Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 81. Study of seven insects.

Anton Henstenburgh

Study of seven insects

Auction Closed

July 6, 10:38 AM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot Details


Anton Henstenburgh

Hoorn 1695 - 1781

Study of seven insects

Gouache and watercolour on vellum;

signed with monogram, lower right: A: HB. Fec =

300 by 410 mm

Traditionally believed to be from the Smidt van Gelder, collection, Haarlem

Together with his father, Herman Henstenburgh, and the latter's teacher Johannes Bronckhorst, Anton Henstenburgh was one of an illustrious trio of natural history artists from the northern Dutch port town of Hoorn, whose distinctive watercolours and gouaches defined the genre in Holland during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Accounts of the lives of these three draughtsmen generally mention with some relish that they were all also - perhaps even primarily - active as pastry-bakers as well as artists. For more information see the introduction to lots 190-203 in the catalogue of the sale of the Unicorno Collection (Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 19 May 2004). See also lots 181-2.

Although the near-contemporary chronicler Jacob van Gool recorded that Herman Henstenburgh had a draughtsman son called Anthonie, no securely attributable works were known until the emergence in the Van Pallandt sale in 1972 of a group of clearly signed watercolours1, which had probably been purchased directly from the artist by the Van Pallandt ancestor Johan Pieter van den Brande of Middelburg (1707-1758), who is known to have been a keen collector.  Were it not for the different monogram, those drawings might well have been taken for works by the elder Henstenburgh, and it is possible that many unsigned drawings by Anton Henstenburgh are still considered to be by the hand of his father.

1. Sale, Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 26 September 1972, lots 309-33