Stephen Ongpin Fine Art
Cover Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533-1588) A Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) No.2
JESSICA SHEPHERD (b.1984) 041220151708 Curled Indian Bean Tree Leaf (Catalpa bignonioides) No. 44
DRAWN TO NATURE FLORA AND FAUNA FROM THE 16TH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY
STEPHEN ONGPIN FINE ART
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am grateful to my wife Laura for her invaluable advice and support, and also to Megan Corcoran and Alesa Boyle for their assistance in every aspect of preparing this catalogue, which was produced at fairly short notice. In addition, I would like to thank the following people for their help and advice in the preparation of this new digital catalogue and the works included in it: Terry Adams, Deborah Bates, Rhea Blok, Peter Bower, Peter Braithwaite, Anthony Christian, Glynn Clarkson, Joanne Cooper, Dean Damore, Pauline David, Hamish Dewar, Cheryl and Gino Franchi, Hein van Grouw, Ric Horlock, Glyn Locke, Mireille Mosler, Hutton Person, Jess Shepherd, Andrew Smith, Jeff Streicher, Todd-White Photography and Jenny Willings. Stephen Ongpin
Dimensions are given in millimetres and inches, with height before width. Unless otherwise noted, paper is white or whitish. High-resolution digital images of the drawings are available on request.
All enquiries should be addressed to Stephen Ongpin or Megan Corcoran at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art Ltd. 6 Mason’s Yard Duke Street St James’s London SW1Y 6BU Tel. [+44] (20) 7930-8813 or [+44] (7710) 328-627 e-mail: info@stephenongpinﬁneart.com
DRAWN TO NATURE FLORA AND FAUNA FROM THE 16TH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY
1 JACQUES LE MOYNE DE MORGUES Dieppe c.1533-1588 London Clove Pinks (Dianthus caryophyllus) Watercolour and gouache on paper prepared as vellum, with framing lines in brown ink and watercolour. 139 x 100 mm. (5 1/2 x 4 in.) [image] 195 x 145 mm. (7 5/8 x 5 3/4 in.) [sheet] PROVENANCE: ‘Du Marry’ (according to an inscription on the frontispiece of the album in which the present sheet was included); Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 26 January 2005, part of lot 46 (the album sold for $1,136,000); W. Graham Arader, New York. The extraordinary life, career and work of the 16th century Huguenot artist Jacques Le Moyne has only relatively recently been studied. He seems to have been born in Dieppe around 1533, and it is supposed that he received his training as an artist there, but little else is known of the ﬁrst thirty years of his life and career. He may have worked at the court of King Charles IX, and is ﬁrst recorded as an ofﬁcial artist and cartographer attached, at the King’s behest, to the 1564-1565 Huguenot expedition to northern Florida. The expedition, led by René Goulaine de Laudonnière, was intended to relieve a small Huguenot colony founded earlier by Jean Ribaut and hopefully establish a new French Protestant settlement there. Le Moyne’s task was to map the Florida coastline and riverways, and to make drawings of the natives, their villages, and anything else worthy of observation. Beset by a lack of provisions and reliant on the sometimes-hostile native Indians for food, as well as a mutiny among some of the troops accompanying them, many members of the expedition died of starvation or disease. Although much of the remaining French garrison was attacked and killed by Spanish forces in the autumn of 1565, Le Moyne and a few Frenchmen, including Laudonnière, managed to escape the massacre. They travelled overland for three days, through swamps and rivers with little or no food, before reaching the coast and one of Ribaut’s ships. The ﬁfteen survivors of the expedition, including Le Moyne, sailed back to Europe, unexpectedly landing in Wales in 1565. On his return to France, Le Moyne presented his maps and drawings of the Florida natives to Charles IX, who had supported Laudonnière’s expedition. (Only one original drawing by Le Moyne from the Florida expedition survives today, however; a drawing in watercolour and gouache on vellum of The Indian Chief Athore Showing Laudonnière the Marker Column Set Up by Ribaut, now in the collection of the New York Public Library.) Le Moyne wrote an account of the ill-fated Florida expedition, illustrated with engravings after his drawings and maps, which was only published in 1591, after his death, with the title Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae provincia Gallis acciderunt. Like many of his Huguenot compatriots, Le Moyne escaped from France after the 1572 Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Huguenots by Catholics. He settled in England, adding ‘de Morgues’ to his name, and soon gained the patronage of such signiﬁcant ﬁgures of the era as Sir Walter Raleigh and Lady Mary Sidney, which allowed him to concentrate in particular on small-scale botanical studies. He was also an inﬂuence on the English artist, explorer and colonist John White, the artist of the ﬁrst colony of Virginia, with whom he may have collaborated. In London in 1586 Le Moyne published a series of woodcuts of ﬂora and fauna with the title Le clef des champs, pour trouver plusieurs animaux, tant bestes qu’oyseaux, avec plusieurs ﬂeurs et fruitz, intended as a sort of model book for artists and dedicated to Lady Sidney. (The book is very rare, and only three copies are known today.) It was also around this time that Le Moyne drew the extraordinary gouache known as The Young Daughter of the Picts - a fantastical depiction of a woman whose body is entirely covered with beautifully painted ﬂowers – which is today in the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven. Firmly established and highlyregarded as a botanical artist, Le Moyne lived in the parish of Saint Anne’s in Blackfriars until his death in 1588.
Previously known for the ethnographic drawings he produced during his travels, Le Moyne was only recognized as an important botanical painter in the early 20th century. In 1922 Spencer Savage, the librarian of the Linnean Society, identiﬁed Le Moyne as the artist responsible for a small album containing ﬁfty-nine watercolours of ﬂowers, fruit and butterﬂies in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Le Moyne seems to have produced a number of such albums of botanical watercolour drawings. As well as the album in the Victoria and Albert Museum, a volume of ﬁfty studies of ﬂowers and fruit, dated 1585, appeared at auction in 1961 and is today in the British Museum, while a further example, containing sixty drawings in watercolour and gouache, is in the Rachel Mellon collection at the Oak Spring Garden Library in Upperville, Virginia. This and the following drawing come from the largest and most recently discovered compendium of botanical drawings by Le Moyne; the so-called ‘Du Marry’ album, which appeared at auction in New York in 2005 and was subsequently broken up. Perhaps the earliest, and certainly the most substantial, album of botanical studies by Le Moyne to have come to light, the ‘Du Marry’ album contained eighty drawings, together with an elaborate frontispiece in the form of an architectural cartouche, below which is written, in a 16th century hand, ‘Cela est donné par Du Marry’, signed with the initial H(?) below. The drawings from the ‘Du Marry’ album may date to the mid to late 1560s, when Le Moyne was still working in France, and as such are probably earlier in date than those found in the similar albums in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. An interesting feature of the watercolours by Le Moyne from the ‘Du Marry’ album is that the paper on which they were drawn was specially prepared beforehand in order to achieve a smooth surface akin to vellum. As the paper historian Peter Bower has noted of the ‘Du Marry’ album, ‘a measure of the quality of this volume is that the papers have been stone glazed to achieve a very highly polished surface, more typical of Islamic calligraphy papers than western papers. Stone glazing was commonly practised in Northern Italy for papers intended for export to the Islamic World, but was also used, elsewhere in Europe, to achieve a vellum or parchment like look to the surface of the paper. The warm deep slightly yellow tone of these sheets has been achieved by the addition of casein to the surface during the glazing process. The use of the highly glazed ﬁnish and the presence of gold, both in the framing of the images and in the detail of several of the insects suggest that this work was destined for a rich client. The presentation is more expensive than that seen in other examples of Le Moyne’s work on paper.’1 The wild ancestor of the garden carnation, the clove pink is a plant with clove-scented ﬂowers, and was used as a medicinal and culinary herb, as an aromatic and for ﬂavouring. Le Moyne seems to have been particularly fond of clove pinks, which appear several times in his oeuvre. The ‘Du Marry’ album included two other studies of clove pinks, albeit each very different in composition2. A similar study of clove pinks is also found in the album in the Victoria and Albert Museum3, while a depiction of clove pinks with a small butterﬂy was part of a group of six small gouache drawings on vellum by Le Moyne sold at auction in 19974. A sheet of studies of ﬁve clove pinks, drawn in watercolour and gouache in a more informal manner, appeared at auction in New York in 20045.
1. Peter Bower, ‘Magical lllusion: Two Collections of Watercolours by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (c.1533-1588)’, The Quarterly: The Journal of the British Association of Paper Historians, April 2010, p.11. 2. The other versions of clove pinks in the ‘Du Marry’ album were fol.31 and fol.32; the former was sold at auction in 2009 (New York, Sotheby’s, The Graham Arader Sale, 19 June 2009, lot 46). 3. Inv. AM.3267F-1856; London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Portraits of Plants: Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (1533-1588), London, n.d. (1984), unpaginated. 4. Sale (‘Property of the Late Mr. Eric Korner, Sold by Order of the Trustees’), New York, Sotheby’s, 29 January 1997, lot 56 (sold for $140,000). 5. Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 21 January 2004, lot 32 (sold for $120,000).
2 JACQUES LE MOYNE DE MORGUES Dieppe c.1533-1588 London A Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Watercolour and gouache on paper prepared as vellum, with framing lines in brown ink and watercolour. 140 x 101 mm. (5 1/2 x 4 in.) [image] 195 x 147 mm. (7 5/8 x 5 3/4 in.) [sheet] PROVENANCE: Du Marry (according to an inscription on the frontispiece of the album in which the present sheet was included); Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 26 January 2005, part of lot 46 (the album sold for $1,136,000); W. Graham Arader, New York. Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, as one modern scholar has written, may be regarded as ‘one of the earliest and most gifted botanical painters…His surviving watercolours and miniatures…show a surprising naturalism and a highly reﬁned sense of colour and form.’1 His work remains very rare today. Apart from the four ﬂorilegia albums known, other groups of drawings by Le Moyne include a set of fourteen miniatures of ﬂower, fruit and insects, painted in gouache on vellum; eight of which are at the Dumbarton Oaks Library in Washington, D.C. and another six which were formerly in the Eric Korner collection of manuscripts and were sold at auction in New York in 1997. Another group of twentyseven study sheets of ﬂowers, fruit, birds and insects by Le Moyne, drawn in a more informal manner, was dispersed at auction in 2004; ﬁve of these reappeared at auction in New York in 2019. Like No.1, the present sheet comes from perhaps the largest group of botanical studies by Le Moyne to be discovered; an album of eighty drawings in watercolour and gouache - together with a frontispiece of an architectural cartouche, below which is inscribed the name ‘Du Marry’’ - that was sold at auction in New York in 2005. On the verso of the frontispiece of the album were four lines of verse in French in a 16th century hand: ‘Il ne fault plus chercher l’esmail d’un gay Printemps / De qui les uiues ﬂeurs le fannent en une heure, / Icy la douce Flore en sa beaulté demeure, / Et ne perd ses honneurs par la rigueur des téps.’, which may be approximately translated as ‘Seek no longer the colours of a gay Spring / Whose ﬂowers fade in an hour, / Here sweet Flora remains in her beauty, / And loses none of her distinction through the rigours of time.’ Characterized by elegant compositions enclosed in ﬁctive frames, the watercolours from the ‘Du Marry’ album are drawn on paper smoothed with a stone to achieve a vellum-like surface. The paper is almost identical to that found in the ﬂorilegium by Le Moyne of c.1585 in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which is closest to the ‘Du Marry’ album in conception, appearance and date. Le Moyne’s ‘Du Marry’ album is one of the earliest French ﬂorilegia known. A compendium of images of ﬂowering plants, studied directly from nature, a ﬂorilegium was related to the herbal; an early form of plant book providing exacting descriptions of plants for medicinal purposes. The rise of exploration in the 16th century brought many new plants to Europe, and stimulated a concurrent interest in garden design. There was also much demand, among collectors and scholars of exotic plants, for artists to record their transient beauty. Le Moyne was among the leading 16th century artists who specialized in the production of elaborately painted ﬂorilegia, and his splendid work in this ﬁeld found a particularly receptive audience in Elizabethan England. As the scholar and curator Paul Hulton has noted of Le Moyne’s watercolours in the British Museum album, in terms that are equally applicable to the present sheet, ‘The drawings are nearly all of plants then commonly found in French or English gardens…They show an exquisite attention to detail, yet are drawn with a deep understanding and love of the subject which avoids all traces of superﬁcial prettiness. They are plant portraits which delight the eye and at the same time satisfy to a remarkable extent the scientiﬁc requirements of the botanist. The combination of these virtues is very rarely found to the same degree at this period.’2
While several of the plants depicted in the ‘Du Marry’ album also appear in the other known albums of ﬂorilegia by Le Moyne, the artist was always careful to make each watercolour composition different from others of the same species. A similar study of a globe artichoke (ﬁg.1) is found in the album of watercolours by Le Moyne in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum3, while an artichoke is also found among the woodcuts of the Le clef des champs, pour trouver plusieurs animaux, tant bestes qu’oyseaux, avec plusieurs ﬂeurs et fruitz, published by the artist in London in 1586. A domesticated variety of the wild cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), the globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) began to be cultivated in southern France and Italy in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The plant was introduced into England in the ﬁrst quarter of the 16th century, and by 1530 artichokes were being grown at King Henry VIII’s garden at New Hall in Essex.
1. Paul Hulton, ‘Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques’, Grove Art Online, 2003 [accessed 12 May 2020]). 2. Paul Hulton, ‘An Album of Plant Drawings by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’, The British Museum Quarterly, September 1962, pp.38-39. 3. Inv. AM.3267U-1856; London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Portraits of Plants: Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (1533-1588), London, n.d. (1984), unpaginated.
3 TEODORO FILIPPO DI LIAGNO, called FILIPPO NAPOLETANO Naples or Rome 1589-1629 Rome Studies of the Skull and Skeleton of a Horse Pen and brown ink. Laid down on an 18th century English mount. Inscribed Christie 20 June 22 [...] 43. / d and Paseroti in brown ink on the reverse of the mount. Further inscribed with a shelfmark L / No 13 in brown ink on the reverse of the mount. 203 x 287 mm. (8 x 11 1/4 in.) PROVENANCE: The Hon. John Spencer, Althorp, Northamptonshire; By descent to George John, 2nd Earl Spencer, Althorp, Northamptonshire (Lugt 1530 twice); His sale (‘A Superb Cabinet of Drawings; The Entire Collection of a Nobleman: Formed with Reﬁned Taste and Judgement, about the Middle of the Last Century...’), London, T. Philipe, 10-18 June 1811, part of lot 346 (as Bartolomeo Passarotti: ‘Passerotto. Two – studies of Horses’ bones, and of horses’ heads – both masterly pen’, bt. Lambert for 4s.6d.); Anonymous sale (‘A small, but very select assemblage, of Prints and Drawings...’), London, Christie’s, 20 June 1822, part of lot 43 (‘Drawings by old Masters, various, 24’, bt. Douce (or Muswell?) for 4s.); Probably Francis Douce, London; Iohan Quirijn van Regteren Altena, Amsterdam; By descent to his wife, Augusta Louisa Wilhelmina van Regteren Altena, née van Royen, Amsterdam, until 2001; Sale (‘Property of the Heirs of the Late Professor I. Q. van Regteren Altena’), London, Sotheby’s, 11 July 2001, lot 13 (as Sinibaldo Scorza); Kate de Rothschild and Yvonne Tan Bunzl, London. LITERATURE: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Italiaanse Tekeningen uit een Amsterdamse Particuliere Verzameling, exhibition catalogue, 1970, p.22, no.57, illustrated p.76 (as Bartolomeo Passarotti); Corinna Höper, Bartolomeo Passarotti, Worms, 1987, Vol.II, p.112, no.Z 9 and p.176, under no.Z 273 (as Passarotti), not illustrated. EXHIBITED: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Italiaanse Tekeningen uit een Amsterdamse Particuliere Verzameling, April-June 1970, no.57 (as Bartolomeo Passarotti); London, Kate de Rothschild, Drawings and Sketches, 2003, no.1 (as Passarotti). Teodoro Filippo di Liagno, called Filippo d’Angeli but better known as Filippo Napoletano, was a pupil of his father, an artist working in Rome, although he seems to have completed his education in Naples. Around 1614 he returned to Rome, where he encountered the landscape paintings of Agostino Tassi, whose work is sometimes confused with his. He was also inﬂuenced by the paintings of Caravaggio and his followers, as well as the work of the German painter Adam Elsheimer. By 1617 Napoletano was in Florence, where he was employed alongside Jacques Callot at the court of the Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici. He remained in Florence until 1621 before returning to Rome, where he worked on the decoration of a number of villas and palaces. Notable among these are a group of landscape frescoes in the Palazzo Bentivoglio, completed in 1623, and a series of seascapes for the Palazzo Barberini, painted in 1631. For the remainder of his career Napoletano worked in both Rome and Naples, producing cabinet pictures of battle scenes, landscapes and marine subjects for private collectors. He also painted a large number of religious and mythological subjects in a distinctive technique of oil on different types of variegated and coloured stone, known as pietra paesina. As a draughtsman, Napoletano was much admired by contemporary collectors such as Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici, as well as later connoisseurs like Pierre-Jean Mariette in the 18th century. Signiﬁcant groups of drawings by the artist are today in the Ufﬁzi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille. Long attributed to the Bolognese artist Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592), and more recently given to the Genoese draughtsman Sinibaldo Scorza (1589-1631), this ﬁne drawing was independently attributed to Filippo Napoletano by Hugo Chapman and the late Marco Chiarini. Napoletano produced a number of prints and drawings (the latter in both pen and ink and chalk) of animal skeletons, and was recognized by his contemporaries as an expert in anatomical studies of this type. As the writer and
art dealer Giulio Mancini writing in 1621, noted of Napoletano, ‘he earned a reputation and esteem for himself particularly in small things of ﬁres, ships and animals, and was highly regarded for certain extravagant pictures of animal skeletons.’ Between 1620 and 1621 Napoletano executed a series of etchings of animal skeletons entitled Incisioni di diversi scheletri di animali. The only extant complete set of these etchings, numbering twenty-one prints in all, is in an album in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, although a set of modern impressions is in the Ufﬁzi. The Incisioni di diversi scheletri di animali was the artist’s most celebrated series of prints executed during his Florentine period, and was dedicated to the German physician and scientist Johannes Faber, the papal doctor, anatomist and botanist whom Napoletano had met as a young artist in Rome. Faber had a strong interest in animal anatomy, and had assembled a study collection of around one hundred human and animal skeletons at his home near the Pantheon. It is thought that Faber commissioned Napoletano to produce a series of etchings of his skeletons, a project that had not been started before the artist left Rome in 1617 to settle in Florence. The work was eventually completed by August 1621, and was possibly delivered to Faber by the artist himself, who returned to Rome that year. As Richard Wallace has noted of Napoletano’s etchings from the Incisioni di diversi scheletri di animali series, ‘Liagno attempted to make his prints rather more than simple illustrations of various skeletons, although they are basically accurate in purely scientiﬁc terms.’1 Furthermore, in the words of Philip Hofer, ‘Here the scientiﬁc, the macabre, and a baroque sense of decoration are all happily combined.’2 Only a handful of preparatory drawings by Napoletano for the Incisioni di diversi scheletri di animali are known, including a drawing of the skeleton of a horse in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, and a study of a mouse skeleton in the Louvre. This sheet of studies of the skull and part of the skeleton of a horse reﬂects Napoletano’s close study of Johannes Faber’s collection of animal skeletons, and may also be tentatively related to his etching of the complete skeleton of a horse from the Incisioni di diversi scheletri di animali3. Stylistically comparable drawings of parts of animal skeletons by Napoletano are among several studies of human and animal skeletons - in red chalk, pen and ink, or pen and wash - in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille, including studies of the skulls of a pelican, a pig or boar, and a goat. The present sheet is ﬁrst recorded in the collection of the Earls Spencer at Althorp in Northamptonshire in the latter half of the 18th century. At the Spencer sale in 1811, it was sold together with another drawing, both as by Bartolomeo Passarotti (‘Passerotto. Two – studies of Horses’ bones, and of horses’ heads – both masterly pen.’). The other drawing was probably the pen and ink study by Passarotti of a horse’s head and skull, bearing the Spencer collector’s mark, which was later in the collection of the 19th century antiquarian Francis Douce and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford4.
