Exercise: Choose some prints for sale

This exercise (on p96 of the course notes) calls for us to imagine we’re publishers in mid-17th century Amsterdam and compile a select catalogue of up to a dozen prints to be able to offer to our regular clientele, who are mainly from the Amsterdam merchant class but they have a variety of artistic tastes. Devotional, Narrative and allegorical, Dutch landscapes, domestic interior scenes, still life compositions and any portraits likely to be of general interest.

So here is my catalogue:

 

Rembrandt van Rijn Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, 1638 (Signed and dated) Oil on panel | RCIN 404816 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016 Oil on panel, 61.0 x 49.5 cm.
Rembrandt van Rijn
Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, 1638 (Signed and dated)
Oil on panel | RCIN 404816
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Oil on panel, 61.0 x 49.5 cm.

The story taken from the Gospel of St John (20:11-18), where on the dawn of the resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds it empty. She sees a gardener who she asks for information about where the body might be but she realised he is Christ resurrected when he speaks her name. In this fine religious painting, Rembrandt recreated for us the moment of realisation just before the actual recognition. We’re very lucky to have this print in our catalogue. The painting is Oil on panel, painted for H. F. Waterloos, Amsterdam; Willem van der Goos, Leiden;

 

Attributed to Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666) St Luke painting the Virgin and Child c. 1650 Black chalk, stumped and washed over, and red chalk | RCIN 902728 23.5 x 33.8 cm (sheet of paper) Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Attributed to Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666)
St Luke painting the Virgin and Child c. 1650
Black chalk, stumped and washed over, and red chalk | RCIN 902728
23.5 x 33.8 cm (sheet of paper)
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

We now can see behind the scenes of the St Luke’s miraculous image of the Virgin and Child, here is a drawing, by Guercino, in sophisticated combination of red and black chalks, of him painting it whilst his attribute of an ox looks on. Buy this now to bless your artists guild with the power of the patron saint of artists. This genuine Guercino was bequeathed by the artist to Benedetto and Cesare Gennari.

 

Peter Paul Rubens Aurora abducting Cephalus, about 1636-7 Oil on oak, 30.8 x 48.5 cm | NG2598 © National Gallery, London
Peter Paul Rubens
Aurora abducting Cephalus, about 1636-7
Oil on oak, 30.8 x 48.5 cm | NG2598
© National Gallery, London

We extremely lucky to have a real Rubens! Astound your friends with this modello, from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses‘, for a painting commissioned by King Philip IV of Spain to decorate his hunting lodge. Aurora, the goddess of light, steps down from her chariot to embrace the huntsman Cephalus, whom she was trying to abduct.

Jan van de Cappelle A Small Dutch Vessel before a Light Breeze, probably about 1645-55 Oil on canvas, 44.3 x 55.6 cm | NG2588 © National Gallery, London
Jan van de Cappelle
A Small Dutch Vessel before a Light Breeze, probably about 1645-55
Oil on canvas, 44.3 x 55.6 cm | NG2588
© National Gallery, London

See this beautiful local seascape hanging in your own room. The vessel in the centre, with a red and white ensign and flags, is a small Dutch transport vessel (possibly a ‘wijdschip’).

 

Aert van der Neer (1603/4 – 1677) An Evening View near a Village, about 1650 Oil on canvas, 121.5 x 162.5 cm | NG152 © National Gallery, London
Aert van der Neer (1603/4 – 1677)
An Evening View near a Village, about 1650
Oil on canvas, 121.5 x 162.5 cm | NG152
© National Gallery, London

This tranquil pastoral scene is a typical Aert van der Neer piece, the light blesses the landscape from the horizon at dusk. Aert van der Neer is the father of the painter Eglon van der Neer

 

Jan van Goyen (1596 – 1656) A Windmill by a River, 1642 Oil on oak, 29.4 x 36.3 cm | NG2578 © National Gallery, London
Jan van Goyen (1596 – 1656)
A Windmill by a River, 1642
Oil on oak, 29.4 x 36.3 cm | NG2578
© National Gallery, London

This is an outstanding example of the ‘tonal phase’ of Dutch landscape painting associated with the town of Haarlem. Dream in the clouds with the people by the windmill.

