Jan Baptist Weenix (Amsterdam 1621-c. 1660 Huis ter Mey)
Jan Baptist Weenix (Amsterdam 1621-c. 1660 Huis ter Mey)

An Italianate landscape with a vegetable vendor selling his goods

Jan Baptist Weenix (Amsterdam 1621-c. 1660 Huis ter Mey)
An Italianate landscape with a vegetable vendor selling his goods
signed and dated 'Ao 1656. Gio. Batta. Weenix f.' (upper left)
oil on canvas
31 1/8 x 27 in. (79 x 68.6 cm.)
Jan Jacob de Bruyn, Amsterdam; his sale, Schley, Amsterdam, 12 September 1798, lot 33, as 'G. Metzu' (1340 florins to Yver).
Duc de Broglie, Paris, as 'Metsu'.
Colonel W.A. Hankey, Beaulieu, Hastings.
with Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, 1899.
Dr. Leo Katz, Berlin and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, by 1930;
Confiscated from the above by the Gestapo, December 2, 1938;
Transferred to the Kameradschaft der Künstler, Munich, by November 1940, where purchased for the Führer Museum, Linz, 1942 (Linz no. 2557);
Recovered by the Monuments Fine Arts and Archives Section from Alt Aussee salt mines (Alt Aussee no. 6573)
and transferred to the Munich Central Collecting Point October 22, 1945 (MCCP no. 4552);
Restituted to Mrs. Magda Katz, Rome, June 22, 1949;
By descent to Dr. Leo Coccia, Rome.
Herbert Girardet, Kettwig (Ruhr).
with 'Hoogsteder Naumann, Ltd., New York, 1985, where acquired by The Hascoe Family.
Galerie Sedelmeyer, Illustrated Catalogue of 100 Paintings by Old Masters, Paris, 1900, VI, no. 45.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, I, London, 1907, no. 50, as G. Metsu.
W. von Bode, Die Meister der holländischen und flämischen Malerschulen, Leipzig, 1956 (notes by E. Plietzsch), p. 118.
E. Plietzsch, Holländische und flämische Maler des XVII, Leipzig, 1960, p. 139.
E. Plietzsch, Meisterwerke der holländischen Genre-Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, Essen, 1962, pl. 3.
R.J. Ginnings, 'The Art of Jan Baptist Weenix and Jan Weenix', Ph.D. diss., University of Delaware, 1970, p. 178, no. 62, fig. 69.
London, Royal Academy, 1885, no. 90.
Rome, Palazzo delle esposizinoi, Mostra di pittura olandese del Seicento, 4 January-14 February 1954, no. 180.
Milan, Palazzo reale, Pittura olandese del Seicento, 25 February-25 April 1954, no. 176.
Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum; and Rotterdam, Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Sammlung Herbert Girardet. Holländische und Flämische Meister, 24 January-30 March 1970; 24 April-7 June 1970, no. 64.
New York, National Academy of Design, Dutch and Flemish Paintings from New York Private Collections, 9 August-25 September 1988, no. 59 (catalogue by A.J. Adams).
Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Italian Recollections: Dutch Painters of the Golden Age, 8 June-22 July 1990, no. 67 (catalogue entry by F. Duparc and L. Graif).
Greenwich, Bruce Museum, Pleasures of Collecting: Part I, Renaissance to Impressionist Masterpieces, 21 September 2002-5 January 2003, pp. 94-95 (catalogue entry by P. Sutton).
Greenwich, Bruce Museum, Old Master Paintings in the Hascoe collection, 2 April-29 May 2005, no. 11 (catalogue by P. Sutton).

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Lot Essay

Born in Amsterdam and trained in the North by Abraham Bloemaert and Claus Moeyaert, Weenix completed his artistic education with a stay in Italy that lasted four years, from 1643 to 1647. His familiarity with the Campagna and the countryside around Rome, its classical ruins and picturesque inhabitants, served him well for the remainder of his career. Indeed, the present work, one of the artist's best known and most exhibited, was executed almost a decade after his return to the Netherlands from Italy.

The scene depicts an itinerant greengrocer offering his produce to a gathering of customers from a wheelbarrow against which he reclines. A pile of vegetables and a beautifully rendered brass milk can offer Weenix the opportunity to display his skills at still life. The compositional device of the darkened archway enhances the sense of relief and emphasizes the deep recession of the landscape beyond. The subject of peddlers and the daily life of the Roman streets had long before been popularized by Pieter Van Laer and the bambocciante painters of the Dutch Italianate school.

The present painting had been misattributed to Gabriel Metsu because of a false signature that the painting carried until around 1930 when it was cleaned, and Weenix's authentic signature and the date 1656 were revealed. The picture perfectly accords with the artist's style of the 1650s, in which large-scale, colorfully dressed figures are depicted in bright sunlight and strongly contrasting shade, to created dramatic spatial effects. The present painting compares closely to Woman Sleeping beneath Ruins with an Archway in the Alte Pinacothek, Munich, and The Tinker in Viscount Allendale's collection, Stockfield, both of which are also dated 1656.

We are grateful to Dr. Anke A. Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven, who has confirmed the attribution to Weenix on the basis of firsthand inspection. Dr. Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven will include the present work in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work, Jan Baptist Weenix and Jan Weenix: Catalogue raisonné.

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