1. Sue Welsh Reed and Richard Wallace, Italian Etchers of the Renaissance and Baroque, exhibition catalogue, Boston and elsewhere, 1989, p.277, under nos.144-146. 2. Philip Hofer, ‘Some Little-Known Italian Illustrations of Comparative Anatomy, 1600-1626’, in Millard Meiss, ed., De Artibus Opuscula XL: Essays in Honor of Erwin Panofsky, New York, 1961, Vol.I, p.234. 3. Marco Chiarini, Teodoro Filippo di Liagno detto Filippo Napoletano 1589-1629: Vite e opere, Florence, 2007, p.478, no.418. 4. Inv. 1863.662; Angela Ghirardi, Bartolomeo Passerotti, Rimini, 1990, p.156, ﬁg.6a.
4 Attributed to CARL ANDREAS RUTHART Danzig c.1630-after 1703 L’Aquila A Lion, after Rubens Watercolour and gouache. Inscribed Karl Andreas Ruthart / Aufgescheuchte Lowen in pencil on the verso. 127 x 197 mm. (5 x 7 3/4 in.) PROVENANCE: Dr. Arthur Feldmann, Brno; Looted by the Gestapo on 15 March 1939, during the Nazi occupation of Moravia; Anonymous sale (‘The Property of a Collector’), London, Sotheby’s, 16 October 1946, part of lot 55 (bt. Colnaghi for Witt for £14.00); Sir Robert Witt, London (Lugt 2228b); Bequeathed by him in 1952 to the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Restituted to the heirs of Arthur Feldmann in 2007. LITERATURE: London, Courtauld Institute of Art, Hand-list of the Drawings in the Witt Collection, 1956, p.155, no.3852 (as Ruthart). Born around 1630 in the German city of Danzig (modern-day Gdansk in Poland), Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart established a reputation as a painter of wild animals and hunting scenes. He was largely self-taught as an artist, and was brieﬂy in Rome in 1659 before being admitted to the painter’s guild in Antwerp in 1664. Between 1665 and 1667 Ruthart was in Vienna, working for Prince Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein. In 1672 he became a monk of the Celestine order at the monastery of Sant’Eusebio in Rome, later transferring to the monastery of Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L’Aquila, in the Abruzzo region, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. Known as ‘Pater Andrea’, he is still documented there in 1703, and is assumed to have died not long afterwards. Although best known and most successful as a painter of wild animals, Ruthart also painted a handful of religious works for the churches with which he was associated, namely two altarpieces for Sant’Eusebio in Rome and fourteen scenes from the life of the founder of the Celestine order for the church at L’Aquila. Highly esteemed in his lifetime, Ruthart’s animal paintings found their way into several important European collections, including those of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, Field Marshal von der Schulenberg and Count Brühl, as well the Czernin, Esterhazy, Harrach and Liechtenstein collections. Paintings by Ruthart were also owned by the Dukes of Devonshire and the Earls of Shrewsbury. The traditional attribution of this drawing to Ruthart is worth considering in light of the artist’s penchant for leaping animals in his paintings. The lion depicted in this drawing is based, in reverse, on part of an etching of two young lions at play by Abraham Blooteling after Rubens (ﬁg.1). Blooteling’s print is one of a set of four etchings of lions, each after designs by Rubens, published as Variae Leonum Icones sometime in the second half of the 17th century. The author of the present sheet may have derived his composition from Blooteling’s print, or a contemporary, reversed copy of it. The same lion also appears in two paintings by Frans Snyders of c.1620-1625.
5 MELCHIOR D’HONDECOETER Utrecht 1636-1695 Amsterdam A Peacock Pen and black ink and grey wash, with framing lines in black ink. Laid down on an old mount, inscribed Melchior, / HONDEKOTER in black ink within a cartouche. 205 x 315 mm. (8 1/8 x 12 3/8 in.) Born into an illustrious family of landscape and animal painters, Melchior d’Hondecoeter became the leading Dutch painter of birds in the second half of the 17th century. His work was renowned for its lifelike and colourful depictions of avian subjects, painted with considerable accuracy. He received his training from his father Gijsbert Gillisz. d’Hondecoeter and his uncle Jan Baptist Weenix in the 1650s. By August 1658 he had moved to The Hague, but by 1663 had settled in Amsterdam, where he lived and worked for the remainder of his career. Hondecoeter specialized in highly realistic paintings of birds and fowl and, with his remarkable powers of observation and understanding of the behaviour of all manner of birds, was indisputably the most renowned artist in this particular genre. He found a ready market for his accurate depictions of native European birds, as well as many unusual species from Asia, Africa and South America, all depicted in landscape settings. As the Hondecoeter scholar Joy Kearney has noted, ‘The most remarkable aspect of his work is the ornithological accuracy with which he depicted his subjects…Such realistic interpretation of birds was unrivalled in seventeenth-century art and paved the way for a new genre in Dutch art of the period.’1 It is thought that Hondecoeter painted over 250 works; game pieces, barnyard scenes with poultry and still life compositions, as well as a number of allegorical subjects, notably two large canvases of ﬁghting birds known as The Wars of Willem III, today at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. The artist also produced a number of grand park landscapes populated by exotic live birds, sometimes very large in scale. This was an inventive genre that he created and developed, and which became especially sought-after for the town and country homes of wealthy burghers. Among his important patrons was the King-Stadtholder Willem III, Prince of Orange, who commissioned several paintings for his palaces at Het Loo, Soestdijk and Honselersdijk. Such was the reputation of Hondecoeter’s work that his painted compositions were often copied or imitated, both during his lifetime and afterwards, and he was a great inﬂuence on later painters of animals and still life subjects. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Hondecoeter’s oeuvre became especially popular among collectors in England, where he was known as ‘The Raphael of Birds’, and his reputation as a painter of avian subjects has never dimmed. As one early 20th century writer opined, ‘Melchior d’Hondecoeter…is the only painter who seems ever to have appreciated to the full the material of design before our eyes in the various shapes and gay plumage of birds. Before him these had been accessories to landscape. He made them the purpose of his picture...The result was the rich compositions representing a bit of landscape seen from among a group of domestic fowl…They impress at once… by their intelligent ﬁdelity to the humble forms of life they depict.’2 And, as another scholar has noted, ‘Hondecoeter learned from his teacher, [Jan Baptist] Weenix, who had studied in Italy, a ﬁne decorative ease and breadth, to which he added a Dutch sense of life and character. The splendid vitality of these birds, the characteristic quick, nervous movements, the soft but glowing colors of various kinds of feathers… are studied with a Dutch painter’s wonderful accuracy.’3 The present sheet is among the ﬁnest surviving drawings by Hondecoeter, by whom only a handful of autograph sheets are known. As Kearney points out, ‘it may be assumed from his work that the artist painted from living birds as well as from dead specimens. The few known drawings which can reasonably be ascribed to him depict birds as if from life...That so few such drawings by the artist appear to have survived, or been identiﬁed, is regrettable, given that he must have made many sketches and watercolour drawings of living birds as studies for the lifelike birds in his oil paintings...The constant reappearance of certain
birds, in the same pose though arranged in different groupings, must surely indicate a series of drawings of such prototypes which were then used repeatedly as reference material.’4 It has been suggested that Hondecoeter may have preferred to make small-scale studies of various birds in oil on canvas; fourteen of these oil sketches were noted in the posthumous inventory of his studio contents. The Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) appears in many of Hondecoeter’s paintings. As Kearney notes, ‘This bird was kept at the royal menageries and was viewed as the epitome of elegance and grace, often depicted by the artist perched on a classical plinth or urn in an Italianate garden...They were certainly painted for their beauty and elegance, apart from any literary or symbolic references and they appear on numerous occasions in de Hondecoeter’s work.’5 This rare and exotic species – imported into Holland by the ships of the VOC, the Dutch East India Company - was particularly popular with wealthy Amsterdam citizens, serving to ornament the gardens of their country estates, where they were allowed to roam free. As Walter Liedtke has pointed out, ‘Hondecoeter turned curiosities of nature into curiosities of art… However, contemporary interest in and knowledge of the variety of nature should not be underestimated. Even the peacock, which served as a symbol of pride in much earlier Netherlandish pictures, would have been recognized immediately as a creature from another continent, in this case southeastern Asia and the East Indies. In the conﬁnes of a room hung with paintings by Hondecoeter, it was easy to imagine not only the great outdoors of the Dutch countryside but also the entire world of Dutch overseas trade.’6 This ﬁne sheet is one of the very few drawings by Hondecoeter which appear to have been produced as a preparatory study for a painting. The same peacock, striding to the left, is found in a signed painting by Hondecoeter of A Monkey, Peacock and Other Birds (ﬁg.1), datable to the decade of the 1660s, which appeared at auction in 19957. A very similar peacock is also found in a large painting of Birds in a Park of 1686, in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg8. A comparable pen and wash study of a peacock by Hondecoeter is in the British Museum9.
1. 1. Joy Kearney, ‘Birds of a Feather: De Hondecoeter and the Birth of a New Genre’, The Low Countries, 2008, p.1. 2. G., ‘Three Dutch Pictures’, Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin, October 1907, p.58. 3. E. P. Richardson, ‘The Barnyard, by Melchior de Hondecoeter’, Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts of the City of Detroit, 1945, p.63. 4. Kearney, op.cit., 2008, p.3. 5. Joy Kearney, ‘Melchior de Hondecoeter in the Service of William III – Royal Taste and Patronage in the Dutch Golden Age’, in Susan Bracken, Andrea M. Gáldy and Adriana Turpin, ed., Collecting and the Princely Apartment, Newcastle, 2011, pp.49-50. 6. Walter Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Haven and London, 2007, Vol.I, pp.349-350, under no.82. 7. Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 7 April 1995, lot 3. 8. Inv. 1043; Colin Eisler, Paintings in the Hermitage, New York, 1990, p.653. 9. Inv. 1836,0811.320; The drawing, in brush and brown wash, measures 231 x 401 mm.
6 HERMAN HENSTENBURGH Hoorn 1667-1726 Hoorn A Sun Conure Parrot and a Yellow-Backed Oriole Gouache and watercolour on vellum. Signed H: Henstenburgh. fec in grey ink at the lower left. Inscribed N.132 - Herman Henstenburgh in brown ink on the verso. 301 x 204 mm. (11 7/8 x 8 in.) PROVENANCE: An unidentiﬁed collector’s mark, with the letter U in a circle (not in Lugt), stamped in red ink on the verso. Herman Henstenburgh was a pupil of the natural history draughtsman Johannes Bronckhorst, whose studio in Hoorn he entered in 1683. Bronckhorst also trained the young artist in his other vocation as a pastry baker, and in fact Henstenburgh seems to have worked as a baker in Hoorn, a relative artistic backwater, throughout his life. His splendid, highly ﬁnished watercolours of natural history subjects, despite being greatly admired, remained something of a hobby. As a draughtsman, Henstenburgh specialized in depictions of birds, ﬂowers and fruit, usually drawn on vellum. The contemporary biographer Johan van Gool noted that his earliest works were of birds and insects, and that it was not until around 1689 that he also began to produce highly ﬁnished watercolour drawings of fruit and ﬂowers. Van Gool further commented that the artist was able to achieve a particular richness and intensity of colour in his drawings by experimenting with pigments to perfect a new form of watercolour technique. Henstenburgh’s drawings were acquired by a number of important collectors, notably Pieter van den Brande and Agnes Block, a collector of exotic plants and ﬂowers who also commissioned natural history drawings of animals and birds from Bronckhorst, Holsteyn, Herman Saftleven and Maria Sibylla Merian, among others. Further aﬁeld, the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici in Florence is known to have owned three drawings by Henstenburgh as early as 1700. Henstenburgh was never able to make a living from his art, however, and as Van Gool relates, ‘There he sat in his native town, with all his works of art about him, as if in oblivion, for rarely did he receive a visit from an art-lover.’1 It was not until several years after his death that Henstenburgh’s gouache and watercolour drawings became especially popular with collectors, particularly in England. Van Gool notes that, at an Amsterdam auction in 1750, he saw the Rotterdam collectors Jan and Pieter Bisschop pay 105 guilders for one of the artist’s watercolours of fruit. Henstenburgh’s son Antoni inherited his business as a pastry chef and was also an amateur draughtsman of bird and insect subjects. Around 120 drawings by Herman Henstenburgh are known today, of which only about ﬁve are dated. The artist’s vibrant watercolours of birds reﬂect the particular inﬂuence of his teacher Bronckhorst, and indeed the two artists at times made drawings of the same colourful birds. The younger artist’s watercolours may be seen as a development from the more scientiﬁc approach evident in the bird drawings of Pieter Holsteyn the Younger, a Dutch draughtsman of the previous generation; the birds drawn by Henstenburgh are usually depicted in a much more lifelike and engaging manner than the somewhat stiff creatures of Holsteyn’s watercolours. As Anne Zaal has noted, ‘Henstenburgh’s drawn birds are always shown sitting on almost bare tree branches or shrubs, the ends of the branches marked with a few leaves. The background is not coloured, and retains the ivory tone of the medium, the vellum. When several birds are shown, they are displayed in different positions, and spread across the sheet, and thus a lively effect is achieved.’2 The remarkable freshness of the colours would suggest that this superb drawing on vellum was kept in an album or portfolio for much of its life. Although the paucity of dated works by the artist make any attempt at a chronology of his oeuvre difﬁcult, the elaborate composition of this drawing would suggest that this is a mature work by the artist.
The Dutch port town of Hoorn, where Henstenburgh lived and worked, was an important base of the Dutch East India Company, and the artist would have had ample opportunity to study live or stuffed specimens of exotic birds brought back to Holland on the ships of the Hoorn ﬂeet. This drawing depicts two rare South American birds, and serves as a fascinating and very early visual record of these particular species in European art. Indeed, this drawing would appear to predate, by several decades or more, the authoritative scientiﬁc descriptions of both types of birds depicted in it. The larger of the two birds may be identiﬁed as a Sun Conure parrot (Aratinga solstitialis), a species native to areas of the north-eastern part of South America, in particular northern Brazil and Guyana. The parrot, which grows to an average of thirty centimetres in length, is described in ornithological literature from the 1730s onwards, although specimens must have been in circulation in Europe somewhat earlier. Long popular as captive pet birds, the severe decline of its population has meant that the Sun Conure is today listed as an Endangered species. Although Henstenburgh may have been working from a preserved specimen, it is equally likely that this watercolour was based on a live bird, since Sun Conure parrots were already established in Europe as expensive pets by the end of the 17th century. The smaller bird would appear to be a Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater), native to Central America and northern South America. It is interesting to note that Henstenburgh has here depicted the oriole seemingly in the act of catching insects. Since the bird is indeed insectivorous, this would imply that the artist was perhaps working from a live specimen that he had studied closely. The presence of a Yellow-backed Oriole in this drawing is also unusual in that the species was not formally named and described until over a hundred years later, in the 1840s. The present sheet, therefore, not only serves as an accurate record of two rare and valuable South American birds, but may perhaps also reﬂect a thriving contemporary market for such exotic creatures. Depictions of exotic birds account for only a small part of Henstenburgh’s oeuvre as a draughtsman, and just a handful of highly ﬁnished watercolour and gouache studies of birds by the artist have appeared on the art market in the past thirty years. A signed drawing of A Hermit Hummingbird, a Black-headed Caique, a Yellow-bibbed Lory and a Red-legged Honeycreeper was sold at auction in New York in 19903, while a similarly-signed study of A Roller on a Branch appeared at auction four years later4 and a gouache drawing of Three Birds of Paradise appeared at auction in 19965. More recently, a signed gouache on vellum drawing of A King Bird of Paradise and a Spiderhunter, formerly in the collection of the 18th century connoisseur Johann Goll van Franckenstein, was sold at auction in 2011 and is now in the collection of Clement C. Moore in New York6. Other gouache and watercolour drawings of exotic birds by Henstenburgh are today in the collections of the Amsterdam Museum in Amsterdam, the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig, the Palazzo Pitti and the Ufﬁzi in Florence, the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt, and elsewhere.
1. Johan van Gool, De Nieuwe Schouburg der Nederlansche Kunstschilders en Schilderessen, The Hague, 1750-1751, Vol.I, pp.248-256; quoted in translation in Ger Luijten and A. W. F. M. Meij, From Pisanello to Cezanne: Master Drawings from the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, exhibition catalogue, New York and elsewhere, 1990-1991, p.121, under no.42. 2. Anne M. Zaal, Herman Henstenburgh 1667-1726, unpublished Ph.D dissertation, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1991, Vol.I, p.47. 3. Anonymous sale, New York, Christie’s, 10 January 1990, lot 193 (sold for $6,600); Zaal, ibid., 1991, Vol.II, no.A 048. 4. Anonymous sale, New York, Christie’s, 22 January 2004, lot 202 (sold for $17,295). 5. Lucien and Françoise Delplace sale, London, Sotheby’s, 3 July 1996, lot 221 (sold for £9,775). 6. Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 26 January 2011, lot 626 (sold for $74,500); Anne M. Zaal, Herman Henstenburgh (1667-1726): Hoorns schilder en pasteibakker, exhibition catalogue, Hoorn, 1991, p.8, ﬁg.7; Zaal, op.cit. [dissertation], 1991, Vol.II, no.A 036; Jane Shoaf Turner, Rembrandt’s World: Dutch Drawings from the Clement C. Moore Collection, exhibition catalogue, New York, Morgan Library and Museum, 2012, pp.200-201, no.85.
