Lot 107
  • 107

ADAM VAN BREEN | An elegant company banqueting on a terrace

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Adam van Breen
  • An elegant company banqueting on a terrace
  • signed and dated lower left: .A. v. breen 1614
  • oil on oak panel
  • 34.5 x 61.5 cm


H.C. du Bois, The Hague;
His sale et al., Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 27 November 1906, lot 189 (as Abraham van Vinck);
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Christie's, 5 July 1907, lot 144 (as J. Vink), for £4–14s.–6d. to Wharton;
Anonymous sale ('M...'), Brussels, 23 December 1907, lot 37 (as J. Vinck);
Dr Moritz Julius Binder (1877–1947), Berlin, 1932;
With Silvano Lodi, Munich and Milan, 1963;
With Brod Gallery, London, 1964 (when advertised in Weltkunst, 1 April 1964, p. 226a);
With Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam, Summer 1964 (when exhibited at Oude Kunst- en Antiekbeurs, Delft);
F.C. Butôt (1906–92), Sankt Gilgen, Austria, 1964;
His posthumous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 16 November 1993, lot 46, for 57,500 Dutch Guilders, when acquired.


London, Brod Gallery, Annual spring exhibition of old master paintings, 12 March – 24 April 1964, no. 19;
Salzburg, Museumpavillon im Mirabellgarten, 12 July – 12 September 1972; Münster, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, 26 September 1972 – 14 January 1973, Niederländische Kunst aus dem Goldenen Jahrhundert;
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Hollandse en Vlaamse Kunst uit de 17e eeuw, 16 February – 1 April 1973;
Munich, Sotheby’s, A selection of paintings and drawings from the Collection of F.C. Butôt, June 1989;
Osnabrück, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Schöne Landschaft - Bedrohte Natur: Alte Meister im Dialog mit zeitgenössischer Kunst. Landschaftsbilder aus der SØR Rusche Sammlung Oelde/Berlin, 9 June – 13 October 2013;
Nuremberg, Auf AEG, Gute Kunst? Wollen!, 19 September – 17 October 2015.


A. von Wurzbach, Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon, vol. II, Vienna 1910, p. 790 (as Abraham Vinck);
J.G. van Gelder, 'Adam van Breen, schilder', Oudheidkundig Jaarboek, 1, 1932, p. 114, cat. no. 7, reproduced plate XXXI, fig. 5;
F. Würtenberger, Das holländische Gesellschaftsbild, Schramberg 1937, p. 42, n. 1;
Niederländisches Kunst aus dem Goldenen Jahrhundert--Gemälde und Zeichnungen im Umkreis grosser Meister aus der Sammlung F.C. Butôt, exhib. cat., Salzburg 1972, pp. 22–23, reproduced;
Hollandse en Vlaamse kunst uit de 17e eeuw: hoogtepunten van minder bekende meesters: schilderijen en tekeningen uit de verzameling F.C. Butôt, exhib. cat., Rotterdam 1973, pp. 22–23, reproduced;
L.J. Bol & G. Keyes, Netherlandish Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of F.C. Butôt, London 1981, p. 232, cat. no. 99, reproduced;
G.L. Gordon, Supplement to the Catalogue of Netherlandish Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of F.C. Butôt, London (Sotheby’s) 1989;
G.S. Keyes, Esaias van de Velde: 1587–1630, Groningen 1984, p. 84, n. 36;
H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 2, Genre, Münster/Hamburg/London 1996, pp. 60–63, cat. no. 12, reproduced in colour;
E. Buijsen, Haagse Schilders in de Gouden Eeuw. Het Hoogsteder Lexicon van alle schilders werkzaam in Den Haag 1600–1700, exh. cat., The Hague and Zwolle 1998, p. 107, reproduced fig. 6.


The panel is uncradled, flat and stable. There are two old, repaired, horizontal splits, running the width of the panel, at intervals of a third; one of these is supported by an old canvas strip on the reverse. The paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals fine retouching along the upper aforementioned split, and scattered intermittently along the lower split. There are fine lines of horizontal retouchings scattered throughout the sky along the wood grain in the sky, which is painted more thinly. There are further spot retouchings throughout. The painting is in relatively good condition and ready to hang.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

This scene has the feeling of a stage set, fit to transport the viewer into the opulence of the Dutch Golden Age. The figures seated at their banquet are wearing luxurious outfits, reflecting the sartorial taste of Adam van Breen’s most fashionable contemporaries: tall hats, voluminous knickerbockers and small ruffs for the men, and high, stiff lace collars for the women. This is one of the earliest examples of the ‘buitenpartij’ (literally ‘outside party’) genre – a theme that was taken up by artists such as David Vinckboons and Esaias van de Velde shortly after the present painting, dated 1614. These subjects on the one hand celebrate the rich attire, feasts and accoutrements of the imaginary staffage in their idyllic settings, and on the other, convey an admonition not to indulge in frivolity and licentiousness, hinted at by the overturned drinking vessels, playing cards and oysters scattered on the terrace (probably to be devoured by the dog once he has finished gnawing his bone). Such merry companies have a comic tone, at some remove from Van Breen's pioneering winter landscapes.

Another similar painting by Van Breen was sold at Sotheby’s, London, 8 December 1993, lot 203: not signed or dated, it is likely to date from around the same time.