The Hague 1633 - 1681 Bergen-op-zoom
A TROMPE L'ŒIL WITH A WILLOW PTARMIGAN HANGING FROM A NAIL
signed and dated lower right: J. Biltius fecit / 1(6)65
oil on canvas
unframed: 55.2 x 46.1 cm.; x 21¾ x 18¼ in.
framed: 63.2 x 54.5 cm.; 23⅞ x 21½ in.
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The canvas is lined, and the paint surface is relatively clean with a slightly discoloured varnish. The network of craquelure has become more pronounced in the background, throughout which scattered, discoloured retouchings are visible to reduce its appearance. There are further discoloured retouchings visible scattered in the shadow of the bird's leg upper centre and the shadow of its head and wing centre right. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms the aforementioned retouchings and reveals more notable retouching along the upper and lower margins. It also reveals small spots of retouching scattered in the bird, and a few more notable spots of retouching in the background: one to the left of the feather upper left approx. 1 x 1 cm., two in the background upper right, the largest of which measures 1 x 2 cm., one just to the left of the bird's leg approx. 1 x 1.5 cm, and two in the shadow of the beak and just below this approx. 1 x 1 cm. Wash retouching is revealed around the signature and date lower right. The painting is in overall fair condition.
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 provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour 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 because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Arthur Block (according to an inscription on the stretcher);
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 30 January 2015, lot 448.
Jacobus Biltius was born in The Hague, where he worked as an apprentice under the still life painter Carel Hardy. His own œuvre consisted primarily of still lifes, evidently much inﬂuenced by his master. Among these he is best known for his game paintings, as well as his remarkable trompe l'œil pictures. Examples of the artist's work can be found in museums including Abbeville, Berlin, Brunswick, Copenhagen, Dresden, The Hague and Leeuwarden.