7 GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO Venice 1696-1770 Madrid The Head of a Lion Black chalk, heightened with touches of white chalk, on faded blue paper. Numbered and inscribed No. 3066. (or 3086) i. f. G. M. in brown ink and 432 in pencil on the verso. Further inscribed Today, 9th of August 1972 / we, Eva and Kurt Cassirer / do give this drawing of a Lion head / by G. B. Tiepolo / to Irmi(?) D. F. Jones / Eva and Kurt Cassirer / DIESSEN, Ammersee on the backing board. Also inscribed This drawing by Tiepolo / is of some value and is / [overwritten, in a different hand, not any more] the property of KURT / CASSIRER, and dated 9. 8. 1972 in a different hand, on a label pasted onto the backing board. 246 x 282 mm. (9 3/4 x 11 1/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Possibly Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Venice; Johann Dominik Bossi, Munich; His daughter, Maria Theresa Caroline Bossi, Munich, and by her marriage to her husband, Carl Christian Friedrich Beyerlen, Stuttgart; Their posthumous sale, Stuttgart, H. G. Gutekunst, 27 March 1882 onwards, probably as part of lot 637 (‘Kohlenskizzen und -Zeichnungen auf blauem Papier…Studien von Händern, Füssen und Thieren.’ bt. Eisenmann for 5.50 Marks); Dr. Oskar Eisenmann, Kassel; Wilhelm Lübke, Stuttgart; Joseph Baer & Sons, Frankfurt; Dr. Hans Wendland, Lugano; Dr. Kurt Cassirer and Eva Cassirer, Dießen am Ammsersee; Given by them in August 1972 to Irmi(?) D. F. Jones; Private collection, United Kingdom. LITERATURE: Possibly George Knox, Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo: A Study and Catalogue Raisonné of the Chalk Drawings, Oxford, 1980, Vol.I, p.289, no.M.681. One of the leading painters in Venice for much of his career, Giambattista Tiepolo was also undoubtedly one of the ﬁnest draughtsmen of the 18th century in Italy. His career spanned over ﬁfty years, throughout most of which he enjoyed fame, wealth and considerable success. From the late 1730s until his departure for Spain in 1762 he experienced his most creative period as a draughtsman, producing a large number of vibrant pen and wash studies that are among the archetypal drawings of the Venetian Settecento. Indeed, his splendid drawings have long been coveted by collectors and connoisseurs. A gifted and highly proliﬁc artist, Tiepolo made drawings not just when preparing his frescoes or paintings, or when studying a particular detail or motif that he might reproduce in a later work. Rather, as Adriano Mariuz has observed, he drew ‘because he wanted to express his inner vision as freely and completely as possible. For him, drawing was a sensitive instrument which he used to penetrate the secret depths of his own inspiration. In a drawing, he could give form to the most ﬂeeting and fantastic images by capturing them in the light, or he could turn those aspects of reality that ﬁlled his fertile mind into bright images on paper.’1 Tiepolo’s oeuvre of drawings includes compositional studies for paintings and prints, ﬁgure studies for large-scale decorations, landscape subjects and caricatures, as well as several series of drawings of oriental ﬁgures in exotic costumes, character heads and depictions of the Holy Family. In terms of medium and technique, drawings by Tiepolo can be divided into two main categories: pen and ink studies and compositions drawn on white paper, and drawings in red or black chalk, usually on blue paper. Tiepolo’s earliest drawings in black or red chalk can be dated to the 1740s; these are generally studies of heads, drapery, or parts of the body, and, unlike many of his pen drawings, are often speciﬁcally intended as preparatory studies for ﬁgures in much larger works. Most of the artist’s drawings were bound into albums according to theme or subject, and retained in his studio as a stock of motifs and ideas for use in his own work, or that of his sons and other assistants. A stylistically comparable drawing of a lion by Giambattista Tiepolo, drawn in red and white chalk (ﬁg.1), is part of the so-called Beurdeley album of Tiepolo drawings now in the collection of the
Hermitage in St. Petersburg2. The Hermitage drawing is a preparatory study for a lion in the centre of Tiepolo’s massive ceiling painting of The Apotheosis of Angelo della Vecchia Surrounded by Virtues (ﬁg.2) of c.1749-1750, formerly in the Palazzo dei Conti Vecchia in Vicenza and today in the Palazzo Isimbardi in Milan3. The present sheet may, in fact, be a ﬁrst idea for the head of the lion in the same painting, which measures 8 x 6 metres and is the largest painting in oil on canvas of a secular subject in Tiepolo’s oeuvre. A somewhat similar, albeit more sketchy, chalk study of the head of a lion looking to the left is part of an album of Tiepolo drawings in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London4. This drawing was once part of a large and signiﬁcant group of Tiepolo drawings in the Bossi-Beyerlen collection in Munich, formed by the painter Johann Dominik Bossi, who was born in Trieste and may have been a student of Domenico Tiepolo in Venice. Bossi owned some eight hundred and ﬁfty drawings by both Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo, of which about six hundred and thirty were studies in black or red chalk on blue paper and the remainder in pen and grey or brown ink. At his death, Bossi’s collection of drawings passed to his daughter Maria Theresa Caroline Bossi and her husband Carl Christian Friedrich Beyerlen. In March 1882, six months after the death of Maria Theresa Bossi, the drawings were sold at auction in Stuttgart and dispersed. A later owner of the present sheet was the art dealer Kurt Cassirer (1883-1975).
1. Adriano Mariuz, ‘The Drawings of Giambattista Tiepolo’, in Giandomenico Romanelli et al, Masterpieces of Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawing, London and New York, 1983, p.22. 2. Inv. 35128; Knox, op.cit., Vol.I, p.97, no.A.57; Vol.II, pl.67. 3. Fernando Rigon et al, ed., I Tiepolo e il Settecento vicentino, exhibition catalogue, Vicenza and elsewhere, 1990, pp.180-181, no.2.4.1 (illustrated in reverse). 4. Inv. D.1825.131-1885; George Knox, Catalogue of the Tiepolo Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1975, p.82, no.234, ﬁg.234.
8 GIOVANNI DOMENICO TIEPOLO Venice 1727–1804 Venice A Stag by a Riverbank Pen and brown ink and brown wash, over traces of an underdrawing in black chalk, with framing lines in brown ink. Signed Dom.o Tiepolo f. in brown ink at the lower left. Numbered 11 in pencil on the verso. 184 x 252 mm. (7 1/4 x 9 7/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 2 July 1990, lot 78; Private collection; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 9 July 2003, lot 57; Private collection, Bergamo. LITERATURE: Adelheid M. Gealt and George Knox, ed., Giandomenico Tiepolo: Scene di vita quotidiana a Venezia e nella terraferma, Venice, 2005, p.105, under no.17. Soon after Giambattista Tiepolo’s sudden death in Madrid in 1770, his son Domenico returned to Venice, where he enjoyed much success as a decorative painter. Within a few years, however, he seems to have largely abandoned painting. In his sixties and living in retirement at the Tiepolo family villa at Zianigo, on the Venetian mainland near Padua, Domenico produced a large number of pen and wash drawings that are a testament to his inexhaustible gift for compositional invention. The mature works as a draughtsman for which he is best known are, for the most part, executed in pen and wash, and may collectively be regarded as his ﬁnest artistic legacy. Many of these drawings were signed by the artist; indeed, more signed drawings by Domenico are known than by any other Italian artist of the 18th century or earlier. This is one of a group of studies of various animals and birds that have been dated to the latter part of Domenico Tiepolo’s career, after his return from Spain in 1770, and perhaps as late as the 1790s. The scholar James Byam Shaw has associated these drawings with the fresco decoration of the Villa Tiepolo at Zianigo; most of the frescoes in the rooms of this small country house were detached in 1907 and are now in Museo del Settecento Veneziano at the Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice. Remnants of several frescoes depicting various animals in landscape settings remain in situ in the villa, however, and some of Domenico’s animal drawings correspond exactly to these. Many drawings of animals by Domenico incorporate a ledge or dado at the bottom, and Byam Shaw suggested that they may have been intended for a frieze running around the upper walls of one or more of the rooms in the villa at Zianigo. Byam Shaw further noted of these drawings of animals that ‘if most of these drawings belong to the latter part of Domenico Tiepolo’s career, it is also evident that his interest in drawing animals goes back a good deal further in date...twenty, thirty, even forty years earlier perhaps; and that he collected from one source or another, at that time, certain animal patterns that he kept by him, as he kept other models, for the rest of his life. From one source or another: for the truth is that relatively few of these animals, certainly not the more exotic ones, were observed from life.’1 Indeed, a number of studies of animals by Domenico seem to have been based on prints by other artists, notably Johann Elias Ridinger and Stefano Della Bella, as well as paintings and frescoes by his father Giambattista Tiepolo. As Byam Shaw has perceptively written, ‘Many of the individual drawings of animals, from whatever source...must have remained in Domenico’s portfolios, to be used again and again to the end of his career...It is perhaps a little disappointing, or at least disconcerting to our present ideas of artistic proprieties, to ﬁnd that so few of the animals were drawn from life...But experience of Domenico’s methods does not encourage illusions in this respect; and generally it was not his way to trouble himself with a living model if a pictorial one, his own or someone else’s, was at hand.’2 Stags and deer are relatively uncommon in Domenico Tiepolo’s work, although some appear in one of the overdoor frescoes at Zianigo, as well as in a handful of pen and wash drawings. In common with many of his studies of animals, the present sheet is derived from an etching of a stag in a forest (ﬁg.1) by
the 18th century German painter and printmaker Johann Elias Ridinger. The print is part of a series of etchings of wild animals by Ridinger, published in Augsburg in 1736. (As Byam Shaw has posited, ‘The Tiepolo family, or their way to Würzburg at the end of 1750, certainly passed through Augsburg, and no doubt made the acquaintance of Ridinger, who was then at the height of his career. Did he perhaps present the young Domenico with a collection of his prints?’3) The drawing differs from the Ridinger print in the size of the creature’s antlers and the much more simpliﬁed landscape background; indeed, Domenico was adept at translating the pose of an animal taken from an earlier print into a more lively and engaging subject for a drawing. The body of the stag in the present sheet, though not its head, was reused by Domenico Tiepolo at the extreme left edge of a drawing of A Man Looking Through a Fence at a Herd of Deer (ﬁg.2) in the collection of Peter Marino in New York4; one of a large series of ﬁnished genre drawings of the early 1790s known as the ‘Scenes of Contemporary Life’. Domenico Tiepolo is best known today for his remarkable and diverse corpus of drawings. As Michael Levey writes of the artist, ‘Although he mastered the art of painting, he was – even more patently than his father – a draughtsman at heart. It is in his drawings (and in one or two frescoes) that he seems most happily and utterly himself.’5 As Byam Shaw adds, ‘Domenico Tiepolo’s drawings have special virtues of their own, and it is as a draughtsman that he expresses his personality most effectively.’6
1. James Byam Shaw, The Drawings of Domenico Tiepolo, London, 1962, p.43. 2. Ibid., p.45. 3. James Byam Shaw, ‘The remaining Frescoes in the Villa Tiepolo at Zianigo’, The Burlington Magazine, November 1959; reprinted in London, Colnaghi, J.B.S. Selected Writings, 1968, p.124. 4. Byam Shaw and Knox, op.cit., p.182, ﬁg.29, under no.150; Adelheid M. Gealt and George Knox, ed., Domenico Tiepolo: Master Draftsman, exhibition catalogue, Udine and Bloomington, 1996-1997, p.200, no.139; Gealt and Knox, ed., op.cit., 2005, pp.104-105, no.17. 5. Michael Levey, Giambattista Tiepolo: His Life and Art, New Haven and London, 1986, p.134. 6. Byam Shaw, op.cit., 1962, p.17.
9 PIERRE-JOSEPH REDOUTÉ Saint-Hubert 1759-1840 Paris Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Watercolour and pencil, with touches of gum arabic, on vellum. 473 x 342 mm. (18 5/8 x 13 1/2 in.) PROVENANCE: Part of sixteen bound albums containing 487 original watercolour drawings on vellum by Redouté for Les Liliacées, acquired directly from the artist by the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte, Château de Malmaison; By descent to her son, Prince Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, later Duke of Leuchtenberg, Seeon-Seebruck, Bavaria; Thence by descent with the Dukes of Leuchtenberg until 1935; Leuchtenberg library sale, Zurich, Braus-Riggenbach and Ulrico Hoepli, 23-24 May 1935, lot 82 (bt. Weyhe for 49,000 Swiss francs); Erhard Weyhe, New York; Thence by descent to a private family trust until 1985; Anonymous sale (‘Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s Les Liliacées: The Empress Josephine’s Copy with the Original Drawings and the Text on Vellum’), New York, Sotheby’s, 20 November 1985, this watercolour as lot 473 (the entire group sold for $5,500,000); W. Graham Arader, New York; The present sheet later acquired by a private collection. LITERATURE: Peter and Frances Mallary, A Redouté Treasury: 468 Watercolours from Les Liliacées of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, London, 1986, p.41, no.36. Known in his day as ‘the Raphael of ﬂowers’, the Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté was among the ﬁnest botanical painters of the 18th and 19th centuries, and arguably remains the most famous to this day. Born in the Ardennes, Redouté arrived in Paris in 1782 and, at the age of twenty-three, was employed and mentored by the wealthy magistrate and botanist Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle. L’Héritier gave the young artist instruction in botany and plant dissection, allowed him access to his extensive library of books and specimens, and commissioned many illustrations from him. In 1787 Redouté accompanied L’Héritier on a trip to England, where they visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the artist learned the technique of stipple engraving from Francesco Bartolozzi. On his return to Paris Redouté soon earned a reputation as a botanical illustrator. His work for L’Héritier brought him to the attention of the ﬂower painter Gérard van Spaendonck, who was in charge of the vélins du roi, a series of several thousand natural history drawings on vellum begun in the 17th century by Louis XIII’s brother Gaston, Duc d’Orléans. Van Spaendonck was a particular inﬂuence on the younger artist’s manner of achieving luminous effects in painting with watercolour on vellum, and commissioned Redouté to make several hundred ﬂower drawings for the vélins du roi (by then known as the vélins du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle). Redouté was also active as a drawing teacher, and counted many members of the Parisian upper classes and nobility among his clients and patrons. After the Revolution, Redouté’s role of ofﬁcial artist was transferred to the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle at the Jardin Botanique, where he continued to work. He enjoyed the particular patronage of Napoleon’s wife Joséphine, who began employing the artist in 1798 (eventually paying him a salary of up to 18,000 francs a year) and for whom he produced some of his ﬁnest work. Joséphine loved ﬂowers and gardens, and commissioned the artist to record her collection of plants at her estate at Malmaison, a few miles west of Paris. Redouté drew illustrations for Etienne Pierre Ventenant’s Jardin de la Malmaison, published between 1803 and 1805, and the Description des plantes rares cultivées à Malmaison et à Navarre by Aimé Bonpland, which appeared in 1813. Redouté’s largest and most ambitious work, however, is his Les Liliaceés, a compendium of illustrations of the different members of the lily family which was published by the artist, in an edition of only two hundred copies, between 1802 and 1816. This lavish production was followed by the equally extravagant Les Roses, comprising 170 plates, which appeared between 1817 and 1824, and is perhaps the artist’s best-known work. Long after Joséphine’s death in 1814, Redouté continued to produce elaborate and beautiful watercolour drawings of ﬂowers for sale to collectors. Although he enjoyed the patronage of the 19th century
Bourbon monarchy, in later years he often found himself in ﬁnancial difﬁculties. In 1822, following the death of Van Spaendonck, Redouté was appointed maître de dessin at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Regarded as Redouté’s masterpiece and one of the ﬁnest illustrated books ever published, Les Liliaceés occupied the artist for fourteen years, and involved the assistance of three botanists and eighteen engravers. In his introduction to Les Liliaceés, Redouté wrote, ‘I have chosen for the subject of this new work, of which I am sole proprietor, the family of Liliaceae, so interesting for its variety of forms and for the brilliance and richness of their colors. The plants of this brilliant series will be drawn, engraved, and colored with the luxury of detail with which nature has embellished them. Long researches into the best means of engraving to produce a colored impression, and numerous trials, have shown me that art can capture and record the impact and the varied nuances that we admire in these ﬂowers.’ He goes on to note that, since plants of the Liliaceae family were very difﬁcult to keep preserved in herbaria, or as dried specimens, his accurate illustrations of them would be of great beneﬁt to naturalists. Published in eighty instalments, the complete work contains a total of 486 hand-coloured engraved plates illustrating 476 different species of plants, each based on a highly ﬁnished watercolour on vellum by Redouté. Although not commissioned by the Empress Joséphine, this immense project could not have been undertaken without her support and patronage, and she was eventually to purchase the complete set of original preparatory watercolours for Les Liliaceés from the artist. As has been noted of Redouté’s Les Liliaceés, ‘Although the plates are spectacular examples of the botanical engraver’s art…they cannot equal the coloristic brilliance, accuracy, and luminosity of the originals. On vellum sheets of the ﬁnest quality, Redouté made only the lightest outline in pencil, over which he applied pure watercolor to achieve the full effect, conveying with matchless skill the delicate gradations in the shade of petals and foliage. The ﬂowers seem to break free of the ﬂat vellum surface, inviting the viewer to reach out and pluck them up. Indeed, it is the creamy quality of the vellum, smoother than any paper, that gives the drawings their special incandescence. Redouté took inﬁnite care with the arrangement of his plants and their placement on the page. All but the largest specimens are reproduced at life-size, and never do the supplementary pencil drawings of bud, bulbs, seed, and other details detract from the impact of the complete plant.’1 Despite its title, Les Liliaceés included not only plants of the Liliaceae family, which in fact account for only about half of the species illustrated, but also numerous other species of monocots with petal-like ﬂowers; all from the gardens of Malmaison, Saint-Cloud, Sèvres and Versailles. Les Liliaceés includes depictions of plants from, among others, the families Agavaceae, Alismaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Cannaceae, Iridaceae, Strelitziaceae and, as in the case of the present sheet, Ziniberaceae, or ginger family. Turmeric is a ﬂowering plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Its roots, when ground into powder, are often used for medicinal and cooking purposes (particularly as a spice for curries) and also for dyeing fabric. At the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, and likely at Malmaison as well, the turmeric plant ﬂowers in the month of August, which is probably when Redouté painted it. The 487 original watercolours by Redouté for Les Liliaceés – including the present sheet - were acquired from the artist by the Empress Joséphine (1763-1814) and bound, together with a copy of the text also printed on vellum, into sixteen large folio volumes2. At the death of the Empress, the Redouté albums were inherited by her son, Prince Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824). They remained with his descendants until 1935, when they were sold at auction in Switzerland and acquired by a rare book and print dealer in New York. The volumes were sold at auction ﬁfty years later, after which they were broken up and the watercolours for Les Liliaceés subsequently dispersed among various public and private collections.
1. Mallary, op.cit., p.20. 2. Although the printed book includes 486 plates, there were a total of 487 watercolours in the albums acquired by Joséphine, since a pair of watercolours, each depicting a different version of the same narcissus, were both given the same plate number.
10 JACQUES BARRABAND Aubusson 1768-1809 Lyon A Male Blue-Throated Barbet (Megalaima asiatica) Watercolour and gouache over an underdrawing in black chalk. Signed Barraband in brown ink in the centre. Numbered No.21 in pencil at the lower right, and 24 / x245 in pencil at the upper right. 522 x 386 mm. (20 1/2 x 15 1/4 in.) PROVENANCE: Marcel Jeanson, Paris; Thence by descent until 1988; Jeanson sale, Monaco, Sotheby’s, 16 June 1988, lot 241; W. Graham Arader, New York; Private collection. LITERATURE: François Levaillant, Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers, suivie des celle des toucans et des barbus, Vol.II, Paris, 1806, pl.21. Relatively little is known of the life of the ornithological and botanical painter Jacques Barraband, one of the ﬁnest natural history draughtsmen of the early years of the 19th century in France. The son of a tapestry worker in Aubusson, he was a pupil of the ﬂower painter Joseph-Laurent Malaine at the Académie Royale in Paris. Barraband began his career painting designs for the Aubusson, Beauvais, Gobelins and Savonnerie tapestry factories, as well as for the porcelain manufactory at Sèvres. Several of his porcelain designs were exhibited between 1798 and 1806 at the Paris Salons. Among his most important commissions was a series of watercolours of birds and ﬂowers, executed between 1801 and 1804 for the First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, who also employed the artist to decorate the dining room of the Château de Saint-Cloud, demolished at the end of the 19th century. Additionally, Barraband collaborated with the architects and designers Percier and Fontaine in the promotion of the Empire style, notably in the decoration of a room installed in 1804 in the Casa del Labrador, a neoclassical palace in Aranjuez in Spain. Barraband’s mature career lasted only some eleven years, and just a handful of oil paintings, porcelain works and tapestries by the artist have survived. He is instead best known for his superb, lifelike watercolours of tropical birds, usually based on mounted specimens, which he sometimes exhibited at the Salons. Perhaps his most beautiful works in this vein were several hundred remarkable drawings of exotic birds in watercolour and gouache that he produced for three seminal books by the ornithologist François Levaillant: the Histoire naturelle des perroquets, published between 1801 and 1805, the Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers, suivie des celle des toucans et des barbus, which appeared in 1806, and the Histoire naturelle des promérops et des guêpiers, published in 1807. Barraband was appointed a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon in 1807, and died there two years later, at the age of forty-one. This large watercolour is a preparatory study for one of the 197 engraved plates in Levaillant’s twovolume Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers, suivie des celle des toucans et des barbus, appearing in reverse in the published work. The drawing depicts the blue-throated barbet (Megalaima asiatica), a member of the Asian barbet family of birds native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Characterized by bright green, blue and red feathers, barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. As one modern writer has noted of Barraband’s watercolours for Levaillant, ‘they are considered among the most beautiful bird drawings in existence. Barraband often showed his subject in proﬁle, perched on a short tree branch jutting into the empty space of the sheet; no one else equalled his mastery in the rendering of feathers, in evoking their fragility, stiffness, or incredible lightness…The evocative power of these realistic and precise works, featuring all the colours of the rainbow, is almost dream-inducing.’1
1. Madeleine Pinault, The Painter as Naturalist from Dürer to Redouté, Paris, 1991, p.204.
11 THÉODORE GERICAULT Rouen 1791-1824 Paris Study of a Lion at Rest Pen and brown ink and grey wash, with touches of red wash and pencil. Laid down. 99 x 117 mm. (3 7/8 x 4 5/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Possibly the artist’s illegitimate son, Georges-Hippolyte Gericault, Paris; Louise Marie Becq de Fouquières, Paris; By descent to her grandson, André de Fouquières, Paris; Georges Renand, Paris; Thence by descent until 1988; Renand sale (‘Collection Georges Renand’), Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 15 March 1988, lot 25; Private collection. LITERATURE: Germain Bazin, Théodore Géricault: Étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné, Vol. VII; Regard social et politique: Le séjour anglais et les heures de souffrance, Paris, 1997, p.144, no.2330. EXHIBITED: Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Dessins de l’ecole moderne, 1884, part of nos.318 or 320 (four drawings in one frame, lent by Mme. Becq de Fouquières); Paris, Hôtel Jean Charpentier, Exposition d’oeuvres de Géricault, 1924, part of no.211. When Théodore Gericault died in January 1824, at the age of thirty-three, he was best known as the painter of The Raft of the Medusa, which had caused a sensation when it was exhibited at the Salon of 1819. The public at large knew little or nothing of his work as a draughtsman, so when the contents of the artist’s studio – containing some 220 paintings and several hundred drawings and sketchbooks - were sold at auction in November 1824, the works on paper were a revelation, and were eagerly acquired by collectors. A number of important collections of drawings and watercolours by Gericault were formed in France in the 19th century, and works by the artist have remained popular with collectors and connoisseurs ever since. Gericault seems to have been interested in lions from early in his career, as is evident in some of his student sketchbooks. (One such small sketchbook, datable to c.1812-1814 and now in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, contains numerous studies of lions, including copies after paintings of lions and lion hunts by Rubens, as well as sketches of live lions which were likely made at the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.) The artist was also fascinated by the subject of a horse being attacked by a lion, a theme he would have known from prints after George Stubbs’s paintings of lions and horses in combat that he copied even before his visit to England in 1820-1821. As the Gericault scholar Lorenz Eitner has written of the artist, ‘He shared his fascinated admiration for beasts of prey with other French artists of his generation, notably with Delacroix and Barye. The struggle between animals, or between men and animals, is a theme which runs through all his work. It clearly was something more to him than a picturesque spectacle; the untamed animal seems to have embodied for him the very force and fatality of nature.’1 This small but powerful drawing of a lion by Gericault, almost certainly drawn from life, probably dates from his stay in London in 1820 and 1821, or just after his return to Paris. Inspired by the works of Stubbs, Edwin Landseer and James Ward, Gericault made several drawings after wild animals in London, with a particular emphasis on studies of lions. (Although the London Zoo in Regent’s Park was not established until 1828, and was only opened to the public in 1847, the artist would have been able to study lions at the menagerie at the Tower of London or at a private zoo such as the Exeter Exchange Menagerie on the Strand.) Most of Gericault’s surviving studies of lions seem to have been trimmed from larger sheets, and it has been suggested that many of them may have been part of a sketchbook used by the artist during his English period.
