• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 2415

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolors Part I

    26 January 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 25

    Melchior d'Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-1695 Amsterdam)

    A peacock, a peahen, a monkey and other birds on a terrace

    Price Realised  

    Melchior d'Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-1695 Amsterdam)
    A peacock, a peahen, a monkey and other birds on a terrace
    indistinctly signed (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    55½ x 67¾ in. (141 x 172.1 cm.)


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    Melchior d'Hondecoeter was trained by his father Gijsbert and his uncle Jan Weenix and took up the genre of barnyard and park scenes practiced by those artists and, absorbing also the influence of Frans Snyders, carried it to a new level of elegance and technical perfection. Although some of the birds in his compositions were known in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, many were of an exotic variety - such as the parrot and the pelican in the present composition. The inclusion of the monkey brings an allegorical element to this work and most directly shows the influence of Snyders, who so often depicted this mischievous animal. In this composition the stately peacock communicates with his mate while a variety of fowl that surround them respond in a cacophony, showing Hondecoeter's skill at stimulating more than the visual sense of his viewer.

    We are grateful to Fred Meijer, of the RKD in The Hague, for confirming the attribution upon first-hand inspection of the work (private communication, 14 December 2010).

    Provenance

    with Richard Green, London, by 1971, from whom acquired by the family of the present owners.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR