Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 166

Kortrijk, 1576 – Utrecht, 1639
A Still Life of Flowers in a Vase with Lizards, a Rhinoceros-Horn Beetle
and Other Insects in a Niche with a Trompe l’Oeil Gilt Frame
Oil on panel
63.5 x 45.1 cm
Signed and dated lower left: .R. SAVERY. FE. 1615
This exquisite still life is one of a small group of surviving flower
Probably Captain Thomas Edmund Sotheron Estcourt, Estcourt
pieces painted by Roelandt Savery between 1603 and 1630. Notable
Park, Tetbury; his sale, Christie’s, London, 9 December 1927, lot 141,
for its excellent state of preservation, the painting is remarkable for
where purchased for 230 gns. by Bellesi; with Giuseppe Bellesi Gallery,
the extraordinary trompe l’oeil frame around the niche housing the
London, 1927; Freiherr Detlev von Hadeln, Florence and Venice, in or
vase of flowers. Despite the rarity of surviving flower pictures by the
after 1927-1929, from whom acquired by Galerie Heinemann, Munich,
artist, Savery occupies a key position, along with contemporaries
on 27 April 1929, for 6138 Reichsmarks; with Galerie Heinemann,
Munich, 1929-1930, inv. no. 18767, in partnership with Kunsthandel
Hansen, Lucerne; by whom sold to C. Billand, on 2 February 1930,
for 18000 Reichsmarks; Carl Billand, Kaiserslautern, 1930-1936; sale,
Helbing, Frankfurt, 11 May 1936, lot 168 where purchased by a private
collector, and thence by descent until 2016; with Colnaghi, London,
from whom acquired in March 2016 by The Mauritshuis, The Hague.
Jan Brueghel the Elder, Ambrosius Bosschaert, and Balthasar
van der Ast, as one of the great pioneers of Netherlandish flower
painting, at a time when both landscape and still-life painting were
emerging as independent genres. Born in Courtrai (Kortrijk) near
Lille in 1576, Savery was active at the imperial courts of Rudolf II
and Matthias, and ultimately settled in Utrecht. Within the context
of Dutch flower painting, Savery was, in Paul Taylor’s words,
“historically the most important painter of the 1600s generation.”1
Burlington Magazine, October 1929, advertisement.
Like Jan Brueghel the Elder, Savery played a seminal role in the
Marie-Louise Hairs, Les peintres flamands de fleurs au XVII siècle
development of these new genres, being one of the first artists
(Paris and Brussels: Editions Meddens, 1955), pp. 96 and 231.
to be described as a “landschaftmaler” in the Hoffstatt of Emperor
Ingvar Bergström, Dutch Still-Life Painting in the Seventeenth Century,
Matthias. Like his predecessor, Matthias was profoundly interested
trans. Christina Hedström and Gerald Taylor (New York: Thomas
in the natural world and employed the artist to paint naturalistic
Yoseloff, Inc., London, 1956), pp. 89 and 92, fig. 79.
landscapes, floral still lifes, and studies of animals, insects, and birds
Marie-Louise Hairs, Les peintres flamands des fleurs au XVII siècle,
(including a famous painting of a dodo).
2nd ed. (Paris and Brussels: Art et Savoir, 1965), pp. 171 and 400.
Kurt J. Mullenmeister, Roelandt Savery (Freren: Luca Verlag, 1988),
p. 331, no. 276.
Savery’s flower pictures represent a small percentage of his overall
output (around two dozen paintings) compared to many more
animal pictures and landscapes.


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