The present sheet develops Gericault’s interest in studying lions at rest, ﬁrst made manifest in a number of pencil drawings found in the earlier Getty sketchbook used in Paris between 1812 and 1814. As one scholar has recently noted, ‘Over an uninterrupted span of ﬁfteen pages in the pocket-sized sketchbook… several studies of resting lions appear. Géricault used these pages to study the folds of paws, the arrangement of limbs, and the proﬁles of his subjects…The variability of these sketches and the fact that many of them concentrate on the details of individual faces of lions, especially resting ones, also suggest direct contact with his recumbent, captive subjects.’2 Gericault’s draughtsmanship changed somewhat while he was in England, when he moved away from the precise working-up of his earlier drawings in favour of a more spontaneous, tonal approach. He used the pen far less than he had previously, and hatching is only occasionally found in his drawings of this period. The artist preferred instead to make quick pencil or pen sketches, overlaid with boldlyapplied washes of watercolour. Indeed, Gericault’s English watercolours tend to display a more luminous quality than the drawings of his earlier Parisian or Italian periods; in them colour becomes as important as line, if not more so. Among stylistically comparable watercolour studies of lions by Gericault are a drawing of a Lion and Lioness in the Louvre3 and a Study of a Lion in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon4. Seated lions, depicted in proﬁle to the left, are also found in pen drawings in the Musée Bonnat-Helleu in Bayonne5 and a sheet of studies in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris6, while a similar head of a lion in proﬁle occurs in a black chalk drawing of two lions in the Musée Bonnat-Helleu7. A small pencil sketch of the head of a seated lion facing left, in a private collection, is close to the present sheet in composition8. As Lorenz Eitner has noted, ‘Géricault’s life studies of lions, tigers and leopards are numerous and difﬁcult to date. On grounds of style, the many rapid pencil sketches and the occasional, more elaborately worked up wash and watercolour drawings would seem to ﬁt best into the English years, or the period immediately after…These splendidly realistic pencil sketches, ﬁnished with broad washes of watercolour, exemplify – as impressively as any of his human subjects of the time – his powers of physiognomic observation.’9 The ﬁrst owner of this drawing was the artist Louise Marie Becq de Fouquières (1824-1891), the sister of the painter Alfred De Dreux, a disciple of Gericault. Among Becq de Fouquières’s closest friends was Gericault’s son, Georges-Hippolyte Gericault (1818-1882), with whom she maintained an extensive correspondence, and from whom she may have acquired this drawing. The present sheet was lent by her to an exhibition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1884, when it was one of four small drawings framed together. What may be another drawing from this framed group is a small pencil study of a lion seen from in front, which also once belonged to Becq de Fouquières and is now in a private collection10.
1. Lorenz Eitner, Géricault, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles and elsewhere, 1971-1972, p.145, under no.101. 2. Katie Hornstein, ‘From Museum to Menagerie: Théodore Géricault and the Leonine Subject’, The Art Bulletin, March 2019, pp.30-31, ﬁgs.7-9. 3. Inv. RF 1456; Eitner, op.cit., p.145, no.101; Philippe Grunchec, Master Drawings by Gericault, exhibition catalogue, New York and elsewhere, 1985-1986, p.173, under no.93, ﬁg.93b; Bazin, op.cit., p.152, no.2350; Hornstein, ibid., p.40, ﬁg.12. 4. Inv. 2093; Grunchec, ibid., pp.172-173, no.93; Bazin, op.cit., pp.143-144, no.2328, illustrated in colour p.33. 5. Inv. 700; Grunchec, op.cit., pp.173, under no.93, ﬁg.92a; Bazin, op.cit., p.143, no.2327. 6. Inv. 973; Gary Tinterow, Gericault’s Heroic Landscapes: The Times of Day, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1990-1991, p.42, under no.4, ﬁg.4a. 7. Inv. 797; Bazin, op.cit., p.148, no.2340. 8. Bazin, op.cit., pp.144-145, no.2331. 9. Lorenz Eitner, Géricault: His Life and Work, London, 1983, pp.352, note 97 and p.254. 10. Bazin, op.cit., p.144, no.2329.
12 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Three Plums on a Branch Watercolour. 172 x 227 mm. (6 3/4 x 9 in.) The son and pupil of the wallpaper painter and landscapist Theodorus Hekking, Willem Hekking also studied draughtsmanship with Anthonie van den Bosch in Amsterdam, where he lived and worked for his entire life. Although he began his career as a painter of wall hangings, he became best known as a watercolour draughtsman and painter, exhibiting highly ﬁnished still life subjects of ﬂowers and fruit in Amsterdam and Rotterdam between 1813 and 1856. His son and pupil Willem Hekking the Younger worked as a landscape draughtsman, lithographer and painter in Amsterdam, while among his other pupils were Marina Adriana Maria van Toulon and Anna Maria Veeren. Watercolours by the elder Hekking are today in the collections of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and elsewhere. Similar watercolours by Willem Hekking include a study of Five Apricots on a Branch, formerly in the collection of Hans van Leeuwen and sold at auction in Amsterdam in 19991, and a study of Four Plums on a Branch, sold at auction in Amsterdam in 20002, as well as A Branch with Two Plums in the collection of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem3.
13 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Seven Hazelnuts Watercolour. 105 x 150 mm. (4 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.) Comparable watercolours by Hekking include a study of Ten Hazelnuts, sold at auction in 20004.
1. van Leeuwen sale (‘The Hans van Leeuwen Collection. Part III: 19th Century Dutch Master Drawings’), Amsterdam, Christie’s, 10 November 1999, lot 94. 2. Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby’s, 8 November 2000, lot 194. 3. Inv. AA 85a; Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum: Artists Born Between 1740 and 1800, Haarlem / Ghent / Doornspijk, 2004, p.133, no.128. 4. Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby’s, 8 November 2000, lot 191.
14 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam An Orange Watercolour. Inscribed van Amstelring(?) in pencil on the verso. 235 x 178 mm. (9 1/4 x 7 in.) This study of what may be a Seville or bitter orange can be likened, in stylistic terms, to a watercolour of A Branch with Two Plums in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem1 and study of A Lemon, Fruit and Blossom, formerly in the collection of Dr. Anton Dreesmann in Amsterdam2.
15 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Three Walnuts Watercolour. A rapid sketch of leaves(?) drawn in pencil on the verso. 103 x 140 mm. (4 1/8 x 5 1/2 in.) Among comparable watercolours by Willem Hekking is a signed study of Two Nutmeg Seeds in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam3.
1. Inv. AA 85a; Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum: Artists Born Between 1740 and 1800, Haarlem / Ghent / Doornspijk, 2004, p.133, no.128. 2. Dreesmann sale, London, Christieâ€™s, 11 April 2002, lot 709. 3. Inv. PAK 90 (PK). An image of the drawing is visible at https://www.boijmans.nl/en/collection/artists/8246/willem-hekking-i.
16 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Raspberries and Leaves on a Branch Watercolour. Numbered and inscribed 7-12 / 17-7-3, L W / No.26 in pencil on the verso. Further inscribed van Es betaald / het [?] A 2 december / van R[?] / [?] in pencil on the verso. 199 x 166 mm. (7 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.)
17 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Three Greengages on a Branch Watercolour. Numbered 4 in pencil on the verso. 153 x 215 mm. (6 x 8 1/2 in.) Similar watercolours by Hekking include a study of Five Apricots on a Branch, formerly in the collection of Hans van Leeuwen1, and A Branch with Two Plums in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem2.
1. van Leeuwen sale (‘The Hans van Leeuwen Collection. Part III: 19th Century Dutch Master Drawings’), Amsterdam, Christie’s, 10 November 1999, lot 94. 2. Inv. AA 85a; Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum: Artists Born Between 1740 and 1800, Haarlem / Ghent / Doornspijk, 2004, p.133, no.128.
18 WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Two Plums and a Tomato Watercolour. Numbered D / 15-22 and inscribed Prunes d’amour N 57 – S/25 in pencil on the verso. 232 x 179 mm. (8 3/4 x 7 in.) The different fruits depicted in these watercolours by Hekking are very early, almost wild fruit stock, unlike the modern, genetically modiﬁed varieties known today. An inscription on the verso of the present sheet identiﬁes these plums with the French term ‘prunes d’amour’; the term is thought to derive from an apocryphal tale which notes that young men, after courting women at a Sunday dance in the country, would walk them home. When they passed a plum tree, whose fruit was often bitter and difﬁcult to eat unless dried in an oven, the man would offer to eat a freshly-picked plum. If he found it edible, it meant that he was really in love. A similar watercolour study of Two Plums by the artist in the collection of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem1.
19. WILLEM HEKKING THE ELDER Amsterdam 1796-1862 Amsterdam Seven Cobnuts Watercolour. Numbered 10 / 10 and 4 in pencil on the verso. 134 x 210 mm. (5 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.) A closely comparable watercolour of Ten Hazelnuts by Hekking was sold at auction in Amsterdam in 20002.
1. Inv. AA 85b; Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum: Artists Born Between 1740 and 1800, Haarlem / Ghent / Doornspijk, 2004, p.134, no.129. 2. Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby’s, 8 November 2000, lot 191.
20 EUGÈNE-LOUIS LAMI Paris 1800-1890 Paris The Horse L’Eclatant in a Stable Watercolour, over an underdrawing in black chalk. Signed and dated EUGÈNE LAMI. / 1839. in red gouache at the lower left. Inscribed Le cadre / seulement and Aquarelle de Lamy / (se trouvait au cheau de Savignat / chez Mme Hippolyte Carnot / rapportée en 1920 à la mort / de M. Adolphe Carnot son ﬁls / chez Mme Henri Perret Carnot / à Beaune in pencil on the backing board. 380 x 456 mm. (15 x 18 in.) PROVENANCE: Possibly François Dupont de Savignat, Chabanais; His daughter, Claire Jeanne Marie Dupont, Mme. Louis-Hippolyte Carnot, Château de Savignat, Chabanais; By descent to her son, Marie-Adolphe Carnot, Paris, until 1920; By descent to his daughter, Marie Marguerite Jeanne Carnot, Mme. Henri Perret, Beaune; Private collection; Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Pierre Bergé & Associés], 13 June 2014, lot 43. LITERATURE: Possibly Paul-André Lemoisne, L’oeuvre d’Eugène Lami (1800-1890), Paris, 1914, p.226, no.995 (‘Étude de cheval gris pommelé à l’écurie. Dess. aquarellé. – No 90 de la vente du 12 mars 1851.’). After spending some time in the studio of Horace Vernet, Eugène Lami entered the studio of AntoineJean Gros at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1817, remaining there for three years. Among his fellow pupils were Paul Delaroche and Richard Parkes Bonington, both of whom were to have an inﬂuence on his work. He also became friendly with Théodore Gericault, with whom he shared an abiding interest in equestrian themes. Although he painted military subjects in the early part of his career, as well as numerous studies of military costumes, Lami was to make his reputation as a watercolourist and a master in the depiction of elegant society. He made his debut at the Salon in 1824, with a painting of an episode from a recent French military campaign, and the same year was awarded a medal by Charles X. He spent much of the 1830s at work on thirteen large battle scenes for the Galerie des Batailles at the Château of Versailles. Lami’s appointment in 1832 as court painter to Louis-Philippe at Versailles gave him the opportunity to draw many scenes of formal and informal court life, as well as painting highly ﬁnished watercolours depicting the important events of the July Monarchy. He was also appointed as drawing master to the King’s son, the Duc de Nemours. Lami made his ﬁrst visit to London in 1826, in the company of Camille Rocqueplan, and returned to England between 1848 and 1852, when he followed Louis-Philippe into exile. While in England he produced watercolour scenes of the fashionable society of London and the court of Queen Victoria, and sent a constant stream of work back to Paris to be exhibited at the Salons. (Lami was himself something of a stylish character, and as Charles Baudelaire noted of him, he was ‘the poet of dandyism, almost English in his love of things aristocratic.’) Among his other signiﬁcant patrons were Prince Anatole Demidoff, who described the artist as ‘one of my good friends and one of the most distinguished French painters of our times’, and Baron James de Rothschild, for whom Lami acted as an artistic advisor, planning and supervising the decoration of the Rothschild chateaux at Boulogne and Ferrières. He was a gifted illustrator and lithographer, and in 1879 was one of the founding members of the Société des Aquarellistes Français. Lami continued to work proliﬁcally until his death in 1890, a few weeks shy of his ninety-ﬁrst birthday. Signiﬁcant groups of his drawings and watercolours are today in the collections of the Musée Condé in Chantilly, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Louvre and in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. This large watercolour is closely related to an earlier lithograph (ﬁg.1) - after a drawing by Eugène Lami - by his friend Paul Delaroche, which bears the caption ‘L’Eclatant, Etalon du haras royal du Pin’ and was published in 1823. (Located in the département of the Orne in southern Normandy, the Haras National du Pin is the oldest of the French national stud farms.) As the Delaroche scholar Stephen Bann
has noted of the print, ‘in 1823, Delaroche published a lithograph after a drawing by Eugène Lami at the press of Villain, also used by Carle Vernet. Titled L’Eclatant – A Stallion at the Royal Stud du Pin, it closely recalls similar works by Carle Vernet and Géricault, even to the virtuosity with which the gris pommelé (dappled grey) coat of the stallion is rendered. Lami was himself a practised lithographer by this stage, and Delaroche most certainly did not ﬁll in for his technical deﬁciencies. On the contrary, it seems likely that Delaroche was being instructed by his friend in a technique with whose ﬁner points he was unfamiliar. At any rate L’Eclatant appears to have been the last print that Delaroche published for proﬁt.’1 The present sheet can also be associated with an oil painting by Lami of the same horse, inscribed by the artist ‘L’Eclatant’, which was sold at auction in Paris in 20132. The horse depicted in this watercolour, as well as the related painting and lithograph, may perhaps be identiﬁed as ‘L’Eclatant I’, a horse belonging to the Emperor Napoleon. During his imperial reign of a decade, between 1804 and 1814, Napoleon had around a hundred horses for his personal use, some of which died under him in various battles. Described as a ‘Norman gelding, silvery wine-grey’3, ‘L’Eclatant I’ was retired from service in 1814. Among stylistically comparable drawings in watercolour and gouache by Eugène Lami are a similar study of a horse in a stable, signed and dated 1824, which was sold at auction in London in 19984, and another of a horse in a landscape that appeared at auction in Paris in 20035. The ﬁrst recorded owner of this watercolour was Mme. Hippolyte Carnot (1816-1897), who lived at the Château de Savignat in Chabanais, in the département of Charente. However, she may have inherited the work from her father, François Dupont de Savignat (1769-1846), who served as inspecteur general des haras. The watercolour later passed to her son, the chemist and mining engineer Adolphe Carnot (1813-1920), and thence to his daughter, Marguerite Carnot, Mme. Henri Perret (1867-1957).
1. Stephen Bann, Paul Delaroche: History Painted, London and Princeton, 1997, p.46. 2. Anonymous sale, Paris, Sotheby’s, 27 June 2013, lot 82. 3. ‘Hongre normand, gris vineux argenté, nicté, entré à l’Equipage de selle à Meudon le 23 février 1806, à l’âge de 4 ans, transféré à l’Equipage d’attelage le 14 juillet 1811, il est réformé le 15 octobre 1814.’; Philippe Osché, Les chevaux de Napoléon, 2002, p.89. 4. Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s South Kensington, 21 April 1998, lot 338. 5. Sale (‘Ancienne Collection du Baron Hottinger’), Paris, Christie’s, 3 December 2003, lot 669.
21 THOMAS HARTLEY CROMEK London 1809-1873 Wakeﬁeld Study of Mullein, Ariccia Watercolour, over traces of a pencil underdrawing. Signed, inscribed and dated T.H. CROMEK / Ariccia / 11 Augt. 1845. in brown ink, over pencil, at the bottom centre. 183 x 208 mm. (7 1/4 x 8 1/8 in.) PROVENANCE: W/S Fine Art, London, in 2010. Much of what is known of Thomas Hartley Cromek’s life and career is based on a journal he wrote, entitled Reminiscences at Home and Abroad, 1812-1855, which only came to light in the latter half of the 20th century. (The manuscript remains unpublished, and is today in the possession of one of the artist’s descendants.) The son of an engraver and editor, Cromek was born in London and educated in Wakeﬁeld in Yorkshire, later completing his studies in Leeds. He ﬁrst travelled to Italy in 1830, accompanying his mother to Florence and Rome, where she had gone for the sake of her health. In Rome he met the brothers Edward and Henry Cheney, who became his ﬁrst important patrons, and made numerous watercolours of the churches and ruins of the Eternal City, which proved commercially successful. Cromek was to spend much of the next twenty years living and working in the country, mainly in Rome and Florence, but with occasional visits back to England. Cromek met and befriended several English artists in Italy, including Clarkson Stanﬁeld, Joseph Severn and John Frederick Lewis, and he gave drawing lessons to several distinguished English visitors, including, in November 1837, Edward Lear. That same year several of Cromek’s watercolours were acquired by Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany; an honour which ﬁrmly established the artist’s reputation and led to numerous commissions in both Florence and Rome. In 1843 two of his watercolours were purchased by Queen Victoria, and the decade of the 1840s found Cromek at the height of his success. The artist made two trips to Greece, in 1834 and 1845, during which he painted some of his ﬁnest watercolours. In 1849 Cromek was forced to leave Rome by the outbreak of the First Italian War of Independence, and he returned to England for good. The following year he exhibited four works at the Royal Academy and was elected to the New Society of Painters in Water Colours as an associate member. However, he never achieved the same level of success in England as he had in Italy. Cromek seems to have produced almost no paintings after 1860, as his health gradually failed and he lost the use of his hands, and he died in relative obscurity in Yorkshire in 1873. The present sheet was drawn during the summer of 1845 at Ariccia, a town near Lake Nemi in the Roman Campagna, south of the city. Cromek often made sketching expeditions around the Campagna, including the towns of Ariccia, Frascati and Tivoli. Depicted in this watercolour is a ﬂowering plant known as the great or common mullein (Verbascum thapsus), found throughout Europe and Asia but particularly common around the Mediterranean. The leaves of the mullein, which can grow to up to two metres in height, have long been used in traditional herbal medicine. Among stylistically comparable nature studies by Cromek is a drawing of A Branch with Leaves, one of several watercolours by the artist today in the possession of his great-grandson, Wilfrid Warrington1. A similar watercolour study of a mullein, inscribed and dated ‘Ariccia July 29, 1848’, is also in the collection of Cromek’s descendants.
