• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7448

    Old Master and British Pictures

    7 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 145

    Anna Ruysch (The Hague 1666-1741)

    A bunch of grapes, two peaches, plums and a chestnut, with a butterfly and a cockroach, on a partly-draped marble ledge

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Anna Ruysch (The Hague 1666-1741)
    A bunch of grapes, two peaches, plums and a chestnut, with a butterfly and a cockroach, on a partly-draped marble ledge
    signed '.... Ruysch' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    17½ x 16½ in. (44.5 x 41.9 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The artist was the younger sister of Rachel Ruysch, the two siblings being the daughters of Frederick Ruysch, a distinguished professor of anatomy and botany. Frederick was also a gifted amateur artist (a talent necessary for informed communication of his academic work) whose work presumably inspired his daughters' forays into painting, and who also clearly influenced both of them in subject matter and style. Indeed, the stylistic similarities between the family became commercially evident early on when, after the posthumous sale of the collection of Rachel's son, Isaac, the family were greatly embarrassed when it transpired that two works sold as by Rachel were in fact the work of Frederick (see A. van der Willigen and F. Meijer, op. cit. p. 173).

    At the age of fifteen, Rachel became a pupil of Willem van Aelst, remaining with him until his death in 1683; it is possible that Anna also worked with him, and certainly the stylistic affinities of the present painting and Van Aelst's oeuvre support such a hypothesis. That said, the oeuvres of Rachel and Anna are so close (indeed the present painting was formerly thought to be by Rachel, so near is it to her style), that it is equally possible that the younger sister - who appears not to have worked on a commercial basis - learned from her more famous sibling.

    We are grateful to Fred Meijer of the RKD for the attribution, on inspection of the original.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    The Rt. Hon. Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos, K.G., P.C., D.S.O., M.C. (1893-1972); sale, Sotheby's, London, 24 November 1971, lot 18, as signed Anna Ruysch.


    Literature

    E. Buijsen and F. Meijer, 'Anna Ruysch's Rabbit's teeth and Fringes', Hoogsteder Journal, IV, 1998, fig. 3.
    A. van der Willigen and F. Meijer, A Dictionary of Dutch and Flemish Still-life Painters Working in Oils 1525-1725, Leiden, 2003, p. 172.