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PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR (LOTS 29, 30, 31, 53, 61, 62, 63)

Philips Wouwerman
A LANDSCAPE WITH A HAWKING PARTY AND FIGURES AT REST NEAR A FOUNTAIN
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT
29

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR (LOTS 29, 30, 31, 53, 61, 62, 63)

Philips Wouwerman
A LANDSCAPE WITH A HAWKING PARTY AND FIGURES AT REST NEAR A FOUNTAIN
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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Philips Wouwerman
HAARLEM 1619 - 1668
A LANDSCAPE WITH A HAWKING PARTY AND FIGURES AT REST NEAR A FOUNTAIN
signed lower left: PHILS W (PHILS in compendium)
oil on copper, set into a panel
7 1/8  by 10 in.; 19 by 25.5 cm
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Provenance

Jeanne-Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, Comtesse de Verrue (1670-1736), Paris;
Her sale, Paris, 29 April 1737, lot 19 (along with pendant, "Deux très beaux Tableaux de Wauvermans dont un l'abreuvoir");
Glucq de Saint-Port;
Louis-Guillaume Chubéré;
His sale, Paris, Rémy, 20 January 1760, lot 11 (along with pendant, for 2300 livres to LeRebours);
Paul Randon de Boisset (1710-1776), Paris;
His sale, Paris, Rémy, 21 March 1777, lot 90 (along with pendant);
There acquired by Louis-César-Renaud, Comte de Choiseul-Praslin, Paris (along with pendant);
His sale, Paris, Paillet, 18-25 February 1793, lot 84 (along with pendant, for 12,000 francs to Constantin);
Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duc de Berry, Paris;
Thence by descent to Maria-Carolina de Bourbon-Sicile, Duchesse de Berry, by 1829;
Her sale, Paris, Galerie du Palais de l'Elysée, 4 April 1837, lot 51 (for 4300 frcs, to Galatzin or Demidoff, along with pendant lot 52);
Chevalier Joseph Lippmann von Lissingen, Vienna and Prague;
His sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 16 March 1876, lot 50 (to Sedelmeyer for 20,000 frcs);
With Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris;
R.W.E Dalrymple;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 27 March 1968, lot 38 (to Koetser);
With Leonard Koetser, London;
Mrs. J.L. Campbell;
With David Koetser, Zurich, 1983, and again in 2003;
From whom acquired, 2003. 
.


Exhibited

Vienna, Weltausstellung, Kunst und Kunstindustrie auf der Wiener Weltausstellung, 1873, no. 169.

Literature

J. Moyreau, Oeuvres de Philips Wouwerman, Hollandais Gravés d'après ses Meilleurs Tableaux qui sont dans les plus beaux cabinets de Paris et ailleurs, Paris 1737-1762, no. 12 (as La Fontaine des Chasseurs);
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, vol. I, London 1829, p. 205, cat. no. 12, and vol. 9, 1842, p. 138, cat. no. 5 (as La Fontaine des Chasseurs);
C. Blanc, Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles, Paris 1861, vol. I, p. 12, under section on Wouwermans;
Illustrated catalogue of 300 paintings by old masters of the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, and English schools, being some of the principal pictures which have at various times formed part of the Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris 1898, p. 252, cat. no. 231, reproduced with engraving p. 253;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. II, London 1909, p. 474, cat. no. 699;
L. Krempel, Holländische Gemälde im Städel 1550–1800, Künstler geboren 1615 bis 1630, vol. II, Petersberg 2005, pp. 318-322, under entry for the pendant of the present lot, inv. no. 1072;
B. Schumacher, Philips Wouwerman: The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, Doornspijk 2006, vol. I, pp. 247-248, cat. no. A195, vol. II, reproduced color plate 31, plate 184.

Catalogue Note

Characterized by Hofstede de Groot as being "of excellent quality," this lovely painting of huntsmen resting near a fountain in a peaceful countryside is one of Philips Wouwerman's finest works.  Renowned primarily as the most accomplished and successful seventeenth-century Dutch painter of equestrian subjects, Wouwerman also achieved acclaim with works like the present picture, in which the landscape, figures, foliage and atmosphere are rendered on a very small scale with distinct precision and an elegant character.  Signed with his monogram in the lower left, this work dates to the second half of the 1650s,1 and like many of Wouwerman's most important paintings, it descended in a long line of important French collections, eventually entering the esteemed collection of the Duc and Duchesse de Berry by 1829.  

The exquisite detail found within this small composition is extraordinary.  The scene is set beneath a vibrant blue sky and bathed in a cool, crisp light.  Soft strokes of pale blue and highlights of white scattered throughout lend a shimmering atmosphere to its picturesque vista.  At center, a huntsman sits on a grey horse, with a hawk on his upraised arm, the strokes defining his grey costume echoing the plumes of feather's on his hat and those of his avian predator.  Beside him, an elegant young lady dressed in white rides side saddle atop a russet-colored horse.  To the left, on an undulating path, follow members of the hawking party, one of whom rides on horseback and the other of whom leads his horse, carrying the pack from the day, on foot with another hawk on his arm.  A beggar and his wife stand in front of the figures at center, while nearby, in the foreground and along the water's edge, sits a young nursing mother with one child at her chest and another curled up asleep by her side.  Towards the far right, a few other members of the party rest at a stone fountain next to a wooden cottage, covered in lush foliage and flowers.  Above the cottage's delicate trellis, through which ride two horseman, is a small birdhouse nestled securely in the branches of an old tree.  A number of valets and dogs are scattered throughout the foreground, while the background reveals a peaceful countryside with rustic ruins of a building at left and peaks of mountains along the horizon.  

While he experienced much success in his lifetime, Wouwerman’s reputation continued to grow throughout the eighteenth century and his work was avidly collected by connoisseurs who appreciated his technical perfection and elegant subject matter.  His pictures were particularly prized among collectors in France, where many of his compositions, including this one, were engraved and distributed for the enjoyment of many.  Indeed, one indication of his popularity is attested by the successful publication of a series of prints after Wouwerman by the Frenchman Jean Moyreau (1690–1762), whose celebrated book of engravings includes the earliest known record of the present copper, also known in its earliest years as La Fontaine des Chasseurs, published almost a century after it was painted.

For much of its life, this painting was coupled with its pendant, A Halt of Armed Horsemen before an Inn, also known in the eighteenth century as Le Caberet and today in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt (fig. 1).2  The two were recorded together until the 1837 Paris sale of property belonging to Maria-Carolina, Duchesse du Berry.  It seems likely that the two were separated at some point after this sale, for the present work then passed into the Viennese collection of Chevalier Joseph Lippmann von Lissingen, and sold at his sale in 1876 to Charles Sedelmeyer.  The pendant in Frankfurt, however, was acquired by the Städel Museum from the Frankfurt Art Market in June 1871, and has remained in that collection ever since.  While comparable to the present lot in handling, dimensions, and compositions, the Frankfurt example differs slightly in subject matter, for in that work, the huntsman have halted before a cottage at left, engaged in flirtatious activities with one of the maids from the household while boys undress and leap into the calm stream at right.  The importance of both works is further underscored by a number of old copies that are known, the best of which are larger iterations on panel preserved in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon (inv. nos. 187-188).3  

1.  See Schumacher, in Literature.  

2.  Oil on copper, 18.4 by 25.3 cm, signed lower right, Frankfurt, Städel Museum, inv. no. 1072, See Krempel 2005, in Literature, p. 318-322, reproduced fig. 242. 

3.  Both oil on panel, 41 by 35 cm., see ibid., p. 320, reproduced figs. 243 and 244.  

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