1. Leeds, Harewood House and Bath, Holburne Museum, Thomas Hartley Cromek: A Classical Vision, exhibition catalogue, 1999-2000, p.38, ﬁg.11.
22 LEOPOLD ZINÖGGER Linz 1811-1872 Linz Parrot Tulips Watercolour, over a pencil underdrawing, on laid paper. Faintly signed with the artist’s initials L.Z. in pencil at the lower right. Numbered 31.486/6 in pencil at the lower left. Inscribed, signed and dated Agu. Pudie.(?) v. Leop. Zinnögger Linz / mai 1850 in pencil on the verso. 273 x 231 mm. (10 3/4 x 9 1/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Private collection, Austria. The son of a gardener, the 19th century Austrian painter and amateur botanist Leopold Zinögger enrolled in the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1830. Five years later, he held his ﬁrst exhibition at the Landesmuseum in Linz, together with his friend and fellow student Johan Baptist Reiter. In 1836 Zinögger was awarded the Heinrich-Füger Prize for a ﬂower painting. Despite this accolade, however, his application for a travel grant to study ﬂower painting in Holland was rejected in 1837. After turning down the offer of a teaching position at the Vienna Akademie, Zinögger worked with the botanist Johann Baptiste Duftschmid, conducting experiments in plant breeding and making discoveries concerning the reproduction of orchids. Between 1849 and 1862, he was employed as a drawing teacher at a grammar school and also gave private lessons, while at the same time running his father’s plant nursery. He continued to paint, and eventually completed over 320 works. When the Oberösterreichische Kunstverein (Upper Austrian Art Association) was established in Linz in 1851, Zinögger was among the founding members and showed four still life paintings at the group’s inaugural exhibition that year. He continued to take part in every exhibition of the Kunstverein in Linz from then onwards. The artist died in Linz in 1872, at the age of sixty-one. This watercolour depicts a ‘parrot’ tulip, one of the ﬁfteen divisions or groups into which the larger family of tulips (Tulipa) are sorted. These large, exotic plants ﬂower in mid to late spring, and derive their name from their vibrant colouring – with patterns in combinations of red and yellow or red and white - and long petals with fringed, curly edges. As Beeton’s Gardening Book, published in 1874, noted of them, ‘The parrot tulip has a singularly picturesque appearance; the ﬂowers are large and the colours brilliant, so that when planted in ﬂower-borders and the front of shrubberies they produce a most striking effect. When grown in hanging baskets, and so planted as to cause their large gay ﬂowers to droop over the side, the effect is remarkable and unique.’1 The particular type of parrot tulip depicted here would seem to be either a ‘Markgraaf van Baden’, ﬁrst introduced in 1750 and one of the most celebrated of all tulips, or a ‘Cafe Brun’ tulip, dating from 1840; both cultivars are a deep yellow, patterned with scarlet.
1. Samuel Orchart Beeton, Beeton’s Gardening Book, London, 1874, p.63.
23 ALOYS ZÖTL Freistadt 1803-1887 Eferding Two Amazonian Horned Frogs (Ceratophrys cornuta) Watercolour. Signed and dated Alois Zötl fecit am 14 Juni 1884 in black ink in the lower right margin. Inscribed Amphibien Taf.37 in black ink in the lower left margin. Further inscribed Weibchen, Die Hornkröte. Rano cornuta. and Mänchen. in black ink in the bottom margin. Numbered 86 in pencil in the lower right margin. 327 x 425 mm. (12 7/8 x 16 3/4 in.) [image] 410 x 508 mm. (16 1/8 x 20 in.) [sheet] From 1831 until his death in 1887, the obscure Austrian dyer and amateur artist Aloys Zötl produced an extensive series of very large and beautifully drawn watercolours of exotic animals, known as the Bestiarium. This massive project was to be his life’s work, although its purpose remains unknown. The watercolours of the Bestiarium, characterized by a brilliant technique and rich colouring, allied to the unbridled imagination of the artist, do not seem to have ever been reproduced in his lifetime, either as prints or in the form of a book. Hardly anything is known of the life of Zötl. The son of a master dyer, he was born in Freistadt in Upper Austria and took up his father’s profession, as did one of his brothers, while another became a bookseller. Following his marriage Zötl moved to the village of Eferding, about forty kilometres from Freistadt, where he remained for the rest of his life. He died on October 21st, 1887, after a long illness. His last watercolour, a study of exotic seashells, was dated only eighteen days earlier, on October 3rd. While the animals in Zötl’s watercolours are generally portrayed with a high degree of accuracy, they are given a sort of added symbolism in the way in which the artist has depicted them on the page. Most of these remarkable watercolours show the animals in some form of natural habitat, although this at times seems to verge on the imaginary. It is not known if these spectacular works were the result of a commission or - as is perhaps most likely, given the fact that they were part of a project that seems to have lasted over ﬁfty years - simply an astonishing, and lifelong, labour of love. Certainly, all of the watercolours of Zötl’s Bestiarium remained together for almost seventy years after the artist’s death. As an artist, Aloys Zötl remained almost completely unknown until a decade after the Second World War, when a large group of 320 of his animal and natural history watercolours were sold in two auctions in Paris in 1955 and 1956, for sums between 7,000 and 190,000 francs apiece. Nothing is known of the earlier provenance of these works, which were consigned for sale by a descendant of an Austrian family. Writing shortly after the ﬁrst sale of 150 watercolours from the Bestiarium in December 1955, at which he purchased eleven works, the writer André Breton likened Zötl’s work to that of Henri Rousseau, and identiﬁed a distinct Surrealist sensibility in much of his oeuvre. As he noted, ‘Lacking any biographical details about the artist, one can only indulge one’s fantasies in imagining the reasons which might have induced this workman from Upper Austria, a dyer by profession, to undertake so zealously between 1832 and 1887 the elaboration of the most sumptuous bestiary ever seen. It would almost seem as though Zötl’s vision, trained professionally to detect the most subtle colours and tones, had endowed him with a mental prism functioning as an instrument of second-sight and revealing to him in succession, back to its most distant origins, the animal kingdom which remains such an enigmatic aspect in each of our lives and which plays such an essential role in the symbolism of the unconscious mind. ’1 This large watercolour depicts two Amazonian (or Surinam) horned frogs (Ceratophrys cornuta); a female frog in the left foreground and a male frog in the right background. Native to countries in the Amazon basin in the northern part of South America, the horned frog is distinguished by horn-like protrusions above its eyes and a very wide mouth. Measuring up to ﬁfteen or twenty centimetres in length, it is a voracious eater, consuming large prey, including lizards, small mammals and other frogs. Indeed, the wide mouth of the horned frog has led to it being commonly known as the Pacman frog, after the video game character.
Zötl seems to have been partial to frogs, and several of his watercolours are devoted to them. Dated 14 June 1884, the present sheet may be related in particular to a smaller watercolour of two horned frogs, dated 21 August 1863 (ﬁg.1), which is today in a private collection2. That watercolour is numbered as plate 36, and thus, despite the difference in date, may have immediately preceded the present sheet, which is numbered plate 37, in the intended arrangement of the ‘Amphibien’ series of watercolours in the Bestiarium. Zötl produced watercolours of several different species of frogs between 1857 and 1886, some of which were included in the ﬁrst sale of works from his studio held in Paris in 1955. Zötl does not seem to have travelled much beyond his home in Eferding in Upper Austria, and it is thought that most of his watercolours must have been derived from his close study of the extensive library of published works of zoology, natural history, ethnography and travel which he owned. The artist may have based this particular watercolour on a colour lithograph of two Ceratophrys varia, illustrated in Friedrich Treitschke’s Naturhistorischer Bildersaal des Thierreichs, published in 18423. As André Breton wrote of the artist, ‘It would be...futile to speculate on the origin of the documents, very few of them probably scenes taken from life, which Zötl used to depict this perfect organic harmony between the animal and its environment, of which he is the living hieroglyph. What is so marvellous in Zötl’s paintings is that these two qualities are constantly expressed in terms of each other, and that the artist’s extraordinary ardour conjures up before our eyes the vision of universal harmony which exists, repressed, in the very depths of our beings.’4 Perhaps best described as a combination of science and fantasy, the watercolours by Aloys Zötl may be regarded as among the most remarkable and original works of natural history of the 19th century.
1. André Breton, Sur l’atelier d’Aloys Zotl, 21 March 1956; reprinted in translation in André Breton, Surrealism and Painting, New York, 1972 [2002 ed.], pp.354-355. 2. Julio Cortazar, Le bestiaire d’Aloys Zotl (1881-1887), Parma and Milan, 1976, illustrated p.79; Giovanni Mariotti, Das Bestiarium von Aloys Zötl (1881-1887), Milan and Geneva, 1979-1980, illustrated p.59; Victor Francès, Contrées de Aloys Zötl, Paris, 2011, illustrated pp.72-73. The watercolour measures 295 x 395 mm. 3. Franz Reitinger, Aloys Zötl oder Die Animalisierung der Kunst, Vienna, 2004, p.109, pl.88. 4. Breton, op.cit., p.355.
24 MAX SELIGER Bublitz/Pommern 1865-1920 Leipzig Study of Trees Watercolour, pen and grey ink and grey wash, heightened with touches of bodycolour, on paper laid down on a thin board. Signed, dated and inscribed M. Seliger VIII 1886 Ernsthöhe. in red gouache at the top of the sheet. Further inscribed, signed and dated Ernsthöhe VII.86 / M. Seliger in black ink at the lower left. 316 x 219 mm. (12 1/2 x 8 5/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale, Berlin, Galerie Bassenge, 8 June 2007, lot 6486; Galerie de Loës, Geneva, in 2007. Born in Bublitz in Pomerania (now Bobolice in Poland), Max Seliger was active as a painter, decorator and mosaicist, although he remains little known outside of Berlin and Leipzig, where he worked for most of his life. In 1893 Seliger was commissioned to decorate the façade of the German pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, while another signiﬁcant public commission was for a series of mural paintings to decorate a school in the town of Wurzen in Saxony. Seliger established a particular reputation as a designer of mosaic decorations. These include a series of mosaics painted for the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin in 1903-1904, while on a more intimate scale is his mosaic on the tomb of his young nephew Fritz Dernburg in the Berlin cemetery of Grunewald, completed in 1895. He also worked as an illustrator and graphic artist, providing a design for the title page of the December 1898 issue of the Kunstgewerbeblatt. Seliger’s most signiﬁcant role, however, seems to have been as a teacher. Between 1901 and his death in 1920 he served as the director of the Königliche Akademie für graphische Kunst and Buchgewerbe (the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts and Printing) in Leipzig, where painting and drawing were taught alongside bookbinding, lettering, typography and printing techniques. In 1924 his book Handschrift und Zeichnung von Künstlern alter und neuer Zeit was posthumously published; this illustrated a collection, assembled by Seliger, of examples of various artists’ handwriting and drawing on single sheet. (As part of his teaching, Seliger was interested in the relationship between an artist’s handwriting and the way in which he drew, and to this end asked numerous artists of his day to provide him with examples of both their writing and drawing on a single sheet of paper. He eventually amassed a collection of 236 examples, today in the Altona Museum in Hamburg.) Among the relatively few works by Max Seliger in public collections are ten drawings for the mosaics of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin, and a group of landscapes, urban views and portraits acquired by the Stadtgeschichtliche Museum in Leipzig from the collection of local collector Armin Hüchelheim. Drawn in 1886, this oil sketch is a ﬁne example of the young Seliger’s interest in painting en plein air. The inscription ‘Ernsthöhe’, written twice on the sheet, probably refers to the area near Coburg in Bavaria where the Schloss Hohenfels was built in 1840. The tree on the right, with a smooth whitish bark, may be a European or common beech tree (Fagus sylvatica), while the tree at the left is perhaps a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). A similar, slightly larger oil sketch of a single tree by Seliger, also drawn at Ernsthöhe and likewise dated 1886, was with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art in 2008 and is today in a private American collection1.
1. Anonymous sale, Berlin, Galerie Bassenge, 8 June 2007, lot 6485; New York and London, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Master Drawings, 2008, no.31.
25 CARTON MOORE-PARK Stewarton, Ayrshire 1877-1956 New York A Stork (Twenty-Six Birds): Design for a Book Illustration Pen and black ink and black wash, with white gouache, over a pencil underdrawing, on board. A small piece of paper correction, for the feet of the stork, pasted onto the centre of the sheet. Titled TWENTYSIX BIRDS in black ink at the bottom. Inscribed and dated Final design and The Book of Birds, 1899 in pencil at the top left and top right. Further inscribed with dimensions and printer’s notes in pencil and blue chalk in the left and right margins. 189 x 290 mm. (7 3/8 x 11 3/8 in.) [image] 306 x 395 mm. (12 x 15 1/2 in.) [sheet] LITERATURE: Carton Moore-Park, The Book of Birds, London, 1900, reproduced on the last page. Born near Glasgow, Frederick Carton Moore-Park studied at the Glasgow School of Art, under Professor Francis Henry (‘Fra’) Newbery between 1893 and 1897. He was best known for his drawings, prints and illustrations of animal subjects, which ﬁrst appeared in the 1890s in the Glasgow Weekly Citizen and Saint Mungo. In 1897 he exhibited a drawing of a bear at the Glasgow Students’ Club, which brought him to the attention of the publishers Blackie & Sons. From them he received a commission to illustrate An Alphabet of Animals, which appeared in 1898 and was a critical and commercial success. By the turn of the century Moore-Park had established a reputation as an illustrator, and as early as 1900, one critic could write that ‘Few artists of twenty-ﬁve are…less immature than Carton Moore Park, and although it would be gratuitously indiscreet to prophesy what he may or may not do, his work already achieves such a degree of accomplishment that we may fairly discuss it deﬁnitely now for what it now is, rather than for what it promises in the future…To great natural gifts he adds the power of taking inﬁnite pains and an enthusiastic love of his craft. His gifts are not of the kind which are at any man’s beck and call.’1 Much inﬂuenced by Japanese wood engravings, Moore-Park’s work appeared in several illustrated children’s books, including A Book of Birds (1900), The Dog Book (1902), The King of the Beasts (1904), The Fables of La Fontaine (1905), The Wonders of the Insect World (1906), The Children’s Story of the Bee (1909) and Biffel - A Trek Ox (1909). As the contemporary critic Charles Hiatt wrote of MoorePark, ‘His drawings evidenced a very remarkable degree of originality and a sincerity not often found in conjunction with it. His studies of all sorts of beasts, from the mouse to the elephant, are characterized by accurate anatomical knowledge, as well as a profound appreciation of the nicest details of the habits and movements of the animals depicted…His treatment is refreshingly broad and invariably decorative…It is by his genuine decorative instinct, added to minute and extraordinary knowledge of animals and their ways, that all his work, whether on a large or on a small scale, is distinguished.’2 In 1910 Moore-Park emigrated to New York, where he illustrated Uncle Remus and other books. The present sheet is a preparatory drawing for a full-page illustration which appears at the end of A Book of Birds, published in 1900 by Blackie & Son of London, Glasgow and Dublin, for whom MoorePark worked extensively. As Hiatt noted of the book, ‘Mr. Moore Park followed his Alphabet of Animals with the no less delightful Book of Birds. In the latter volume the old qualities were still there, but the touch was surer, the decoration of ﬁner and more subtle quality. The second book was distinctly an advance on the ﬁrst.’3 This drawing is sold with a copy of The Book of Birds. 1. Charles Hiatt, ‘The Work of Carton Moore Park’, The Studio, December 1900, pp.171 and 175. 2. Ibid., p.174. 3. Hiatt, op.cit., p.174.
26 MATHURIN MÉHEUT Lamballe 1882-1958 Paris Peacocks: Notes de Céramique Watercolour, pen and brown and black ink with brown and grey wash, with framing lines in brown ink and grey wash. Signed with the artist’s monogram MM in brown ink at the lower right. Inscribed Mlle / JULIETTE / THIERRY / RENNES in black ink at the top, and NOTES / DE / CÉRAMIQUE in brown ink at the bottom. Further inscribed by the artist En Souvenir des Vacances . MM . in pencil on the verso. 328 x 237 mm. (12 7/8 x 9 3/8 in.) [image] 343 x 252 mm. (13 1/2 x 9 7/8 in.) [sheet] EXHIBITED: Lamballe, Musée Mathurin Méheut and Pont-l’Abbé, Musée Bigouden, Mathurin Méheut: brodeur d’images, 2016 [ex-catalogue]. A Breton painter and illustrator, Mathurin Méheut studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rennes. He completed his studies at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the designer and decorator Eugène Grasset, while at the same time contributing to the magazine Art et Décoration. In 1904 he provided illustrations for Fantôme de Terre-Neuve by Léon Berthaut, the ﬁrst of several books he worked on throughout his career. In 1906 he began exhibiting regularly at the Salon des Artistes Français. Although Méheut settled in Paris, he returned frequently to Brittany, working at Douarnenez, Paimpol, Quimper, Roscoff and elsewhere in the region. Between 1910 and 1912 he worked at the marine biology station in Roscoff, resulting in the publication of a book, Etude de la mer, ﬂore et faune de la Manche et de l’Océan, and the exhibition of some 450 of his drawings at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1913. The artist also travelled extensively outside France; visiting Turkey, Crete, Egypt and Syria, as well as New York, Hawaii and Japan. Throughout his travels, Méheut was interested in recording the appearance of the peoples, sites, animals and plants of the places he visited. After serving in the army during the First World War, Méheut returned to working in Brittany. In 1921 a second exhibition of his work at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs included scenes of military life, as well as views of Brittany and Japan. A member of the Académie de la Marine, Méheut achieved considerable success and was appointed ofﬁcial painter to the Marine Department in 1921. In 1924 he began to decorate commercial passenger ships and ocean liners, and in the same year painted murals for the Villa Miramar on the Côte d’Azur for the banker Albert Kahn. An exhibition of his work was held at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris in 1928, and two years later the artist spent three months in America, where he painted a mural decoration on the theme of the discovery of the New World for the Heinz residence in Pittsburgh. In 1934 he participated in the decoration of the luxurious French ocean liner, the SS Normandie. Apart from his work as a decorative mural painter and illustrator, Meheut was active as a tapestry designer, stained glass painter and, not least, a ceramic painter; working at the Sèvres manufactury and for Villeroy and Boch. Later in his career he completed a series of celebrated illustrations for Florian Le Rioy’s book Vieux métiers bretons. The largest collection of the artist’s oeuvre is today in the Musée Mathurin Méheut in Lamballe, established with works donated by the painter’s daughter Maryvonne. The present sheet may have been intended as a design for a book cover, although it possibly never have come to fruition. The pair of peacocks at the upper part of the composition derives from the form of a peacock comb designed by the jewelry designer René Lalique in c.1897-1898. The ‘Juliette Thierry’ mentioned in this drawing may perhaps be identiﬁed with the artist who, in 1901, won a ﬁrst prize and an honourable mention in the cours de jeunes ﬁlles section of the Ecole regionale des Beaux-Arts in Rennes. Two years later, in the Courrier de Rennes newspaper of 20 June 1903, it was noted that ‘Mlle. Juliette Thierry, dessinateur, élève de notre école’ had won an honorable mention in the 13th annual nationwide concours de composition decorative, organized under the auspices of the Société d’Encouragement à l’Art et à l’Industrie.
