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42

Nicolaes van Helt, called Stockade

Venus and Adonis

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Nicolaes van Helt, called Stockade

Nicolaes van Helt, called Stockade

Venus and Adonis

Venus and Adonis

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Nicolaes van Helt, called Stockade

Nijmegen 1614 - 1669 Amsterdam

Venus and Adonis


signed and dated lower right: N.v.Helt.Stocade Aº 1654

oil on canvas

canvas: 94 ½ by 77 ⅛ in.; 240 by 196 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 painting seems to be in good condition overall, but it has not been restored for many years. The canvas is made from two pieces joined vertically through the right side, running through the cheek of the cherub and the mid-thigh of Venus. It has an old glue lining. The paint layer is unstable in numerous areas throughout. It is extremely dirty with a thick yellowed varnish, which has greatly reduced the depth of the work, particularly in the darker colors.


Many older retouches are not visible under ultraviolet light but are apparent to the naked eye. There are very broadly applied retouches in the sky in the center of the left side and in the upper center. There are some more recently restored losses in the back of Venus and in her right shoulder, and one in her right thigh. There is a restored loss in Adonis' chest and another in his left shoulder. There is a large area of discolored retouching in the large scallop shell at the top of the chariot. The dark blue velvet behind the dogs in the lower left is covered by a discolored and opaque old varnish, but the color beneath is visibly vivid and undamaged.


The work would certainly benefit from careful restoration. The existing lining should be replaced to stabilize the paint layer. The work could then be properly cleaned. While retouches would be necessary, the paint layer is generally very healthy and unabraded.


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.

Possibly, sale, Amsterdam, 28 May 1706, lot 50 (a Venus and Adonis by Stockade is recorded in this sale in the Hofstede de Grootfiches held by RKD);
Possibly, Joan Deutz and Gertruuyd Bicker, Amsterdam (their deceased inventory 16 April 1712, no. 13);
Baron van Tuyll, Castle Zuylen, near Utrecht (according to Wichmann and Demonts in Literature);
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Hoogendyk, 28 April 1908, lot 50;
Private collection, Paris;
By whom anonymously sold, Paris, Sotheby's, 25 June 2008, lot 28;
There acquired by the present collector.
H. Wichmann, "Helt, Nicolas de, alias Stocade," in U. Thieme and F. Becker,  Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler, vol. 16, Leipzig 1923, pp. 360-61;
L. Demonts, "Helt-Stockade (Nicolas van). Nimègue 1614, enterré à Amsterdam le 26 novembre 1669", in Revue de l'art ancien et moderne, 1935, v. LXVIII, pp. 73-74.