The present lot is an autograph version of the picture in the Louvre (J. Foucart, A. Brejon, Catalogue des Ecoles Flamande et Hollandaise, 1979, inv.no. 1374, p.73, with ill.). The composition shows Houckgeest's dependence on Bartholomeus van Bassen, who may have been his teacher in The Hague before he moved to Delft circa 1635. No pictures by Houckgeest from his Hague years have come to light but as H. Jantzen, Das Niederländische Architekturbild, 1979, pp.93-95, observed, van Bassen's influence lasted beyond 1648. The statue on the fountain is based on the Giambologna's 'Mercury' (Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello and Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum).
The staffage is the work of Anthonie Palamedesz., called Stevers (1601-1673).
See colour illustration