27 HENRI DELUERMOZ Paris 1876-1943 Paris Studies of a Sea Eagle Brush and black ink and brown wash, with touches of white heightening, on reddish-brown prepared paper. Signed with a monogram and dated .hD.1906 in black ink at the lower right. Inscribed with colour notes brun rougeâtre / autour du bec et / des yeux (jaune), and duveter soigneussement la tête / trop mou in black ink. 273 x 398 mm. (10 3/4 x 15 5/8 in.) A painter, illustrator and engraver, Henri Deluermoz was a pupil of Alfred Roll and Gustave Moreau. He spent the early years of his career sketching in the Jardin des Plantes and the Jardin d’Acclimation in Paris, and became one of the ﬁnest animal painters of his day, with a particular penchant for depictions of wild beasts. He also painted Provençal landscapes, equestrian and bullﬁght scenes, and produced designs for tapestries, mural decorations, and book illustrations. (Among the books he illustrated were editions of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, Henri de Montherlant’s Les Bestiaires, and Louis Pergaud’s Histoires de bêtes.) In 1905 he settled in Orange in Provence, where he was engaged on a large-scale decorative mural project, and began a series of travels around the Midi. Deluermoz did not send any paintings to the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts until 1909, when he was already in his thirties, although subsequently he exhibited there regularly, while also showing at commercial galleries in Paris between 1913 and 1927. At the Salon of 1911, a large painting of a stampede of wild animals before a ﬂood elicited much praise from critics, with Arsène Alexandre writing, ‘But what knowledge of animality in this great painting! What truth in the observation of movement!’1. Another critic wrote of the same painting, ‘Each creature is represented in its own character, and in motion true to life, and one takes pleasure in studying in turn the elephant and the buffalo in their heavy ﬂight, the panther bounding along, the deer leaping lightly forward – all this evolved in the mind of a Kipling of the brush.’2 An exhibition of Deluermoz’s work at the Galerie Reitlinger in 1913 led to the purchase by the State of a large drawing of a bullﬁght. Another show of his animal drawings was held at the Galerie Le Goupy in Paris in 1926, while a larger and more comprehensive exhibition of paintings and drawings by the artist was mounted at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris in 1939. Executed in 1906, this large drawing is a relatively youthful work by Henri Deluermoz. Like the following sheet of studies, it was probably drawn at the Jardin Zoologique in Marseille, which was opened in 1856 and housed nearly 2,000 birds representing some 1,250 different species. The artist’s careful study of the sea eagle is evident in his notes on the sheet: ‘reddish brown’, ‘around beak and the eyes (yellow)’, ‘carefully ﬂufﬁng the head’ and ‘very soft’. The sea eagle is a collective name for the large birds of prey in the genus Haliaeetus. While the particular type of sea eagle depicted here is difﬁcult to ﬁrmly identify, it is most likely to be the White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), found across a very wide range throughout temperate Eurasia, from Greenland to Japan.
1. Arsène Alexandre in Le Figaro, 15 April 1911; Quoted in J. Valmy-Baysse, ‘Henri Deluermoz, peintre’, L’Artiste Contemporain, November 1920, pp.1-8. 2. Henri Frantz, ‘The Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris’, The Studio, June 1911, p.44.
28 HENRI DELUERMOZ Paris 1876-1943 Paris Studies of the Wings of a Sea Eagle and a Separate Study of a Vulture Brush and black ink, with touches of white chalk, on reddish-brown prepared paper. Signed with a monogram and dated Marseille / hD. Janv.1906- in black ink at the lower right. Extensively inscribed with colour notes: brun très foncé et très chaud / plumes légères noir et brun jaunâtre. / tête duvetée (blanc) / collier de plumes très ﬁnes et / très blanches. / entre les plumes / le fond du duvet / est gris très ﬁn et chaud / plumes très fortes / et brunes / fond foncé dans les / bruns chauds / -dessins noirs / culottes blanches. / serres très puissantes / plumes plus marquées que celles / du collier. / plumes plus longues et en perspective / (?)-ant en avant in black ink. 268 x 397 mm. (10 1/2 x 15 5/8 in.) Like the previous drawing, the present sheet, dated January 1906, was drawn in Marseille - almost certainly at the Jardin Zoologique in the gardens of the Palais Longchamp - shortly after Deluermoz had settled in Provence. While the main part of the drawing studies the wings of a sea eagle, probably the same White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) depicted in the previous drawing, a smaller, subsidiary study at the lower left centre depicts a vulture, likely a Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), seen from the back with its wings spread. The artist has here made extensive notes about the colour and characteristics of the plumage of both the eagle and the vulture: ‘very dark and warm brown’, ‘light black and yellowish-brown feathers’, ‘ﬂuffy head (white)’, ‘necklace of very ﬁne and very white feathers’, ‘between the feathers the bottom of the down is very ﬁne and warm grey’, ‘very strong and brown feathers’, ‘dark background in warm browns’, ‘black drawings’, ‘white culottes’, ‘very powerful claws’, ‘feathers more marked than those of the necklace’, ‘longer feathers and in perspective.’ A similar drawing of an eagle is illustrated in an article on Henri Deluermoz published in the magazine L’Artiste Contemporain in 19201, while an undated study of an eagle perched on a rock is one of ﬁve drawings by the artist in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum2. Four drawings of animals by Deluermoz – studies of an elephant, a bear, a wolf and a tiger, each of identical technique to the present pair - are in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa3.
1. J. Valmy-Baysse, ‘Henri Deluermoz, peintre’, L’Artiste Contemporain, November 1920, p.3. 2. Inv. 23.275. 3. Inv. 3405-3408; A. E. Popham and K. M. Fenwick, European Drawings (and two Asian drawings) in the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1965, pp.198-199, nos.292-295. One of these drawings is dated 1911.
29 WALTHER GASCH Leipzig 1886-1962 Nentershausen-Dens A Young Silver Birch Tree in Springtime Oil on paper. A study of the head of a young woman wearing a hat drawn in pencil, with stumping, on the verso. Signed and dated 1908 / WALTHER GASCH in blue ink at the lower right. 531 x 370 mm. (20 7/8 x 14 1/2 in.) A youthful work by the German painter, draughtsman and printmaker Walther Gasch, this vibrant oil sketch on paper depicts a silver birch tree (Betula pendula), also known as a European white birch, which is found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia. (In southern parts of its range, however, it is usually only found at higher altitudes.) The tree owes its name to the silvery-white, peeling bark of its trunk. The present sheet was likely drawn when Gasch was a student at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Dresden, where from 1905 onwards he trained under Emanuel Hegenbarth and Oskar Zwintscher, and later with Richard Müller. He undertook study trips to France, Italy and Holland, and in the early part of his career painted mainly still life subjects, landscapes and portraits, as well as studies of animals and birds. After serving in the army during the First World War, Gasch became active in the Saxony artist’s aid association, seeking ﬁnancial assistance for artists returning from the front. He was particularly vocal about the economic rights and viability of the artistic community, and served as the spokesman for the Provisional Revolutionary Council of Artists, one of two competing artist’s organizations in Dresden. Gasch’s group was more radical than its rival, which was known simply as the Council of Artists and included such Expressionist painters as Conrad Felixmüller and Oskar Kokoschka. Although the two groups eventually merged, none of Gasch’s demands – including a takeover of the academy, reform of exhibition policies, control of state funds for art and a guaranteed minimum income for all artists – were ever taken up. Gasch joined the Deutscher Künstlerverband, the Dresden artist’s association founded in 1927, and from 1929 taught printmaking at the Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. With the rise of the NSDAP, the National Socialists, in the early 1930s, Gasch became a fervent member of the party. He was soon established as a prominent ﬁgure in Nazi artistic circles in Dresden, while the Deutscher Künstlerverband also gained considerable inﬂuence. From 1933 Gasch served as the chief of the NSDAP ﬁne arts commission in Saxony, and was one of the main enablers of the restrictive cultural policies imposed by the Nazis in Dresden. (In March and April 1933 he helped to oversee the conﬁscation of twenty-eight paintings by artists regarded as ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis - including Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Lyonel Feininger, Felixmüller, Erich Heckel, Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Kokoschka, Franz Marc, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff - from the collection of the Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden.) Like many other German artists, musicians and writers, Gasch ﬂourished under the Nazi regime. A member of the Reich Association of Fine Artists, he was closely involved with the Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung, the large Nazi propagandic exhibition of German art held at the Haus der Deutschen Kunst in Munich in 1939.
30 GISBERT COMBAZ Antwerp 1869-1941 Saint-Gilles Geraniums Pen and black ink and watercolour, on buff paper laid down on board. Signed with the artist’s monogram and dated 1911 in black ink at the lower right. 580 x 430 mm. (22 5/8 x 17 in.) PROVENANCE: Louis and Berthe Wittamer-De Camps, Brussels (No.5449). LITERATURE: Yolande Oostens-Wittamer, La Belle Epoque: Masterworks by Combaz, Léo Jo and Livemont, San Francisco and elsewhere, 1980-1981, p.33, no.35 (illustrated). EXHIBITED: San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and elsewhere, La Belle Epoque: Masterworks by Combaz, Léo Jo and Livemont. A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of L. Wittamer-De Camps, 1980-1981, no.35. Arguably the foremost Belgian Art Nouveau artist, Gisbert (or Ghisbert) Combaz began his career as a lawyer, but in 1893 abandoned the legal profession to devote himself to art. He studied brieﬂy at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels before leaving in search of a teaching position to ﬁnance his new career as an artist. His ﬁrst post was at the Institute Agricole in Gembloux, where between 1895 and 1900 he instructed students of engineering, chemistry and agriculture in drawing. Much inﬂuenced by the work of the Belgian artistic and literary group known as Les XX, he ﬁrst exhibited his work at an international exhibition of decorative arts in Liège in May 1895, where he showed designs for graphic illustration and furniture. The same year, at the age of twenty-ﬁve, Combaz created his ﬁrst poster, for the second annual exhibition of the society La Libre Esthétique in Brussels. The success of this poster launched his career and reputation as an afﬁchiste, and the artist was to eventually design posters for ten of the twenty exhibitions of La Libre Esthétique, where he exhibited from 1897 onwards. As Jane Block has noted, Combaz ‘created or designed some twenty-seven posters, several of which stand as icons of ﬁn de siècle art…[they] reveal his mastery of the medium through use of bold colors and contours.’1 Regarded especially for his poster designs and art postcards, which were inspired by the Japanese woodblock printing technique known as ukiyo-e, the artist was also active as a painter, lithographer, illustrator, sculptor and graphic designer. For over forty years Combaz taught the history of decorative arts at the Ecole des Arts Industriels et Décoratifs in Ixelles, while from 1912 onwards he also taught a course in ornamental composition at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where among his pupils were René Magritte and Nicolas de Staël. During the First World War the artist produced a handful of powerful lithographs in black and white condemning the atrocities committed by Germany during their occupation of Belgium. In addition to his myriad artistic activities, Combaz was a leading scholar of Oriental art, and published several essays of art criticism and a number of exhibition reviews. Although his artistic production began to wane in the 1930s, he continued to work as an art teacher, as well as write and lecture on Oriental art. Much of Combaz’s mature work is keenly inﬂuenced by his intensive study of Japanese and Chinese art; something that is particularly evident in this ﬂower study of 1911, which is signed with the artist’s late monogram. During this period Combaz was consistently producing works with a pronounced Oriental inﬂuence that are also reminiscent of his output from before the turn of the century. The painterly style of these large-scale ﬂoral watercolours stylistically mirrors his posters of the same period, such as one for the exhibition Les art anciens du Hainaut, Salon d’art moderne in Charleroi, published in 1911. 1. Jane Block, Gisbert Combaz (1869-1941): Fin de siècle Artist, Ghent, 1999, p.49.
31 GISBERT COMBAZ Antwerp 1869-1941 Saint-Gilles Lilies Pen and black ink and watercolour, on buff paper laid down on board. Signed with the artist’s monogram and dated 1912 in black ink at the lower right. 575 x 432 mm. (22 5/8 x 17 in.) PROVENANCE: Louis and Berthe Wittamer-De Camps, Brussels (No.5448). LITERATURE: Yolande Oostens-Wittamer, La Belle Epoque: Masterworks by Combaz, Léo Jo and Livemont, San Francisco and elsewhere, 1980-1981, p.33, no.36 (illustrated). EXHIBITED: San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and elsewhere, La Belle Epoque: Masterworks by Combaz, Léo Jo and Livemont. A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of L. Wittamer-De Camps, 1980-1981, no.36. As a commercial artist, Gisbert Combaz produced not only posters but also designs for menus, calendars, magazine and book covers, invitations, vignettes and paper currency, as well as designs for ceramic tiles and wallpaper. It was noted in an American art magazine in 1902 that ‘Gisbert Combaz… has taken his place by the side of [Théo] Van Rysselberghe, [Georges] Lemmen, [Auguste] Donnay, and other promoters of a new and original decorative art. The same characteristic personal style distinguishes all Mr. Combaz’s compositions for tiles, wall-papers, stained glass, posters, picture post-cards, etc.’1 Although he exhibited between 1897 and 1914 at La Libre Esthétique, and also with the print society L’Estampe, Combaz was never given a one-man show during his career, and only one brief article about his work was published in his lifetime. It has only been in more recent years that Combaz’s work has been fully appreciated; as one modern scholar has written of the artist, ‘His overall concern for legibility and clarity of message is paramount in all his works. The beauty of the compositions reside in his perfect choice of colors, tone, and his simpliﬁcation of the composition.’2 This and the previous watercolour were part of the remarkable collection of late 19th and early 20th century Belgian graphic art assembled by Louis and Berthe Wittamer-De Camps, the owners of the town house known as the Hôtel Solvay on the Avenue Louise in Brussels. A masterpiece of Belgian Art Nouveau architecture and interior decoration, the Hôtel Solvay was the work of the architect and designer Victor Horta, and was built between 1895 and 1900. The house was acquired by the Wittamer family in the 1950s and remains a private home today, with its unique furnishings intact. Berthe Wittamer was a pupil of Combaz, and she and her husband became keen collectors of his work. The present pair of watercolours were among several works by Combaz from the Wittamer-De Camps collection that were exhibited at ﬁve museums throughout America in 1980 and 1981. Two similar large-scale watercolours of ﬂowers by Gisbert Combaz – a study of Wisteria, dated 1911, and Orchids and an Emperor Moth, dated 1912 (ﬁg.1), both from the Wittamer-De Camps collection - have recently been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. 1. ‘Examples of Decoration and Design’, Brush & Pencil, Sepember 1902, p.374.
2. Jane Block, Gisbert Combaz (1869-1941): Fin de siècle Artist, Ghent, 1999, p.73.
32 EDMUND STEPPES Burghausen 1873-1968 Deggendorf Studies of Flowers Pen and grey-black ink on buff paper; a page from a sketchbook. Signed with a monogram and dated Ed St. 1915. in black ink in the centre. 282 x 196 mm. (11 1/8 x 7 3/4 in.) The landscape painter Edmund Steppes entered the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich in 1891, and in 1893 exhibited his work at the Munich Kunstverein, an honour usually only reserved for students at the Akademie who had been nominated as ‘Meisterschülern’, or master students, which he was not. The following year he left the academy and completed his artistic training on his own. Steppes exhibited at the Munich Secession from 1897 onwards, and by the turn of the century had begun to enjoy a measure of success, selling his work to collectors and state museums in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart, and enjoying the support of several inﬂuential ﬁgures in the German art world. As an English critic, writing just before the outbreak of war in 1914, noted of Steppes, ‘Evidences are present in his art that he is not averse to modern modes of expression, but he loves to persevere in his own style… he prefers to be considered a self-taught artist, as he learned most from nature and the old masters.’1 Steppes made an intensive study of the art of German and Netherlandish Old Masters, and was drawn in particular to the works of Albrecht Altdorfer and Matthias Grünewald, whose often bizarre and fantastical landscape backgrounds would ﬁnd their way into his own drawings. After the First World War Steppes produced relatively few paintings, and instead devoted himself to drawing, producing numerous small-scale studies with detailed observations of nature, made on sketching expeditions around southern Germany. These drawings – of ﬂowers, plants and leaves, as well as trees and strange rock formations – account for some of his most distinctive works. In the 1930s Steppes’s work began to command ever higher prices. A member of the National Socialist party since 1932, Steppes exhibited several works at the propagandic Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung exhibitions of the 1930s and 1940s in Munich. In 1944 his name was included on the so-called ‘Gottbegnadeten-Liste’ of artists, writers, actors, composers and musicians considered crucial to German culture and therefore exempt from military mobilization during the latter stages of the war. When the war ended, Steppes stood trial for his membership of the Nazi party, but was judged to have joined the party for ﬁnancial reasons and not through political motivation, and only received a ﬁne. He settled in the town of Tuttlingen in Baden-Württemburg and resumed his career, exhibiting occasionally at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. In 1963 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held in Tuttlingen, on the occasion of the artist’s 90th birthday. Among the Old Master artists whose work Steppes examined was the 15th century painter and printmaker Martin Schongauer, who drew studies of plants. Like Schongauer, Steppes seems occasionally to have examined dried specimens for his studies of thistles and mosses. Most of his botanical drawings, however, suggest a more immediate study of fresh plants and meadow ﬂowers, with each sheet precisely dated and signed with the artist’s characteristic monogram. (Although his drawings and sketches were assiduously stored by the artist in boxes, much of this material was lost when his studio was destroyed by an Allied bomb in January 1945.) The studies on this sheet appear to be of wetland ﬂowers, with the main ﬂower at the right of the composition probably a marsh-marigold or kingcup (Caltha palustris), found in marshes, fens and wet woodland throughout the Northern Hemisphere. A stylistically comparable study of two thistle leaves by Steppes, also signed and dated 1915, is in the Oberhausmuseum in Passau.
1. ‘Studio-Talk’, The International Studio, September 1914, p.244.
33 PAULA RÖSLER Schlierbach 1875-1941 Wurmsdorf Yellow Toadﬂax Gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper, with a drawn border in green watercolour. Studies of leaves and wheat, drawn in watercolour and brown wash, heightened with silver over a pencil underdrawing, on the verso. Signed(?), dated and inscribed Paula Rösler 1917 / Frauenﬂachs und andere / Kam[m] garn(?) in brown ink on the reverse of the frame. Numbered 394 in black chalk on the reverse of the old frame. 394 x 294 mm. (15 1/2 x 11 5/8 in.) PROVENANCE: Private collection, South Germany. Paula Maria Rösler seems to have received some training as an artist at home in Bad Rodach in Bavaria, before she left to study at art school in Munich in 1902. Since at this time women were not admitted to the Akadamie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, she enrolled at the ‘Ladies’ Academy’ known as the Münchner Künstlerinnen-Vereins, founded in 1882, where she may have studied alongside Gabriele Münter. A gifted draughtsman in watercolour and pastel, as well as a ﬁne etcher, Rösler published Falter, a book of poems and lieder illustrated with her drawings, in 1905. Apart from a study trip to Florence, she lived in Munich until 1915, working as a freelance artist and having her ﬁrst exhibition in 1914. It was in Munich that Rösler met the writer Waldemar Bonsels, who was later to achieve international fame for his children’s book Maya the Bee, published in 1912. Convinced of his talent, and almost certainly in love with him, she supported Bonsels ﬁnancially in his early years, although this generosity was not reciprocated when Bonsels was famous and wealthy and Rösler was struggling. In 1915 Rösler left Munich and settled in Achenmühle in the Chiemgau region of Upper Bavaria; a picturesque area of hills, forests and lakes. She began exhibiting at the Chiemgauer Künstlerbund artist’s association, and later joined a new group of artists, known as Die Welle (‘The Wave’), of which she was the only female founding member. The group was active from 1922 to 1933. At Die Welle’s ﬁrst exhibition in 1922, Rösler exhibited thirteen works, including six delicate paper cutouts known as scherenschnitte, which were much admired by visitors and critics. Rösler came to be particularly highly regarded for these silhouetted paper cutouts, which she produced in both black and white and in colours, and they account for some of her best-known work today. Her drawings and tempera paintings also began to display an interest in botanical forms, and she produced drawings and paper cutouts of detailed, close-up views of plants and ﬂowers, drawn in an Art Nouveau or Jugendstil manner, in which the inﬂuence of Japanese art is also evident. In 1932 Rösler settled in Wurmsdorf, where she died in 1941. Although memorial exhibitions of her work were held in Rosenheim and at the Kunstverein in Munich, Rösler remains today a very obscure ﬁgure. Dated 1917, this striking drawing from Rösler’s Cheimgau period depicts the common or yellow toadﬂax (Linaria vulgaris), native throughout Europe and Central Asia. A stylistically comparable drawing by the artist of Wildﬂowers and a Grasshopper, executed on vellum, has recently been acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art1, while also similar is a very large drawing of wildﬂowers which appeared at auction in 20162.
