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Cornelis de Heem (Leiden 1631-1695 Antwerp)
PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Cornelis de Heem (Leiden 1631-1695 Antwerp)

A partly-peeled lemon, fig, slice of orange, cherries, plums and bunches of grapes with a façon de Venise wine glass on a draped stone ledge

Details
Cornelis de Heem (Leiden 1631-1695 Antwerp)
A partly-peeled lemon, fig, slice of orange, cherries, plums and bunches of grapes with a façon de Venise wine glass on a draped stone ledge
signed 'C DE HEEM f' (lower left, on the ledge)
oil on panel
13 1/8 x 9 7/8 in. (33.3 x 25.1 cm.)
Provenance
Private collection, England, since the 19th century; Bonham's, Knightsbridge, 15 December 1999, lot 80, where acquired by the following.
with Noortman, Maastricht, where acquired by the present owner.
Sale Room Notice
Please note the provenance for this work should read:

The Gladstone Family, Fasque House, Kincardineshire, Scotland, since the 19th century; Bonham's, Knightsbridge, 15 December 1999, lot 80, where acquired by the following,
with Noortman, Maastricht, where acquired by the present owner.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Born into a celebrated family of artists in 1631, Cornelis de Heem studied and traveled throughout the Netherlands with his father, the gifted Jan Davidsz. de Heem, who by the mid-1630s had established himself as one of the preeminent still-life painters of 17th-century Holland. Cornelis' earliest independent signed works date from 1654, and by 1660/1661 he is recorded as a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. This striking work, datable to the late 1650s, is a magnificent early example of Cornelis' fully developed personal style, combining the meticulous handling of paint and attention to detail inherited from his father with the compositional inventiveness and brilliant palette that give Cornelis' works their unique vibrancy and visual richness.

In superb condition, this luminous panel demonstrates the artist's ability to enliven his compositions with vivid colors - such as the bright reds of the cherries and wine and the striking blue of the satin tablecloth - while preserving the naturalistic effect of the various components. The ripe fig at center, for example, is painted so that every tiny seed is visible; in the gold and silver tassel at left, each strand of metallic thread shimmers individually in the soft light; and the winding lemon peel, which gives an upward diagonal movement to the composition, is observed with great care to show the translucent sections of lemon meat that did not escape the paring knife. The lavish display may, however, have deeper implications: the large bunches of grapes at center and prominence of the red wine in an elegant 16th- or 17th-century façon de Venise glass may allude to the Eucharist. Hanging over the edge of the glass, the unripe strawberries - sometimes a symbol of Christ or the Trinity - may further invite the viewer to contemplate a greater paradise than the one set before him.

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