the quiet contemplative still lifes that Adriaan Coorte painted in Middelburg in the twilight of the Golden Age at the end of the century: beautifully simple, and seemingly removed from time and place.
Another excellent example of Steenwijck's fruit still-life painting is his still life of quinces, pears, a plum and grapes in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (see fig. 1), dated by Fred Meijer to the mid-1640s.2
1. Bodo Brinckmann described Steenwijck's lighting as 'Caravaggesque' (in J. Sander (ed.), The Magic of Things, exhibition catalogue, Frankfurt and Basel 2008, p. 168, under no. 47).
2. Signed, oil on panel, 29 x 35 cm. Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, Daisy Linda Ward collection, inv. no. 74; see F.G. Meijer, The Collection of Dutch and Flemish Still-Life Paintings bequeathed by Daisy Linda Ward, Zwolle 2003, p. 285, no. 73.
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