293
293
Sébastien Stoskopff
STILL LIFE WITH A CARP AND TWO BITTER ORANGES ON A STONE LEDGE
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
293
Sébastien Stoskopff
STILL LIFE WITH A CARP AND TWO BITTER ORANGES ON A STONE LEDGE
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Pierre Bergé: From One Home to Another

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Paris

Sébastien Stoskopff
1597 - 1657
STILL LIFE WITH A CARP AND TWO BITTER ORANGES ON A STONE LEDGE

Provenance

Private collection, Paris;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Ader, 12 April 1995, lot 44 (sold for FF 290.000).

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Natures mortes françaises du XVIIe siècle à nos jours, 1951-1952, no. 149 (as 'peintres de la Realité, XVIIe siècle').

Literature

M. Faré, La nature morte en France, son histoire et son évolution du XVIIe siècle au XXe siècle, Geneva 1962, vol. II, reproduced, plate 119 (with the measurements as 45 x 60 cm and as French School 17th century, private collection, Paris);
M. Faré, Le grand siècle de la nature morte en France, le XVIIe siècle, Freiburg 1974, p. 134, reproduced (as French school).

Catalogue Note

We are grateful to Eric Coatalem and Dr. Fred G. Meijer for kindly confirming the attribution to Sebastien Stoskopff on the basis of digital images.

In our painting, Stoskopff includes an element which he uses in some of his other ‘kitchens’ or ‘laid tables’ : a carp on a terra cotta plate. The composition is remarkable and elegant for its wonderful simplicity : on a table, a glazed terra cotta plate holding a carp, solely accompanied by two bitter oranges, all in the frontal picture plane.
It was in 1626, during his Paris stay, that Stoskopff realized the first of his compositions containing this motif: Still life with a carp, a wooden bucket and herrings (Paris, collection Jean-Max Tassel). In the present painting he isolates the motif of the carp fully therefore becoming the painting’s principal subject and focus.

Despite the tendency to see religious references in these kind of pictorial elements, the combination of the objects in his still lifes, which could seem surprising in the 21st Century, solely represents the culinary habits of the 17th Century. Stoskopff concentrated on depicting the most simple objects, as a testimony to daily life. His work was only discovered after the 1930s, and included amongst the painters referred to as “the painters of the reality”. Today around sixty works are known by the artist of which only twenty-six are signed and ten dated; they comprise almost all aspects of the still life genre; vanities, trompe-l’œil, and allegories of the senses.

At the crossroads of artistic influences from Germany and Antwerp because of his training in Strasbourg and Hanau, Stoskopff developed a personal style from an early age. His compositions are more ‘rigid’ and clean in their lines, he uses a frontal vision which is close to the front of the picture plane, which has the effect of making his works seem monumental. He keeps a strict organisation of space of his still lifes and uses an almost monochrome use of colour. Hence his still lifes show a greater depth and his planes are reinforced by the forms of the objects. Light plays a vital role in his work, it defines the colours and evokes the shapes of objects, allowing a subtle play of light reflection and subtle transparency. Stoskopff ‘s style is characterized by its sensitivity and its remarkable solemnity.

Originating from the Alsace, he first trained with the painter and engraver Frédéric Brentel (1580-1651) in his native town of Strasbourg before receiving a scholarship to join the studio of Daniel Soreau (c.1560-1619) in Hanau; Stoskopff took over the studio after Soreau’s death in 1619. He initially moved to Frankfurt but ended up settling in Paris between 1621 and 1641, with a trip to Italy in 1629. After Paris he returned to his hometown, making trips to Troyes for work. He then moved to Idstein where he worked for count Johannes of Nassau-Idstein until his unusual death in 1657.  « On the 11th of February in the year 1657, Sébastien Stoskopff, the painter from Strasbourg who drank himself to death with eau-de-vie, was buried between 7 and 8, at an unusual hour, without church choir or ringing of the bells »[1]. The innkeeper was first accused of murder but was found not guilty, however twenty years later there was a grand process of witchcraft at Idstein and one of the accused testified that  « Balthasar Moyses [the innkeeper] would have killed the painter Stoskopff, which he would have said himself [at a witchcraft meeting]. […] The devil would have congratulated him with that being well done. »[2]. Was the devil perhaps jealous of the painter’s talent?

Represented in more than seventeen museums and in many prestigious private collections across the world, Stoskopff is without doubt one of the most important painters of French 17th century still life.

[1] Idstein, Kirchenarchiv, Registre de l’église paroissiale, 1648-1729.
[2] J. Brauner, Sebastian Stoskopff, ein Strassburger Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts, Strasbourg, 1933, p. 25 (note 132).

Pierre Bergé: From One Home to Another

|
Paris