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Jeremias van Winghe (Brussels 1578-1645 Frankfurt)
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Jeremias van Winghe (Brussels 1578-1645 Frankfurt)

A kitchen interior with a maid preparing meat and gentlemen drinking at a table beyond

Details
Jeremias van Winghe (Brussels 1578-1645 Frankfurt)
A kitchen interior with a maid preparing meat and gentlemen drinking at a table beyond
signed with monogram and dated 'I.F./16[ ]5' (lower center) and inscribed with the collector's mark of Prince Wenzel Kaunitz (lower right)
oil on panel
45¼ x 33½ in. (115 x 85 cm.)
Provenance
Wenzel Anton, Prince von Kaunitz-Rietberg (1711-1794), Palais Kaunitz, Vienna, by whom bequeathed to his son
Wenzel Alois, Prince Kaunitz; his sale, Artaria & Cie., Vienna, 13 March 1820, lot 197.
Anonymous sale; Palais Galliéra, Paris, 10 December 1962, lot 115.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 20 June 1987, lot 351, as 'Monogrammiste I.F.'.
Literature
E. Greindl, Les Peintres Flamands de Nature Morte au XVII Siècle, Sterrebeek, 1983, pp. 89 and 370, no. 1, fig. 161.
S. Segal, A Prosperous Past, The Sumptuous Still Life in the Netherlands, 1600-1700, The Hague, 1988, pp. 57 and 60, fig. 4.1 (dated 1615).
C. Grimm, Stilleben: Die niedelandischen und deutschen Meister, Stuttgart-Zurich, 1988, p. 201, fig. 129, as 'attributed to Jeremias van Winghe' and dated '1615'.
A. Wied, in the catalogue of the exhibition, Sinn uns Sinnlichkeit, das Flämische Stilleben 1550-1680, Vienna and Essen, 2002, pp. 165-6, as 'attributed to Jeremais van Winghe' and dated '1615'.
Exhibited
Paris, Musée du Luxembourg, 12 July 2000-4 January 2001; Munich, Haus der Kunst, 5 October 2001 - 13 January 2002; Bergamo, Accademia Carrara, 31 June - 1 May 2002, From Fra Angelico to Bonnard, Masterpieces from the Rau Collection, no. 31.
Paris, Musée du Luxembourg, 12 July 2000-4 January 2001, Munich, Haus der Kunst, 5 October 2001-13 January 2002 and Bergamo, Accademia Carrara, 31 January-1 May 2002, From Fra Angelico to Bonnard Masterpieces from the Rau Collection, no. 31.
Special Notice

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Lot Essay

When the painting was first published by Edith Greindl (loc. cit.) and subsequently offered at auction in 1987, the initials in the center of the painting gave rise to an attribution to the Monogrammist I.F. In subsequent publications, both Claus Grimm (loc. cit.) and Sam Segal (loc.cit.) attributed the painting to Jeremias van Winghe, interpreting the monogram in slightly different ways: Sam Segal believed that 'IF' is an abbreviation of 'Jeremias......Fecit', while Grimm interpreted the initials to read 'Jeremias....Frankfurt'.

Jeremias van Winghe, was born in 1578 and was apprenticed to his Father, Jodocus van Winghe, who had moved from his native town, Brussels to Frankfurt, for religious reasons. Jeremias van Winghe, was later apprenticed to Frans Badens in Amsterdam, before working for sometime in Rome. Later, he married Johanna de Neufville, the daughter of a rich jeweller, which might account for the limited output, since he did not need to paint for a living.

A Kitchen Still-life in the Historishes Museum, Frankfurt (see the exhibition catalogue Joachim Beuckelaer, Gebt, 1986-87, p. 152, no. 26 illustrated), which is signed and dated 'IEREMIA. VAN.WINGE. FECIT. 1613', forms the key to the attribution of several paintings to the artist. It too depicts a table laden with food and through a hatch men sit at a table playing backgammon, while in the foreground a maid reluctantly pushes away an amorous suitor.

However, while there are clear similarities between the Frankfurt panel and the present painting, the latter clearly indicates Winghe's emergence from the Kitchen-market still-life tradition of Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer. Like still lifes of the 1590s and 1600s, Winghe juxtaposes a sumptuous display of foodstuffs with a narrative scene in the background. However the monumental forms of the maid and the dynamic still-life elements recall kitchen scenes more in the tradition of Frans Snyders.

The dating of the present painting has been discussed at length. While Greindl (loc. cit.) read it as 1655, both Segal and Grimm (loc.cit.) interpreted it as 1615. When the painting was sold in Monaco the date was read as 1635, which Olivier Zeder, in his catalogue entry for the 2000 exhibition, concurs with. He argues that while stylistically a date of 1655 is simply too late, the dress of the men sitting in the background is consistent with a dating of around 1630 as opposed to the beginning of the seventeenth century.

The present work is first recorded in the collection of one of the great figures of eighteenth-century Europe, Wenzel Anton, Prince von Kaunitz-Rietberg. The son of an Austrian count, Kaunitz rose through a diplomatic career in Italy, the Netherlands and Paris to become Chancellor of Austria in 1753. In that office he became and remained the closest confidant of the Empress Maria Theresa (by whom he was made a prince in 1764) and was the single most important force behind Austria's intellectual, political and domestic development until 1792. Enlightened, broad-minded and acutely intelligent, he made a decisive mark on his era.

A highly cultured man, Kauntiz was convinced of the value of the arts for the economic and moral development of the state, and went to great lengths to promote Austria's artistic and cultural growth. In 1766 he opened the Kupferstichakademie in Vienna, established by Jakob Matthias Schmutzer (1733-1811). In 1772 this was combined with the Akademie der Maler, Bildhauer and Baukünstler and the Graveurakademie to form the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, under Kaunitz's protection. In addition, he improved public training for artists and encouraged the free development of the Akademie students' creative abilities. He fostered many artists personally, including Franz Anton Zauner, Heinrich Friedrich Füger and Ignaz Unterberger, often awarding pensions for foreign study. Kaunitz's considerable art collection, which was dispersed between 1820-30, was housed in his palace in Vienna.
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