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    Sale 3066

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - including Dutch Impressionism

    15 - 16 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 118

    Carel de Moor II (Leiden 1656-1738 Warmond)

    An Allegory of Love: a couple beside a fountain in a garden with an elegant company at dinner


    Carel de Moor II (Leiden 1656-1738 Warmond)
    An Allegory of Love: a couple beside a fountain in a garden with an elegant company at dinner
    indistinctly signed 'M... f' (lower right)
    oil on panel
    70.4 x 52 cm.

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    In this amusing garden scene by Karel de Moor, an elegantly dressed man pulls a fashionable young woman towards a fountain in the form of Cupid. While the woman holds up her hand as if to resist, her coquettish smile and sideways glance reveal her delight in the game. In the background, a well-dressed party gathers at a table on a terrace as a servant arrives with a peacock pie. Both vignettes draw from themes well-established in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art. The elegant dinner party resembles the outdoor Merry Company scenes of De Moor's predecessors Esais van de Velde (1587-1630) and Willem Buytewech (1591/2-1624), while the foreground couple relates to the theme of the Garden of Love, of which the most celebrated example is Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece from around 1633 in the Prado. The classical statue to the couple's right is based on the so-called Farnese Flora now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples. Although De Moor never traveled to Italy, he would have known it through engravings, such as those published in The Hague in 1688-1689 by Jan de Bisschop. In De Moor's scene, the statue suggests that after the couple splashes in the fountain of Cupid, the fecundity associated with Flora is not far behind. The biographer Arnold Houbraken, who knew De Moor personally, wrote that he studied in his native Leiden with celebrated masters Gerrit Dou, Abraham van den Tempel, Frans van Mieris I and Godfried Schalcken. De Moor's training with Leiden's acclaimed 'fine painters' is here seen in the extreme refinement with which minute details, such as the foliage in the foreground, are rendered, and the evocation of various textures, such as the smooth shimmering satin of the woman's dress. Over time, De Moor became an important member of Leiden's artistic community, serving as a dean of the Guild of Saint Luke, and around 1694 founding a drawing academy with fellow artists Willem van Mieris and Jacob van Toorenvliet.


    Private collection, Belgium; Christie's, Amsterdam, 13 October 2009, lot 49 (€73,000).