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Jan Frans van Dael (Antwerp 1764-1840 Paris)
Property from the Cunningham Collection
Jan Frans van Dael (Antwerp 1764-1840 Paris)

Peonies, roses, tulips, an iris and other flowers in an alabaster vase on a stone ledge with fruit

Details
Jan Frans van Dael (Antwerp 1764-1840 Paris)
Peonies, roses, tulips, an iris and other flowers in an alabaster vase on a stone ledge with fruit
signed and dated 'I.VANDAEL. / .1814' (lower right, on the ledge)
oil on canvas
41¾ x 32 3/8 in. (106 x 82.2 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; E.H. Drouot, Paris, 9 March 1951, lot 33.
Private collection, France.
with Richard Green, London, where acquired by the present owners.
Exhibited
(Probably) Paris, Salon, 1814, no. 899.

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Lot Essay

This sumptuous bouquet of flowers evokes the 'Golden Age' of floral still lifes by Dutch and Flemish painters such as Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-1684) and Roelandt Ravery (1576-1634), and like these masters, Van Dael created exquisitely wrought flower-pieces composed of a variety of species, which he likely studied from life. In this painting, he purposefully arranged the blossoms so that they are represented individually in fine detail, yet also united in a naturalistic and harmonious composition. Van Dael must have considered the present painting of a rich bouquet of flowers in a brown alabaster vase to be one of his more successful compositions, since other autograph versions are known (with minor variations in the flowers and butterflies). One, dated 1810, is now in the Louvre, Paris, and was acquired from King Louis XVIII in 1891. Another version, dated 1811, is in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

Jan Frans van Dael was one of the leading still-life painters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. After training as an architectural draftsman at the Antwerp Academy, he relocated in 1786 to Paris, where he shifted his focus to painting. He quickly won several important commissions, including contributions to the decorative programs at the châteaux of St. Cloud, Bellevue and Chantilly. He exhibited frequently at the Paris Salon from 1793-1833, to great acclaim. Beginning in 1796, he resided in the artists’ accommodations at the Louvre, where he encountered many leading still-life painters such as Pierre Joseph Redouté and Gerard van Spaendonck, with whom he trained. Van Dael also made designs for the Sèvres porcelain works, and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 1825.

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