Floris Verster (1861-1927)
Floris Verster (1861-1927)

Geplukte hanen

Floris Verster (1861-1927)
Geplukte hanen
signed and dated lower right Floris Verster '88
oil on canvas
60 x 88 cm
A. Lange, Voorburg.
Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon, Amsterdam, inv.no. 1590.
Baart de la Faille; Sale Van Marle en Bignell The Hague, 13 July 1943, lot 339.
Dr. K.M.J. van Tussenbroek, Haarlem, 1952.
W. Scherjon, Floris Verster 1860-1927, Utrecht, 1928, cat.no 37.
The Hague, Pulchri Studio, Eere Tentoonstelling Floris Verster, May-June 1929, cat.no 35.
Leiden, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Verster, 1952, cat.no 10a.
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Verster, 1952, cat.no. 10a.
Leiden, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Floris Verster, 20 May-3 July 1961, cat.no 33.
Groningen, Groninger Museum voor Stad en Lande, Floris Verster,8 July-21 August 1961, cat.no 33.
Laren, Singer Museum Laren N.H., Floris Verster, 12 December 1970-15 Februari 1971, cat.no. 9.

Lot Essay

In 1886, at the age of twenty-five, Floris Verster executed his first painting of fowl. The work entitled Dode Zwaan (Collection Museum Boymans van Beuningen) marks the beginning of Verster's career as a still life painter and above all reveals the artists's profound knowledge of birds. This knowledge was most probably nursed by Verster's family background, with his father combining his work as land agent with a job at the 'Rijksmuseum voor Natuurlijke Historie' in Leiden. It is suggested that Verster's father even published his own book on birds, illustrated with drawings by his seventeen year old son Floris. The Verster family furthermore cherished a great passion for hunting and disposed of hunting ground in the surroundings of their farm 'Puik en Duin'. Floris Verster was also an active hunter and undoubtedly found inspiration for his work in this rural environment.
In 1888 Verster painted the present lot in which two plucked hens are diagonally placed on a white tablecloth. The picture is a variation on a painting of dead hens dating from 1887. In total the artist executed three oilpaintings of hens, of which the last dating from 1891 stands out due to it's vivind, slightly crude, nature.
During these years Verster applied a vibrant brushstroke and experimented with artificial light effects with the aim of evoking specific atmospheres. In contrast to fellow artists such as Isaac Israels(1865-1934) and George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923) Verster however avoided a superficial impression and dedicated himself to recording the intrinsic nature of his subject-matter.
Still lifes with birds run as a leading thread through the artist's oeuvre until 1907, when Verster painted his last sudued painting of a dead crow.

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