View full screen - View 1 of Lot 62. Landscape with drugged Birds in the Flower and Underbrush of the Wood.
62

Matthias Withoos

Landscape with drugged Birds in the Flower and Underbrush of the Wood

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Matthias Withoos

Matthias Withoos

Landscape with drugged Birds in the Flower and Underbrush of the Wood

Landscape with drugged Birds in the Flower and Underbrush of the Wood

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Matthias Withoos

Amersfoort 1627-1703 Hoorn

Landscape with drugged Birds in the Flower and Underbrush of the Wood


bears a Weenix signature (possibly altered from an original Withoos signature) and dated lower center: 1660

oil on canvas

canvas: 57 ¾ by 61 in.; 146.7 by 154.9 cm. 

framed: 68 ¼ by 71 ½ in.; 173.4 by 181.6 cm.  

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


This work is in very good condition. The large canvas has an old glue lining which is still stabilizing the paint layer. The painting is clean. There may be remnants of dirt in the sky to the right of the wing of the black bird and beneath the bird at the top of the hillside. It is well varnished, and the darker colors are nicely saturated. Hardly any retouches are apparent under ultraviolet light. There only seem to be a few retouches around the berries in the upper left. There is no visible discoloration.


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.

Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 22 May 1997, lot 160;
There acquired by the present collector. 
New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery & Sotheby's, Naturalia: Views from the Underbush, 18 January- 25 February 2017. 

This is one of the rare large-format underbrush, or sottobosco works to emerge from the Netherlandish tradition of painting. Mathias Withoos was a specialist in the genre and a pupil of Jacob van Campen (1595-1657) and then Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1619/20-1678) to whom his style remained much indebted. Withoos was made a master of the Amsfoort guild in 1647. In the following year he travelled to Italy with Schrieck and Willem van Aelst (1627-1687). While in Rome he became a member of the Schildersbent and attracted important patrons, including Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici amongst others.


In a letter dated 12 September 1996, Dr. Fred Meijer, noted that this is a "characteristic and impressive work" by Withoos. He further noted that he believes the Weenix signature was probably altered from a genuine Withoos signature, but that the date of 1660 is likely to be authentic. 


It has been suggested that the erratic behavior of the birds is a result of their eating berries that have been drugged, possibly a technique of bird catching. The exacting detail of the underbrush and surrounding foliage are a hallmark of the sottobosco tradition, but its impressive size sets this work apart from many others in this genre.