View full screen - View 1 of Lot 37. Aesop's fable of the raven.
37

Workshop of Melchior de Hondecoeter

Aesop's fable of the raven

American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion

Workshop of Melchior de Hondecoeter

Workshop of Melchior de Hondecoeter

Aesop's fable of the raven

Aesop's fable of the raven

American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion

Workshop of Melchior de Hondecoeter

Utrecht 1636 - 1695 Amsterdam

Aesop's fable of the raven


signed center left on the ledge: M d Hondekoeter

oil on canvas

canvas: 59 ⅜ by 77 ½ in.; 150.9 by 196.9 cm.  

framed: 64 ¾ by 82 ⅞ in.; 164.5 by 210.5 cm. 

The canvas is lined and stable on its stretcher. The painting appears to be in good overall condition, and the image reads strongly beneath a crisp varnish. The colors remain vibrant and many of the details are well preserved. There are some spots of abrasion concentrated near the edges, and a faint stretcher bar mark is faintly visible along the upper edge, though this is not distracting. Inspection under UV reveals a slightly milky varnish. Fine strokes of retouching are scattered near the edges, particularly the lower edge, and one spot of restored repair in the upper left corner as well. Some fine strokes of strengthening here and there in some of the darker tones, for example, in the feathers of the raven. Otherwise, the retouching is scattered only here and there and is largely cosmetic. The painting is ready to hang. Offered in a simple dark woot frame.


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.

Steengrad collection, Heemstede, the Netherlands;
Lord Hatherton, Hatherton Hall, Yorkshire;
By whom sold ("The Property of the Rt. Hon. Lord Hatherton of Hatherton Hall"), London, Sotheby's, 6 December 1967, lot 128 (as Melchior de Hondecoeter);
There acquired by Leger Galleries, London;
Martin Puigdomenech, London;
With Hall & Knight, New York;
From whom acquired by the present collector, February 1999.

The story depicted in this large canvas comes from Aesop's Fable. At the lower center of the crowded and energetic scene is a raven, who has adorned himself with the colorful feathers of other birds. In the moment captured here, the other birds have recognized their own feathers on the raven and begin to rob him of them. Some reach for their feathers and others hold their reclaimed feathers in their beaks. The remaining feathers have fallen to the ground around the raven, except one peacock feather remains on the crown of his head.  

This painting is a workshop variant of a painting of the same subject by Melchior d'Hondecoeter in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, inv. no. BF.1978.18).1  Hondecoeter explored this subject also in another example today in the Mauritshuis in the Hague (inv. no. 59).2 


1.  https://emuseum.mfah.org/objects/19488/the-crow-exposed

2. https://www.mauritshuis.nl/nl-nl/verdiep/de-collectie/kunstwerken/de-raaf-wordt-beroofd-van-de-veren-waarmee-hij-zich-had-getooid-59/#