GERMAN SCHOOL, CIRCA 1600 | A PAIR OF STUDIES OF A BEETLE AND OTHER INSECTS
Property from Mireille Mosler Ltd., New York
GERMAN SCHOOL, CIRCA 1600
A PAIR OF STUDIES OF A BEETLE AND OTHER INSECTS
Both gouache on vellum;
both bear numbering in brown ink, the first, centre right: 17 and the second, centre left: 16
Each sheet: 130 by 210 mm; 5⅛ by 8¼ in
Each framed: 34 by 44 cm; 13½ by 17¼ in
Both works are hinge mounted to decorative mounts. The vellum sheets that both works are executed on show some minor signs of buckling, consistent with this support and not detrimental to their aesthetic appeal. Both sheets have some accompanying surface dirt and staining, however the gouache medium remains fresh and vibrant throughout with both images strong. Both works are sold in reproduction tortoiseshell frames.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Private Collection, The Netherlands
"These powerful and appealing sheets of studies of beetles are part of a great German tradition of natural history drawing that goes back to famous watercolours by Dürer, Shongauer and others. Though dating from a slightly later moment, they still represent an intriguing and relatively early stage in the spread of Dürer’s revolutionary approach to the natural world, and somehow have an enticing air of mystery about them."
These two sheets of small insects and beetles may have been part of a collection of studies of diminutive creatures kept on hand in the artist’s studio. Most likely, they were drawn after nature and functioned as preparatory drawings for a larger painting. Many German and Dutch seventeenth-century still life painters added small insects to their compositions, often on a leaf or ledge near a vase filled with flowers. There was no need to sign these drawings as their purpose was to be used as source material by the painter rather than for the art market. On the other hand, the insects could have been drawn in a cabinet of curiosity containing natural history specimens, perhaps even at the request of the cabinet's prosperous possessor.