Property from an Important English Collection
CHRISTIAN VAN COUWENBERGH
Delft 1604-1667 Cologne
Hunters with their dog, game and hunting equipment
signed and dated centre right: ·CB·F. 1645·
oil on canvas
170.5 x 230.5 cm.; 67⅛ x 90¾ in.
The large canvas has a firm lining and a stable paint surface with an uneven and very dirty and discoloured varnish. There are no major damages visible to the naked eye. A canvas seam runs the width of the painting along which the paint surface has a thin crack and some associated (now discoloured) old restouchings. There are some surface scratches and scuffs at the centre right of the canvas, and a small tear in the kneeling figures right wrist.
Inspection under ultra violet light reveals a scattering of only very few retouchings -some newer, others very old and hard to discern under the varnish - but overall there appears to be astonishingly little intervention. The paint surface is very well preserved - with impasto and evidence of the artist scratching in the dogs fur with the butt of his brush.
Offered in a carved and gilt wood frame in good condition.
"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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This painting may be one of two entries in W.C. Maier-Preusker's 1991 catalogue of Couwenbergh's works, for which neither dimensions nor images were known. The painting described merely as a 'Hunting Piece' was formerly in the Merian collection, Frankfurt; that described as a 'Bird hunt' was part of the estate of Herman Pietersz. van Ruyven, Delft in 1645, valued at 90 Dutch Florins.(1)
1 W.C. Maier-Preusker, 'Christian van Couwenbergh (1604-1667) Œuvre und Wandlungen, Eines Hollandischen Caravaggisten', in Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, vol. LII, Cologne 1991, p. 226, cat. no. C27 or C29.