A PAIR OF FRUIT STILL LIFES 1633
- About the artwork
BY BARTHOLOMEUS ASSTEYN (1607 - 1669-77X) 1633 Both oil on oak panel These two charming panels are one of the very few preserved pairs by Bartholomeus Assteyn. One shows an assortment of apricots, cherries, currants, a peach, and a pink rose. The pendant also features a rose, supplemented with the same selection of fruit, and a pear. A Dordrecht master, Assteyn took his cue from his colleagues of the so-called Bosschaert Dynasty, of whom Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573-1621), originally from Antwerp, was the foremost exponent and a leading pioneer of still life painting. Another artist from this group, whose work served Assteyn as a source of inspiration, was Bosschaert’s pupil Balthasar van der Ast (1593/94-1657), who worked successively in Bergen-op-Zoom, Utrecht and Delft. Assteyn’s productive career spans a long period, his earliest still life being of 1628 and his lasted dated of 1669. A remark by Arnold Houbraken in his second volume of the Groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen of 1719 clarifies that Assteyn must have been enormously productive, his works being as ubiquitous as those by Joost Droochsloot. Nowadays, however, Assteyn’s oeuvre is exceptionally small, counting no more than 27 paintings, the present pair included. Assteyn painted baskets of fruit, vases of flowers and game. All his paintings are signed and dated. These small works are notable for their understated palette and naïve charm going hand in hand with the master’s habitual close attention to detail. SPECIFICATIONS Both signed and dated lower left: “B. AsstEijn. / 1633.” Provenance: Private collection, England, 1984 With Galerie de Jonckheere, Brussels, 1994 Private collection, Italy Exhibited: London, John Mitchell & Sons, The Inspiration of Nature, 1976, nos. 1-2 Pairs, Carrousel du Louvre, XVIIème Biennale des Antiquaires, 1994, nos. 51-52 (Jonckheere) Size panel A: 24.2 x 36.6 cm Size panel B: 24.5 x 36.6 cm
- About the artist
Bartholomeus Abrahamsz. Assteyn (1607 in Dordrecht – 1669/1677 probably Dordrecht) was a Dutch painter. Bartholomeus Assteyn was the son of a painter from Ghent, Abraham Bartholomeusz. In the year 1631 he became a member in the Dordrecht’s Saint Lukas painter guild. Assteyn lived with his family in Vriesestraat. In 1651 he was registered as an accountant for the local painter brotherhood. His exact death date is not known; his last authenticated work dates from the year 1669. Assteyn was a productive artist. Although he is not considered to be innovative, he created noteworthy still lifes. Assteyn’s compositions are particularly affected by Johannes Bosschaert, and his painting technique is reminiscent of Balthasar van der Ast.