THE GILDED AGE REVISITED: PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN COLLECTION
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.
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