 

Gerrit Dou (Leiden 1613-Leiden 1675) A Girl chopping Onions, Signed and dated 1646 Oil on panel, 20.8 x 16.9 cm | RCIN 406358 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Gerrit Dou (Leiden 1613-Leiden 1675)
A Girl chopping Onions, Signed and dated 1646
Oil on panel, 20.8 x 16.9 cm | RCIN 406358
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

Purchase this original saucy piece by Gerrit Dou, famed founder of the school of the fijnschilders (Fine-Painters) in Leiden. See reality painted as never before with meticulous brushwork and close observation of objects. See behind the kitchen curtain! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

“Lascivious kitchenmaids were frequently the subject of comedic literature in seventeenth-century Holland, and painters emphasised their charms by the use of symbolism based on contemporary emblem books or proverbs. Thus, the empty bird-cage may be an allusion to loss of virtue and the dead fowl is a double entendre – the Dutch word vogel (bird) was also a slang term for ‘copulation’. Many of the utensils in the picture – such as the candle, pestle and mortar, and the jug – have clear sexual connotations. In addition, the kitchenmaid looks straight out at the viewer whilst suggestively engaged in chopping onions, which in the seventeenth century were used as an aphrodisiac.” (Lloyd, 2004)

 

Willem van Aelst (Delft 1625/6-Amsterdam after 1683) Dead Game with Trophies of the Chase Signed and dated 1657 Oil on canvas, 105.8 x 89.9 cm | RCIN 403984 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Willem van Aelst (Delft 1625/6-Amsterdam after 1683)
Dead Game with Trophies of the Chase Signed and dated 1657
Oil on canvas, 105.8 x 89.9 cm | RCIN 403984
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

Are you an aristocratic hunter? Buy this print of a still life picturing dead game and a fine hunting horn and dagger (with rock-crystal handle) both complete with sashes and tassels for your wall. Signed ‘W. V. aelst. 1657

Willem Claesz. Heda (1593/4 - 1680/2) Still Life: Pewter and Silver Vessels and a Crab, probably about 1633-7 Oil on oak, 54.2 x 73.8 cm | NG1469 © National Gallery, London
Willem Claesz. Heda (1593/4 – 1680/2)
Still Life: Pewter and Silver Vessels and a Crab, probably about 1633-7
Oil on oak, 54.2 x 73.8 cm | NG1469
© National Gallery, London

 

 

 

 

Want to show off your luxurious lifestyle to your friends? Order this print today, the restrained colour range reflects the Haarlem tradition of the so-called ‘monochromatic’ still life.

 

Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669) A Rabbi with a Cap, Dated 1635 Oil on panel, 72.6 x 62.3 cm | RCIN 405519 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669)
A Rabbi with a Cap, Dated 1635
Oil on panel, 72.6 x 62.3 cm | RCIN 405519
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

For our Jewish clients. This Rembrandt portrait is painted on a rare hardwood, a species of ‘Cordia’ only found in tropical parts of America, which has been carved into a panel for a door before being used as a painting support. 1635, the date inscribed on the painting, represents a very early date for the introduction of such wood into Europe. Inscribed: ‘Rembrandt / f. 1635’

 

Jacob de Formentrou (active Antwerp 1640-59) A Cabinet of Pictures Signed and dated 1659 Oil on canvas, 75.3 x 112.1 cm | RCIN 404084 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016
Jacob de Formentrou (active Antwerp 1640-59)
A Cabinet of Pictures Signed and dated 1659
Oil on canvas, 75.3 x 112.1 cm | RCIN 404084
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

Don’t miss our next cateloge, this is a preview under the supervision of Jacob de Formentrou.