1. Inv. 2017.66; London, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Master Drawings, 2017, no.48. 2. Anonymous sale, Berlin, Galerie Bassenge, 25 November 2016, lot 6800. The drawing measures 630 x 368 mm.
34 FREDERICK ARTHUR BRIDGMAN Tuskegee 1847-1928 Rouen Study of a Pollarded Tree Pencil and watercolour. Stamped with the artist’s posthumous studio estate stamp Atelier F. A. BRIDGMAN / NICE 1954 (not in Lugt) in blue ink at the lower right. Inscribed Keep off white in a modern hand in pencil on the verso. 250 x 306 mm. (9 7/8 x 12 in.) One of the foremost American Orientalist painters, Frederick Arthur Bridgman was born in Alabama and began his career as an engraver of banknotes, while at the same time studying at the Brooklyn Art Association and the National Academy of Design in New York. In 1866 he won a travel scholarship to study in Paris, where he completed his training with the Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, becoming one of the master’s favourite pupils. Bridgman made his Salon debut in 1868, and was to spend the rest of his life and career in France, only rarely returning to America. He spent several summers among the colony of artists at Pont-Aven in Brittany and also visited the Pyrenees, where he began painting landscapes. In 1872 and 1873 he undertook the ﬁrst of a number of trips to North Africa and Egypt, becoming one of the ﬁrst American artists to visit Morocco and Algeria. In the winter of 1873 he made a voyage up the Nile, as far as Abu Simbel and the Second Cataract in Nubia, that was to provide him with inspiration for a series of major Orientalist paintings for the next few years. From this time onwards he worked almost exclusively as a painter of Orientalist subjects, and returned nearly every year in the 1870s and 1880s to Algeria and Egypt. On his trips he acquired numerous examples of local costumes, fabrics and objects, which he kept in his studio and often incorporated into his paintings. (Indeed, John Singer Sargent claimed that Bridgman’s studio, full of exotic objects from his travels, was, along with the Eiffel Tower, one of the true sights of Paris.) Bridgman became a very fashionable and successful artist in Paris, keeping two studios and exhibiting frequently at the annual Salons, where he won a number of medals and prizes. He was also exhibited with success in London and America, with which he retained close ties. In 1877 he joined Sargent and others in establishing the Paris Committee of the Society of American Artists, a progressive group which broke off from the New York-based National Academy of Design. An exhibition of over three hundred works at the American Art Gallery in New York in 1881, which included both ﬁnished paintings and studies, was much admired by critics, and found Bridgman at the height of his fame and popularity in his native country. Married to a wealthy woman and of independent means, he did not have to sell his paintings to make a living. He was also a gifted musician and composer. Bridgman’s illustrated book Winters in Algeria was published in 1890, and in the same year a major retrospective exhibition, numbering around four hundred works, was held at a gallery in New York and later at the Art Institute of Chicago. He exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1899, and continued to send his work to international fairs for the next ﬁfteen years. By the second decade of the new century, however, Bridgman’s Orientalist subjects had largely fallen out of fashion. The present sheet is likely to date from the later part of Bridgman’s career, after he had left Paris and retired to Normandy. Shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, the artist settled with his family in Lyons-La-Forêt, east of Rouen, and he returned to painting the rural scenes, farms and landscapes in Normandy that had occupied him as a young painter some forty-ﬁve years earlier. While the pollarded tree depicted here is difﬁcult to ﬁrmly identify, it may be a sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), a large tree found throughout southern Europe which can live for several hundred years.
35 WARWICK REYNOLDS RSW London 1880-1926 Glasgow Blue Hare: Design for a Book Illustration Pencil and charcoal, with touches of white heightening. Framing lines in pencil. Signed WARWICK / REYNOLDS in black ink at the lower right. Inscribed where none dare follow and Blue Hare in pencil in the lower margin. Inscribed and numbered FAS 18916 [crossed out] 3655 in pencil on the verso. 232 x 160 mm. (9 1/8 x 6 1/4 in.) [image] 242 x 173 mm. (9 1/2 x 6 3/4 in.) [sheet] PROVENANCE: The Fine Art Society, London; Private collection. LITERATURE: H. Mortimer Batten, Habits and Characters of British Wild Animals, London and Edinburgh, 1920, illustrated between pp.208-209. Born in Islington, Warwick Reynolds was the son of a cartoonist and illustrator of the same name. He studied in London at the Grosvenor Studio and the St. John’s Wood Art School, and in 1895 began working as a magazine illustrator, eventually contributing to such publications as The Idler, Pearson’s Magazine, The Quiver and The Strand Magazine, among others. Reynolds had a particular interest in depicting animals, and made studies at the London Zoo in Regent’s Park between 1895 and 1901. He also illustrated a number of books on wildlife themes. In 1906 Reynolds settled in Glasgow, where he was employed as a staff artist for the Daily Record newspaper. He lived and worked in Glasgow for the remainder of his career, apart from a year spent in Paris in 1908. He made drawings of animals at the Edinburgh Zoo, and exhibited his work at the Royal Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy. Reynolds died in 1926 at the age of forty-six, and the following year memorial exhibitions were held in London and Glasgow. In an account of the artist, published the year after his death, it was noted that ‘For many years Warwick Reynolds has been recognised as the illustrator par excellence of the animal story, and month by month the public has learnt to look for his vivid pictorial accompaniments to the prose of such writers as the late F. St. Mars and Mortimer Batten. Indeed, his output was amazing, and covered not only a wealth of illustration, but paintings and etchings that delighted the public and amazed his brother artists...It was, undoubtedly, the vogue of the animal story that eventually gave him his due and placed him in the front rank of illustrators…Pre-eminently a depicter of action, his more reposeful animal studies show quite as much ﬁdelity as his most desperate duel scenes, or life and death races…[He was] a man who excelled – and revelled – in his work.’1 This drawing is a preparatory study for one of Reynolds’s full-page illustrations – with the caption ‘The Blue Hare – ‘Where None Dare Follow.’’ - in Harry Mortimer Batten’s Habits and Characters of British Wild Animals, published in 1920. The blue hare or mountain hare (lepus timidus) is found in mountainous and polar regions across northern Europe and Asia. It is the only hare native to Britain, and is indigenous to the Highlands of Scotland. While their fur is a bluish-grey in summer, mountain hares change their colour in winter, turning their pelage white to be better camouﬂaged against the snow. As Batten writes, ‘Two thousand feet is probably the topmost altitude of the brown hare’s range… Above that the territory is sacred to the blue. Blue hares…observe no ﬁxed rule as to boundary. The heights are theirs undividedly, but they are quite at home in the valleys…The blue hare is nothing like so speedy, nor is it so resolute in ﬂight, as is the brown. A good sheep-dog can run it down – often without any great resistance on the part of the hare…a blue hare will den up readily if hard pressed – seeking safety in a cranny among the rocks or in a disused rabbit-burrow.’2 1. L. R. Brightwell, ‘Warwick Reynolds’, Country Life, 19 March 1927, pp.417-419. 2. H. Mortimer Batten, Habits and Characters of British Wild Animals, London, 1920, pp.213-214 and p.216.
36 WILLEM VAN DEN BERG The Hague 1886-1970 Leiden A Blue-Tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides) Oil on panel. Signed WILLEM VD BERG in brown ink at the lower right centre. 28 x 20.5 cm. (11 x 8 1/8 in.) [panel] PROVENANCE: Guildhall Galleries, Chicago; Private collection, USA. EXHIBITED: Possibly Wassenaar, Kunstzaal ‘De Rietvink’, Tentoonstelling van schilderijen, teekeningen en graphische werken door Jan Wittenberg, Willem van den Berg, M. Adamse, 1927, no.29 (‘Hagedis’). The son of the painter and printmaker Andries van den Berg, who taught at the Koninklijke Academie in The Hague, Willem van den Berg also spent time in the studio of his cousin, the painter and painting conservator Carel de Wild. Soon after completing his training in The Hague, van den Berg began exhibiting his work in group shows and solo exhibitions, including in 1912 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1913 he met the painter Willem van Konijnenburg, whose style was to prove inﬂuential on the young artist, and began to paint the ﬁshermen, women and ships on the beach at Scheveningen. A ﬁne portraitist, he also painted still lifes, landscapes and genre scenes, as well as studies of birds and animals. In 1926 one of his works was exhibited in Paris, and exhibitions of his paintings and drawings were held at galleries in The Hague in 1910, 1912 and 1926, Rotterdam in 1919 and Wassenaar in 1927. In 1938 van den Berg settled in Amsterdam, where he was appointed a professor at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, eventually becoming director of the institution. From Amsterdam he made frequent visits to the small picturesque ﬁshing village of Volendam, where he found numerous subjects to paint and draw. (His portraits of the Volendammers, dressed in their traditional costumes, are splendidly incisive character studies.) A member of the artist’s societies Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam, of which he served as chairman in 1954, and Pulchri Studio in The Hague, van den Berg worked well outside the avant-garde trends of the art of the 20th century. Although his realist style became less popular in Holland after the Second World War, the artist found some success in America in the 1960s, when several exhibitions of his work were held at galleries in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Exhibitions devoted to van den Berg were likewise mounted at the Casino Hotel Hamdorff in Laren in 1960 and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1962. The artist also produced lithographs and linocuts, and his work can be found today in several Dutch museums. The blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides) is a large lizard native to Australia, and is also found in the Babar and Tanimbar island groups in Indonesia. Disntiguished by a pattern of dark brown bands in overlapping scales on its body and a long, bright blue tongue, the lizard is the largest member of the skink family, and can measure up to 60 centimetres in length. This particular lizard, almost certainly painted by the artist at the Amsterdam Zoo, is likely to have been of the subspecies known as the Tanimbar blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides chimaera), found in the islands of the Maluku province of the-then Dutch colony of Indonesia. The present sheet can be related to a woodcut by Willem van den Berg of a similar subject (ﬁg.1), which is dated 1920.
37 WILLEM VAN DEN BERG The Hague 1886-1970 Leiden A Eurasian Black Vulture Oil on panel. Signed WvdBERG scratched into the paint surface at the lower centre. Further signed and dated W. van den Berg / 1922 in black ink on the reverse of the panel. 16.8 x 11.8 mm. (6 5/8 x 4 5/8 in.) [panel] PROVENANCE: Hendrik Enno van Gelder and Johanna Helena Scalonge, The Hague; Thence by descent; Private collection, The Netherlands. In the 1920s and 1930s Willem van den Berg often found inspiration in the central Amsterdam Royal Zoo Artis (or Natura Artis Magistra); the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, founded in 1838, and indeed one of the oldest in Europe. There he sketched studies of animals and birds which would later be worked up in the studio as more ﬁnished drawings or paintings, as well as lithographs and woodcuts. Several of van den Berg’s drawings of animals are today in the collection of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. This small painting depicts a cinerous vulture (Aegyptius monachus), also known as a Eurasian black vulture or monk vulture. A type of so-called Old World vulture with black plumage and a bald head with a ruff of neck feathers (hence the name ‘monk vulture’), the cinerous vulture is a large raptor with a range extending across much of Europe and Asia. It is, however, extinct in much of the western half of its range, and endangered elsewhere. There are an estimated 4,500 cinerous vultures which survive today. Van den Berg made several drawings and paintings of the exotic birds which he saw at the Amsterdam Zoo. That unusual creatures such as this vulture captured his imagination is evident in the handful of studies he produced of these impressive birds of prey. A pen and brown wash drawing of a vulture is in the collection of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem1, while a similar, very large pastel study of a resting vulture appeared at auction in Amsterdam in 20032. The present sheet is also closely related to a woodcut of a vulture in proﬁle (ﬁg.1) by van den Berg3. This small painting once belonged to the eminent Dutch art historian and museum director H. E. van Gelder (1876-1960), who served as director of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague between 1912 and 1941.
1. Inv. KT 1985:4. 2. Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 2 July 2003, lot 575. 3. An impression of this woodcut is in the Kunstmuseum in The Hague (Inv. PRE1920-0040).
38 ERICH LINDENAU Bischofswerda 1889-1955 Dresden Reedmace Watercolour, over a pencil underdrawing, on Fabriano paper. Signed with the artist’s monogram and dated EL. 29. in black ink at the lower left centre. Inscribed “Binsen” in pencil on the verso. 384 x 267 mm. (15 1/8 x 10 1/2 in.) [sheet] Watermark: P M FABRIANO. A German painter of ﬂowerpieces and landscapes, Erich Lindenau studied under Carl Rade at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden between 1917 and 1921, but was otherwise largely self-taught. Working mainly in oil and watercolour, he was one of the chief exponents in Dresden of the German realist art movement known as Neue Sachlichkeit (‘New Objectivity’), which arose in the early 1920s as a reaction to the work of the German Expressionists. Lindenau exhibited paintings and large format watercolours – primarily landscapes and still life subjects, characterized by a clarity of atmosphere and precise draughtsmanship – at art exhibitions in the city from 1933 onwards. In addition, a solo exhibition of Lindenau’s work was held at the Józef Sandel’s Galerie junge Kunst in Dresden in 1931. In February 1956, not long after Lindenau’s death the previous year, a retrospective exhibition was mounted at the Albertinum in Dresden. This study of great reedmace (Typha latifolia) – a wetland plant with long leaves and tall stems, sometimes inaccurately called the bulrush – is a ﬁne example of Erich Lindenau’s exacting watercolour technique. The great reedmace is found extensively throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa, and the cylindrical, sausage-like brown ﬂower heads of the plant appear between June and August.
Erich Lindenau, Self Portrait, 1937
39 ANTHONY CHRISTIAN Born 1945 Blue Plant Study Pencil and white chalk on Arches paper washed blue. 1050 x 750 mm. (41 3/8 x 29 1/2 in.) Watermark: J.a. – arches – france – dessin. PROVENANCE: Collection of the artist, until 2019. A supremely gifted artist, Anthony Christian has spent almost all of his career outside the usual conﬁnes of the art world, and has only rarely shown his work in galleries. Born in London in 1945, he began painting and drawing at a very early age, copying the work of the Old Masters from illustrations in books belonging to his mother. At the age of ten he was given permission to paint copies at the National Gallery in London; still to this day the youngest artist ever to be granted this privilege. While he was painting at the National Gallery – his work there culminating in a copy of Phillips Wouwerman’s 1646 Cavalry Battle, a massive canvas larger than the artist himself at the time – Christian also studied anatomy at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His precocious talents led to a number of newspaper articles devoted to the young prodigy, and he continued to study at the museums until the age of sixteen, when he began to seek and receive commissions. Within a few years, Christian had developed a successful practice as a portrait painter, living and working in Rome and Tangier before returning to England. Exhibitions of his drawings and landscape paintings were held at the Upper Grosvenor Galleries in London in 1969 and 1970, and led to more portrait commissions. Another exhibition of drawings, at the Hazlitt Gallery in London in 1972, also proved highly successful. During the 1970s Christian lived and worked in Paris, Tuscany and Morocco. By now a renowned portrait painter who had been very successful in this ﬁeld for several years, and who counted numerous society, establishment and cultural ﬁgures among his patrons, he eventually gave up painting portraits on commission in favour of painting only what interested him; still life subjects, interiors, ﬁgure studies, nudes and landscapes, as well as portraits of close friends. Much of the decade of the 1980s found the artist living in New York, where in 1985 a number of his drawings were selected and hung by Andy Warhol at the New York Academy of Art for the beneﬁt of the students there. Since 1986, however, Christian has very rarely exhibited his work in galleries, at most only once every ten years or so. An inveterate traveller who has lived in seventeen countries, he continued to enjoy a nomadic lifestyle, and resided for long periods of time in both India and Bali in Indonesia. He now lives and works in Yorkshire. In a monograph on the artist’s work, published in 1991, one writer noted that ‘Anthony Christian possesses the extraordinary capacity to create with equally dazzling facility – and, more important, evident deep emotion – portraits, still lifes, nudes, interiors, drapery studies, compositions and landscapes. Although he no longer accepts portrait commissions, he still paints many portraits, of his wife and friends…Last but by no means least, Christian is a supreme draftsman.’1 Indeed, from a relatively early age, the artist had established a reputation as a formidable draughtsman. As an article in Vogue magazine, at the time of an exhibition of his drawings in London in 1972, commented, ‘Anthony Christian…is a new world’s child who makes old world portraits with a precocious facility about which he is extremely and passionately prickly and proud. “I believe”, he says ﬁercely, “in the technique of the Renaissance masters. Just because we are living 400 years later doesn’t mean we are necessarily better. I love and revere Leonardo, Michelangelo and Rembrandt and, personally, I think Matisse can’t draw.”’2
This large sheet was drawn in Paris in 1975, when Christian and his wife were living in the city for several months. As Paul Howard has noted of this period, ‘In Paris, even Christian’s drawing reached new heights as he made studies of his pregnant wife, of drapery and of plants and ﬂowers he found in that City that had become so beloved to him.’3 The artist, in an unpublished autobiography, has recalled that ‘I found Paris had magniﬁcent art shops and I bought some large sheets of highest quality paper which I tinted, cutting them in four for portraits but using the whole sheets for anything I was inspired to do. I started producing the most God-sparked drawings of my life, meaning that I felt…a force, or energy that was outside of myself working through me as I drew. I saw things appearing before me, drawings of a beauty beyond anything I felt I could possibly be capable of producing…’ Among the works created during this fruitful Parisian interlude was a monumental drawing of Christian’s pregnant wife Susan, on reddish-tinted paper, entitled The Rose Drapery and today in a private collection4. The present sheet, titled by the artist Blue Plant Study, was drawn at about the same time as Rose Drapery, and was intended as a pendant to it. As Christian has recollected of Blue Plant Study, it was drawn from a ﬂowering plant known as the honesty or annual honesty (Lunaria annua), and also known colloquially in America as a silver dollar and in Southeast Asia as a money plant. The plant, which can grow up to 90 cm. high, is distinguished by its large oval leaves, with delicate purple ﬂowers in the late spring and early summer replaced, in mid to late summer, by translucent silvery round seedpods, which are often used in dried ﬂoral arrangements. In his memoirs, Christian has written that, ‘Although I had always had them around in the London apartment, I had never thought of drawing the dried ﬂower called Money Plant, or Honesty. But now that drawings seemed to pour out of me by a higher hand than my own, having found some Honesty soon after we had arrived in Paris and bought some to make us feel more at home, I became obsessed with drawing it. I made two or three studies to see what “the hand” might produce and was so impressed I ﬁnally took the leap to see if I might create what would be a pair to the Rose Drapery, but on a sheet I had tinted a lovely soft blue-grey.’ ‘Even though I felt that energy working through my hand, something that could only ever be understood by another artist and even then one from probably another age, still I felt moments of nervousness as I watched one beautiful study after another appearing on my paper while realizing the slightest “wrong” line would ruin the entire drawing. But those moments were short lived, and most of the time I was simply in the almost blissful space of someone who knows he is in the process of creating something sacred. At the end of quite a long day working without a break, I had a small space left in the left hand bottom corner and couldn’t resist adding a study of a maize that I’d bought, that still had its leaves attached and then, ﬁlling the smallest space left just to ﬁnish off with a coup de grace as I felt by this point my hand could do anything, I added a stalk of wheat almost as a signature, and the drawing was at last complete. It became known as “Blue Plant Study” and did indeed join with the Rose Drapery in helping to form a small core of what I believed for many years was what Kenneth Clark had asked me for: “One of the greatest collections of drawings made by a British artist in this century.” I felt quite conﬁdent he would be more than satisﬁed, it just never occurred to me at that moment that I wouldn’t return to England in time to show him before he died.’ Both of the large drawings Rose Drapery and Blue Plant Study, which are of similar dimensions, were among the signiﬁcant works - dating from throughout his career - that Anthony Christian never sold and always retained for his own collection, and which for several years were exhibited in his housecum-studio in Bali.
