Following the attribution to Karel Philips Spierincks of a painting in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court in the 1920s, a small group of pictures have since been attributed to this artist. The Hampton Court picture of Nymphs, satyrs and cupids, was traced back through inventories, the findings of which were published by Anthony Blunt in the Revue de l'Art. That picture appears as No. 34 in a list of pictures offered to Charles II as 'a venus with satires, cupids and landskip [sic] of Carlo Fellippo' (A. Blunt, op. cit., p. 308). The painting was later attributed to Nicolas Poussin, but this was then rejected, while still noting the obvious affinity with the master. After the persistent research of Elsa Scheerer, the elusive artist was identified as Spierincks, who, it is thought, was generally referred to in Italy as Carlo Filippo.
Spierincks came to Rome in 1624, and is recorded as living with François Duquesnoy, with whom Poussin had also lived with at one stage. This lot is part of a group of pictures that share the same characteristics as the Hampton Court painting, and appear to be inspired by Poussin's Bacchanals of the early 1630s. In fact, in Blunt's opinion, Spierincks appears to be the first artist to have taken Poussin's Bacchanals of this period as the basis for his style and to have produced an identifiable and personal variant of it (op. cit., p. 311). The depiction of Silenus is characteristic of Spierincks' oeuvre, showing him with strands of ivy which he wraps around the children. The discovery of this group of pictures is especially interesting as it suggests the presence of a close imitator of Poussin prior to the period that it is generally thought that the latter formed a school.