 

This is probably not intended as an illustration of a particular dealer’s stock but more as a ‘variety pack’ produced by (or with the approval of) a group of artists in order to promote themselves. Painting had become a significant export at this time and it was also an important expression of the prestige of the city of Antwerp to show that it could still produce the variety of superlative craftsmanship in painting for which it had been famous over a period of 150 years. About half the works have initials, which can be matched (sometimes conjecturally) against known painters. Arranging the paintings in columns (reading from top to bottom) and reading the columns from left to right we can list the subjects and in most cases, the artists: Gypsies in a Crypt by Antoine Goubeau (1616-98); Fruit in a Landscape by Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-84); Cymon and Iphigenia; Judgement of Solomon (the composition based on a lost painting executed for Amsterdam Town Hall) by Erasmus Quellinus (1607-78); Moonlit Seascape; Garland of Fruit and Flowers by Joris van Son (1623-67); Church Interior, dated 1654, by Peeter Neeffs I (1605-56) or II (1620-75); Mountainous Landscape by Jan Peeters (1624-77); David with the Head of Goliath, possibly by Theodore Boeyermans (1620-78); Still Life of Arms and Armour; Rape of Europa; Christ on the Cross; portraits of Rubens and Van Dyck; Moonlit Landscape; Still Life with a Skull, possibly by Harman Steenwyck (1612-56); Wooded Landscape by Pieter de Witte II (1617-67); Insects, Flowers etc. by Jan van Kessel (1626-79); Still Life with a Dead Swan by Pieter Boel (1622-74); Cavalry Skirmish by Nicolaes van Eyck (1617-79); Jupiter and Antiope; Landscape with a Tree by Gaspard de Witte (1624-81) and The Finding of the Infant Erichthonius. It is possible to see a pattern in this grouping: the majority of identified artists were from Antwerp and in their thirties or early forties at the time, which suggests that such works involved like-minded colleagues clubbing together. Presumably the elusive author of the work, Jacob de Formentrou, belonged to this generation. The arrangement includes two slightly older artists of distinction (Erasmus Quellinus and Jan Davidsz. de Heem) and images of two dead artists (Van Dyck and Rubens) of such supreme distinction that no celebration of Flemish art could leave them out. Signed on the crossbar of the table and dated 165(9?) on the cartouche over the fireplace. Catalogue entry adapted from Bruegel to Rubens: Masters of Flemish Painting, London, 2007 (Royal Collection Trust, 2016)

References
Lloyd, C. (2004) Enchanting the Eye, Dutch paintings of the Golden Age. Royal Collection Publications

National Gallery. (2016) A Small Dutch Vessel before a Light Breeze, probably about 1645-55, Jan van de Cappelle At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-de-cappelle-a-small-dutch-vessel-before-a-light-breeze
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

National Gallery. (2016) A Windmill by a River, 1642, Jan van Goyen At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-goyen-a-windmill-by-a-river
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

National Gallery. (2016) An Evening View near a Village, about 1650, Aert van der Neer At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/aert-van-der-neer-an-evening-view-near-a-village
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

National Gallery. (2016) Aurora abducting Cephalus, about 1636-7, Peter Paul Rubens At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/peter-paul-rubens-aurora-abducting-cephalus
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

National Gallery. (2016) Still Life: Pewter and Silver Vessels and a Crab, probably about 1633-7 – Willem Claesz. Heda At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/willem-claesz-heda-still-life-pewter-and-silver-vessels-and-a-crab
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) A Cabinet of Pictures Signed and dated 1659 – Jacob de Formentrou (active Antwerp 1640-59) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/2/collection/404084/a-cabinet-of-pictures
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) A Girl chopping Onions Signed and dated 1646 – Gerrit Dou (Leiden 1613-Leiden 1675) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/37/collection/406358/a-girl-chopping-onions
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) A Rabbi with a Cap Dated 1635 – Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/59/collection/405519/a-rabbi-with-a-cap
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) Cardplayers in a sunlit Room Signed and dated 1658 – Pieter de Hooch (Rotterdam 1629-Amsterdam 1684) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/5/collection/405951/cardplayers-in-a-sunlit-room
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, 1638 – Rembrandt van Rijn At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/404816/christ-and-st-mary-magdalen-at-the-tomb
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) Dead Game with Trophies of the Chase Signed and dated 1657 – Willem van Aelst (Delft 1625/6-Amsterdam after 1683) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/11/collection/403984/dead-game-with-trophies-of-the-chase
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) St Luke painting the Virgin and Child c. 1650 – Attributed to Guercino (Cento 1591-Bologna 1666) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/29/collection/902728/st-luke-painting-thenbspvirgin-and-child
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

Royal Collection Trust. (2016) The Fall of Man dated 1606 – Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) At: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/5/collection/904758/the-fall-of-man
(Accessed on 12 Oct 16)

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