1. Xavier de Vismes and Paul Howard, A. Christian, Hong Kong, 1991, p.14. 2. ‘Spotlight’, Vogue, April 1972. 3. de Vismes and Howard, op.cit., p.23. 4. de Vismes and Howard, op.cit., pp.66-67. The drawing measures 1170 x 810 mm.
40 BRIGID EDWARDS Born 1940 Plane Tree Leaf Watercolour, over traces of an underdrawing in pencil, on vellum. 483 x 356 mm. (19 x 14 in.) Born in London, Brigid Segrave Edwards studied illustration and graphic design at the Central School of Art in London and enjoyed a successful career as a television producer and director before turning to botanical illustration in the mid-1980s. She ﬁrst exhibited her work at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1990 – an unusual honour for a botanical artist - and has also had her work shown at the Linnean Society in London, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh and the Kew Gardens Gallery, as well as at commercial galleries in London and New York. Early in her career as a botanical artist, Edwards was commissioned to paint 115 watercolours of species of primulas from life as illustrations for the book Primula by John Richards, published in 1993; the watercolours for the project were later exhibited at Kew Gardens. She has also won a number of gold medals for botanical illustration from the Royal Horticultural Society. Edwards also paints watercolours of insects (some of which were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 2003) and takes black and white photographs of plant forms. She lives and works in St. Just in Cornwall. Watercolours by Brigid Edwards are today in the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Shirley Sherwood Collection of contemporary botanical art. As the collector and scholar of botanical art Shirley Sherwood has recalled of Edwards, ‘In 1994 she had a remarkable show at Kew Gardens Gallery where the critics compared her work with that of Rory McEwen, one of the standard-bearers of today’s renaissance in botanical painting. Like McEwen she often works on vellum, painting with a glowing, quiet brilliance, sometimes framing her pictures like medieval treasures… Brigid Edwards is undoubtedly one of today’s ﬁnest botanical artists and I am particularly attracted to her work on vellum.’1 Like many botanical painters, Brigid Edwards works very slowly. As she has stated, ‘A large painting (and I mean volume and painted area as opposed to large but unpainted surface) can take up to twelve weeks to complete.’2 Drawn in 2015, this large sheet depicts a leaf from a plane tree (Platanus). Native to the Northern Hemisphere (in North America, Europe and Asia), these tall trees are characterized by large, deciduous leaves. The three main species of plane trees are the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), the Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) and the London plane (Platanus x acerifolia), which is a hybrid of the previous two and is almost always found in urban areas.
1. Shirley Sherwood, Contemporary Botanical Artists: The Shirley Sherwood Collection, exhibition catalogue, Richmond and elsewhere, 1996, p.60. 2. Shirley Sherwood, A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, London, 2001, p.78.
41 BRIGID EDWARDS Born 1940 Ridge Gourds, Bitter Gourd Watercolour, over an underdrawing in pencil, on vellum. 381 x 305 mm. (15 x 12 in.) Brigid Edwards almost always paints her watercolours on smooth, prepared vellum. As she recounts of her working methods, ‘I get my vellum from William Cowley Parchment and Vellum Works who also mount and stretch the skins on board to my speciﬁc dimensions. A white gesso ground is applied which smoothes the surface but inevitably because it is a natural skin there remains an irregularity of texture and pigment. In the past I have made my own boards but it is very time-consuming and expensive if things go wrong… So far there have been no problems with splitting or cracking. I think I decided to “anchor” them because I found the wavy edges rather distracting…I use Winsor & Newton or Rowney & Schminke watercolours, depending on pigment. I choose vellum rather than paper because I have always found paper too absorbent and difﬁcult to rectify. I use ophthalmic surgical blades to remove paint from vellum where necessary.’1 The present drawing on vellum was executed in 2016, and depicts two ridge gourds at the left and a single bitter gourd at the right. Resembling a cucumber or zucchini with ridges, the ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula) is found throughout Asia. When unripe, its fruit is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable, particularly in China, India, and Vietnam, while when fully matured it can be harvested, dried and made into natural cleaning sponges or body scrubs. The bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), more commonly known as a bitter melon, is a tropical and subtropical vine grown throughout Asia, Africa and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, as well as for medicinal purposes. Of the several varieties of bitter gourd that are known, the fruit depicted in this drawing appears to be an Indian cultivar. Cooked when it is green or beginning to turn yellow, the bitter gourd is used extensively in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. The eminent botanical collector Shirley Sherwood has recently noted of the artist that ‘Brigid Edwards has already been recognized as a painter of the most potent images which have an arresting yet subtle impact.’2 Similarly, in the catalogue of an exhibition of watercolours by Edwards at a London gallery in 1997, Ian Burton noted of her work that ‘The ﬁne painting of the detail on the vellum is uncanny, but when these single objects are arranged and suspended in a contemplative space, they achieve their greatest power, and as a result of this creative act of attention, they have an almost religious intensity.’3
1. Shirley Sherwood, A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, London, 2001, p.78. 2. Shirley Sherwood, ‘The Renaissance of Contemporary Botanical Art’, in Shirley Sherwood, A New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art, exhibition catalogue, Oxford, 2005, p.15. 3. London, Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd., Brigid Edwards: Flora on Vellum II, exhibition catalogue, 1997.
42 LOUISA CRISPIN Born 1964 Lichen on Hawthorn III, Sissinghurst Graphite on Bristol paper. 185 x 285 mm. (7 1/4 x 11 1/4 in.) [image] 277 x 355 mm. (10 7/8 x 14 in.) [sheet] EXHIBITED: London, Society of Graphic Fine Art at the Menier Gallery, Draw 15, 2015. Louisa Crispin is an artist who works almost entirely in monochrome, producing intricate and delicate studies from nature – of plants, insects and birds – drawn with very sharp pencils and graphite powder on Bristol board. As she noted in an online interview, published in 2015, ‘I’ve always been drawn to shadows, fretwork, black and white photographs, etchings and graphite drawings so it has been lovely to be able to produce my own. I live in the “Garden of England” and enjoy my surroundings, it seems only natural to work with nature. A chance encounter brought a small twig with tiny crab apples. I’m captivated by the way Lichen grows and enjoy searching for just the right stick, studying the detail before capturing it on beautiful smooth Strathmore Bristol Board using ultra sharp Staedtler pencils...I get totally lost in my own little world when I’m drawing, Radio 4 wittering in the background of my beautiful light and airy studio at the top of my garden.’1 A winner of the PURE Arts Drawing Prize in 2013, Louisa Crispin has continued to win prizes in open exhibitions. She is a member of the United Society of Artists, Free Painters and Sculptors and the Society of Graphic Fine Art, as well as a Fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists. She was also a partner in the Artichoke Gallery in Ticehurst, Sussex, until its closure in 2019. Crispin notes that her interest in drawing tree branches dates from her early days as a student taking an art class at an adult education centre. As she recalls, one day her art teacher ‘came in with a small branch, a twig, with lichen growing on it, and sort of almost ﬂung it on the table and said “I think you’ll like drawing this.” Three hours later, I looked up, pretty well everyone else had gone home, I hadn’t drunk my tea, I had just found myself absolutely absorbed in drawing that piece of wood, particularly with the lichen, and that’s really what set me going. There’s something about the textures, the minutiae of looking really closely at a twig, that the longer you stare at it the more you realize that there’s all sorts of things going on, little dots and marks, and for me it’s always about the mark-making, rarely about the colour, it’s marks and tone and the intricacy of looking close in these things…I was lucky to ﬁnd something that appealed to me and was the right thing for me to draw.’ Now part of the National Trust, Sissinghurst Castle Garden is one of the most famous 20th century gardens in England, with a renowned plant collection. The garden was created in the 1930s by the writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson at Sissinghurst Castle in the Weald of Kent.
1. Vanessa Champion, ‘Meet the Artist: Interview with Louisa Crispin’, Artist Papers (https://www.artistpapers.co.uk/articles/artists/interviewwith-louisa-crispin).
43 SVENJA SCHÜFFLER Born 1972 Five Eyes 3 (Caligo) Pastel on paper; the outlines silhouetted, cut out and mounted in a display box. Signed and dated S. Schüfﬂer 2015 in pencil at the lower right of the backing board. 110 x 178 mm. (4 3/8 x 7 in.) at greatest dimensions. 322 x 322 mm. (12 5/8 x 12 5/8 in.) [box] Born in Kassel in 1972, Svenja Schüfﬂer earned an undergraduate degree in Geology in Darmstadt and Havana, and a postgraduate degree in Geographic Information Science and Systems. Her artistic projects are informed by her background in geosciences, and focused on topics related to human and earth sciences; her work intersects academia and art. She has had many gallery exhibitions in Berlin and across Germany, and has participated in several forums exploring the interrelationships of science and art. After working in Cuba and Spain, Svenja Schüfﬂer has lived and worked in Berlin since 2011. Five Eyes 3 (Caligo) is part of a small series of compositions by Schüfﬂer depicting butterﬂies or moths, drawn in coloured chalks and painstakingly silhouetted, dating from 2015. As has been noted of her works of this type, ‘In terms of their great focus on detail and precision, these scratched pastel chalk drawings are characteristic of Svenja Schüfﬂer‘s artistic creation. They are the result of a meticulous work process with a magnifying glass that may take up to a few weeks or even months.’1 Furthermore, as noted in the accompanying text to a recent exhibition of her work, in which several examples from the artist’s Five Eyes series were included, ‘Enabled by tools that are surgical in nature, Svenja Schüfﬂer creates exquisite networks of linear patterns on paper. These delicate structures serve as foundations for subsequent drawing in pastel chalks, simultaneously subtle and precise. Ms. Schüfﬂer further enhances her imagery through conﬁdent use of a diverse mix of techniques, such as gilding, frottage, airbrush and assemblage. The resulting effect of these layered drawings is a stunning richness of detail, coupled with the illusion – and at times, the reality – of sculptural dimension. The sensitive viewer is thereby offered a wealth of visual stimuli to feast upon, along with the opportunity to question the certainties of their perceptions.’2 The owl butterﬂy (the genus Caligo) is known for the large eyespots on its wings, which resemble the eyes of owls. Native to the rain forests of Central and South America, the owl butterﬂy can grow to quite a large size - between 65 and 200 mm. - and can ﬂy only a short distance at a time. It has been suggested that the eye-like markings on its wings serve to deter predators, who would be frightened away by what may appear to be the ‘eyes’ of a lizard or amphibian.
1. ‘Introduction: How to Manage the Apocalypse?’, Svenja-Schuefﬂer.de, https://www.svenja-schuefﬂer.de/index.php/project/how-tomanage-the-apocalypse/. 2. ‘Svenja Schüfﬂer’, Berlin, Jorg Maass Kunsthandel, https://www.kunsthandel-maass.de/schfﬂer-svenja-en.
44 JESSICA ROSEMARY SHEPHERD FLS Born 1984 041220151708 Curled Indian Bean Tree Leaf (Catalpa bignonioides) 37° 10’ 31.3” N / 3° 41’ 28.7” W Watercolour, over a pencil underdrawing. Signed and inscribed Jess Shepherd / 041220151708 in pencil at the lower left. Further inscribed, signed and dated Catalpa bignonioides / Found while I was raking the back / garden in Belicena, Granada, Spain. / Jess Shepherd / 2015 in pencil on the verso. 128 x 188 mm. (5 x 7 3/8 in.) [sight] 138 x 209 mm. (5 3/8 x 8 1/4 in.) [sheet] An artist, botanist and fellow of the Linnean Society, Jess Shepherd obtained degrees in botany at Plymouth University and plant taxonomy at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. After working as a Curator of Natural History at the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, she joined the staff of the Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, where she worked between 2010 and 2014, while also active as a freelance botanical illustrator. In 2013 she was elected to the Florilegium Society of the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, and she now divides her time between Spain and the UK. Shepherd’s work is today in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the National Botanic Gardens (Ireland), as well as the Shirley Sherwood Collection of contemporary botanical art. As Jess Shepherd has written, ‘I am a botanical painter. When I paint plants I try to become them. There is a great deal of observation involved even before my brushes touch the paper. I believe that a good picture is made using not only sight, but also touch, sound, smell and movement. One has to be aware of all of these elements in order to portray the plant well and describe the space that the plant is growing into, both over and underground…I trained in botany before committing myself fully to painting so that I would understand the processes of plants more comprehensively. Equipped with this scientiﬁc knowledge, I am now testing new approaches to my artwork to push the capacity for botanical illustration to bring greater awareness of plants and our interaction with them.’ This watercolour was drawn as part of Shepherd’s Leafscape project. The series began one day in 2015 in London, when the artist picked up a Catalpa leaf from the pavement. As she later recalled, ‘At the time I felt the condition of the leaf reﬂected my own story – city-bruised and unanchored, so I decided to paint it larger than life size to capture all its blemishes.’1 As Shepherd’s work and technique have been described, ‘her under-the-microscope watercolour paintings of leaves in varying degrees of decay glow with carefully captured texture, light and life…Shepherd works for up to 10 hours a day meticulously layering sometimes as many as 30 translucent washes of watercolour. She usually outlines the leaf, the midrib and the primary veins in pencil but will do a lot of the drawing after this stage in paint with a brush. “This is my way of avoiding graphite, which can dirty the colours when painting with watercolour.” She also learned… that burnishing the paper helped maintain the vibrancy and luminescence of pigments.’2 The titles of Shepherd’s watercolours reﬂect the precise circumstances of her contact with the particular leaf depicted. As she notes, ‘Life just seems so incredibly random and yet not. Once I started questioning mankind’s use of scale and measurement to record size and space, I realised that to refer to time as a measurement in the collection was an absolute must. So the titles record the exact time I found the leaf.’ The present sheet was painted in Granada in Spain: ‘The leaf was from a Catalpa tree growing in the garden. The leaves would fall off from the tree and dry so quickly in the sun that they would retain their colour for months afterwards, thus making the ideal specimen from which to paint from.’ The Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides) is native to the southeastern United States but was introduced into England in the early 18th century, and is now found throughout Europe. 1. Gary Cook, ‘The ARTS Interview: Botanical Artist, Jess Shepherd’, The Ecologist, 1 February 2017, unpaginated. 2. Ibid., unpaginated.
45 ARIANNA FIORATTI LORETO Born 1967 Kraken Pen and black ink. Signed and dated Arianna Fioratti Loreto, 2018 in black ink on the verso. 1505 x 975 mm. (59 1/4 x 38 3/8 in.) A painter, draughtsman and textile designer, Arianna Fioratti Loreto was born in New York and studied at Harvard University and Princeton University, where she completed a thesis on Romanesque sculpture and gained a doctorate in art history in 1992. She began her career as a textile and fabric designer, between 1993 and 1997, and has also illustrated children’s books and designed furniture. Her ﬁrst solo exhibition of drawings was held at the Ursus gallery and bookstore in New York in 1999, and was followed by further exhibitions at commercial galleries in both New York and Atlanta between 2011 and 2016. She lives and works today near Florence in Tuscany. Fioratti Loreto’s exquisite pen and ink drawings, usually on a large scale, celebrate the wonders of the natural world, and depict all manner of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, insects and molluscs, as well as algae and unicellular organisms. As she has noted, ‘My love of nature was ﬁrst ignited as a young child by Jacques Cousteau’s ﬁlms. I was obsessed with the sea, and ﬁrst scuba dived at age eight… While I was studying Romanesque sculpture…I found that I was most interested in the patterns and the decorative motifs found in the works of art…Thinking about patterns and the method of printmaking led me to try my hand at making my own “engravings” but in pen and ink. I found that animals had the most interesting patterns in nature. An owl’s feathers, a boar’s fur or an insect’s wing are all fascinating examples of patterns.’ In 2017 a large exhibition of Arianna Fioratti Loreto’s pen and ink drawings, numbering some ninety works, was mounted at the Museo ‘La Specola’, the museum of zoology and natural history in Florence, where the works were displayed among the animal specimens in the museum’s collection. As the artist wrote in an essay in the catalogue of that exhibition, ‘my eye is trained to ﬁnd the decorative, the play between light and dark, the patterns that Nature so beautifully creates. A love of pattern, the bizarre and exotic, mingle within me alongside a basic, instinctive love of animals. My drawings are humane animal trophies, a way to preserve and possess them, to learn to understand them without doing harm… The process of drawing an animal, of interpreting its essence in pen and ink in two dimensions, leads to a deeper understanding of the animal itself. It is not only about representing an animal on paper; of capturing its likeness for posterity, or its beauty for a purely aesthetic pursuit or even its bizarre nature as a novelty exercise, but by drawing it I communicate how I feel about the animal.’1 Entitled Kraken by the artist, this remarkable and very large drawing is a tour de force of penwork. As Fioratti Loreto has noted, ‘I…love the idea of ﬁnding the beauty in animals which were considered ugly or dangerous by society.’ The kraken is a colossal squid-like sea monster of Scandinavian legend, said to live off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and to terrorize sailors in the North Atlantic. It is thought that accounts of the giant kraken may have derived from sightings of the giant squid (Architheutis dux), which can grow up to twelve or thirteen metres in length. Only rarely seen alive by humans, the giant squid is found in most of the world’s oceans and is thought to live at depths of between 300 and 1,000 metres.
1. Arianna Fioratti Loreto, ‘To truly see an animal, draw it’, in Florence, Museo ‘La Specola’, Biophilia: Opere di Arianna Fioratti Loreto, exhibition catalogue, 2017, pp.3-4.
INDEX OF ARTISTS BARRABAND, Jacques; no.10 BRIDGMAN, Frederick Arthur; no.34 CHRISTIAN, Anthony; no.39 COMBAZ, Gisbert; nos.30-31 CRISPIN, Louisa; no.42 CROMEK, Thomas Hartley; no.21 DELUERMOZ, Henri; nos.27-28 EDWARDS, Brigid; nos.40-41 GASCH, Walther; no.29 GERICAULT, Théodore; no.11 HEKKING I, Willem; nos.12-19 HENSTENBURGH, Herman; no.6 D’HONDECOETER, Melchior; no.5 LAMI, Eugène-Louis; no.20 LE MOYNE DE MORGUES, Jacques; nos.1-2 LINDENAU, Erich; no.38 LORETO, Arianna Fioratti; no.45 MÉHEUT, Mathurin; no.26 MOORE-PARK, Carton; no.25 NAPOLETANO, Filippo; no.3 REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph; no.9 REYNOLDS, Warwick; no.35 RÖSLER, Paula; no.33 RUTHART attr., Carl Andreas; no.4 SCHÜFFLER, Svenja; no.43 SELIGER, Max; no.24 SHEPHERD, Jessica; no.44 STEPPES, Edmund; no.32 TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista; no.7 TIEPOLO, Giovanni Domenico; no.8 VAN DEN BERG, Willem; nos.36-37 ZINÖGGER, Leopold; no.22 ZÖTL, Aloys; no.23
Back Cover ThĂŠodore Gericault (1791-1824) Study of a Lion at Rest No.11
Stephen Ongpin Fine Art Ltd.
6 Mason’s Yard, Duke Street, St James’s London SW1Y 6BU Tel. [+44] (20) 7930-8813 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stephenongpinfineart.com