FLEMISH SCHOOL, LAST QUARTER OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY | AN ALLEGORICAL STILL LIFE OF ARMOR, WEAPONS, INSTRUMENTS, VANITAS SYMBOLS, AND OTHER ELEMENTS AND FIGURES SET UPON A STONE LEDGE WITH AN OBELISK AND A CITY BEYOND
Property from a Private Collection, West Coast
FLEMISH SCHOOL, LAST QUARTER OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
AN ALLEGORICAL STILL LIFE OF ARMOR, WEAPONS, INSTRUMENTS, VANITAS SYMBOLS, AND OTHER ELEMENTS AND FIGURES SET UPON A STONE LEDGE WITH AN OBELISK AND A CITY BEYOND
inscribed with initials at center on the flat book: NMF; also inscribed at center on the cover of the book: *KEN / VAN / 167...
oil on canvas
35¼ by 46¾ in.; 89.5 by 118.7 cm.
The canvas is thinly lined and is stable on its stretcher. The image reads well beneath an old and discolored varnish, and there are certain passages of detail that remain well preserved, for example the still life elements in the lower quadrants. There are some areas of thinness in the background at upper right and in some of the darker details in the still life. There are a few small spots of loss, for example in the sky to the right of the obelisk and near the center of the red curtain at left. A few old repaired punctures are in the background at upper left. Inspection under UV reveals a milky varnish beneath which there may have been more than one campaign of restoration. Some spots of retouching are visible near the lower left edge, in the background around the cup atop the chair in lower left, a thin line to left of cupid's foot, and a spot in the center of the sky at upper right. There are only a few small spots of more recent restoration here and there, as well as some spots near center of the upper edge that have slightly discolored and are visible to the naked eye. The painting may benefit from a light clean and a freshened varnish, though it can also hang as is. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood frame.
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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
This impressive allegorical scene teeming with various still-life elements has been rendered with a very fine attention to detail. The composition has roots in the allegorical works popularized earlier in the century by artists such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, and it is known in a few other versions also by anonymous hands . The present work is among the best quality of the known iterations, all of which are comparable in dimensions, inscription, and date.
We are grateful to Fred Meijer for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.
1. Two other examples are recorded in the RKD database. No 206623: oil on canvas, 91.8 by 119.2 cm. No 63406: oil on canvas, 91.8 by 119.2 cm.