Lot 70
  • 70

JAN FRANS VAN DAEL | Still life of flowers in a vase with a pineapple, peaches, and grapes on a stone ledge

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Still life of flowers in a vase with a pineapple, peaches, and grapes on a stone ledge
  • signed and dated lower center: Vandael 1792 
  • oil on canvas
  • 33  1/2  x 26 inches


Collection E.M., Paris, 1951;
With Jean-Max Tassel, Paris, 1993;
From whom acquired by the present collector. 


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work is in extremely good condition overall. The canvas has a glue lining. The cracking is very slightly raised, but this is not disturbing and the paint layer is stable. The painting is completely un-abraded, and there are no structural damages. It is clean and varnished. Remnants of an old varnish can be seen under ultraviolet light. There are very few retouches. There are retouches around the extreme edges, and a couple of other tiny spots, including one in the red dahlia in the lower right. The work can be hung in its current state.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Jan Frans van Dael was one of the most highly regarded painters of flowers and fruit in Paris during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He turned to still-life painting after training as an architect in his native Antwerp and moving to Paris in 1786 as a decorative painter, in which capacity he gained important commissions at the chateaux of Saint-Cloud, Bellevue and Chantilly, among others. In 1793 Van Dael acquired lodgings in the Louvre and came under the guidance of his fellow countryman, Gerard van Spaendonck (1746–1822), the leading still-life painter of the time, and whose influence inspired Van Dael to specialize in the genre for the rest of his career. The popularity of his work is attested to by the commissions he secured from patrons as important and influential as the Empresses Josephine and Marie-Louise Bonaparte, and the Restoration kings Louis XVIII and Charles X. When he died in 1840, Van Dael was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery next to van Spaendonck. The present canvas, a magnificent example, is one of Van Dael’s earliest. Dated 1792, it is among the finest early works of the artists oeuvre to come to market. The rather dark background is characteristic of his early compositions, illuminated by a bright but soft light, which allows for the meticulous articulation of every intricate detail and assorted texture, as well as the convincing impression of depth and substance. The style here is highly refined and the colors jewel-like, a quality enhanced by its remarkable state of preservation. The picture is a reflection of both Van Dael’s fidelity to the Flemish and Dutch tradition and the grand context of turn-of-the-century France. Indeed, Van Dael collected the flower paintings of both his contemporaries and 17th-century masters, such as Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Abraham Mignon and Rachel Ruysch.