• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 7782

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours Evening Sale

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 10

    Melchior d'Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-1695 Amsterdam)

    Geese, ducks, a magpie and other birds at a pond, an architectural capriccio landscape beyond

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Melchior d'Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-1695 Amsterdam)
    Geese, ducks, a magpie and other birds at a pond, an architectural capriccio landscape beyond
    signed 'MDHondecoeter' (left centre)
    oil on canvas
    62.5 x 73¾ in. (158.7 x 187.4 cm.)


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    Melchior d'Hondecoeter (born in Utrecht in 1636) came from a highly artistic family. His grandfather Gillis was a landscapist, and his father Gijsbert a celebrated bird painter (particularly waterfowl and poultry). He studied under his father until the latter's death in 1653, and then entered the Utrecht studio of his uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix whose oeuvre included many paintings of birds. Hondecoeter subsequently based himself in Amsterdam, and became the pre-eminent specialist of this branch of painting. Large-scale decorative game-pieces were popular amongst wealthy Amsterdam merchants to adorn the walls of their town houses and country mansions.

    Hondecoeter's mature style owes much to Frans Snyders, whose work he collected. From him, Hondecoeter borrowed a compositional formula that he used consistently from the late 1660s: birds and animals seen close up in the centre of the canvas, others entering from the left or right, their bodies sometimes cropped by the frame, the middle ground blocked by a wall, fence, tree or architectural ruins across one half of the canvas, the remaining side opening to a distant vista.

    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

    Anonymous sale; Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, 20-2 June 1928, lot 20, (Dfl 3500 to Dirksen).


    Pre-Lot Text

    The Property of the Count and Countess van Limburg Stirum-Luden