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Gerard van Kuijl (1604 - 1673)

Lot 121: 17th century masterpiece by Gerard van Kuijl

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

May 27, 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands

More About this Item


Description

- KUIJL, Gerard van (North Netherlandish 1604 - 1673). Granida and Daifilo rescued by Tisiphernes, c. 1650. Oil on canvas; framed with a name plate 'Gijsbrecht van der Kuijl 1624 - 1684 Rijksgedocumenteerd'. Minor professional restoration (mainly to the background), loss of paint (c. 0.5 x 3 cm.) at the lower edge, some surface grime (incl. white spatter along the lower edge) and yellowing to the varnish, several light superficial scratches and small dents, overall in good condition.

Dimensions

Image size 121 x 134 cm., frame size 131 x 144 cm.

Artist or Maker

KUIJL, Gerard van (North Netherlandish 1604 - 1673).

Literature

Sluijter A5; Eric Jan Sluijter. 'Niet Gysbert van der Kuyl uit Gouda, maar Gerard van Kuijl uit Gorinchem (1604-1673): een identiteitsverwisseling sinds Houbraken. In: Oud Holland. Vol. 91, No. 3 (1977), pp. 166-194.

Provenance

Private collection; Venduehuis Den Haag 1942, Veiling Amsterdam 1708 (acc. to Eric Jan Sluijter)

Notes

Just like the name of the artist, the scene depicted has caused some misunderstandings over time. Since Houbraken it was assumed that the work was made by Gysbrecht van der Kuyl, born in Gouda (NB Gysbert vander Kuil according to Houbraken). Eric Jan Sluijter, who published a catalogue of his works in the magazine Oud Holland, shows that the artist is Gerard van Kuijl from Gorinchem. At the same time, he notes that Van Kuijl was in Italy for a limited number of years and not twenty years as previously assumed. This does not alter the fact that he is one of the Caravaggists who brought chiaroscuro to the Netherlands. In the work offered here, Van der Kuijl uses this technique so convincingly that it is not surprising that it was assumed for centuries that the scene here is "The discovery by the soldiers". It was also believed that the lovers depicted are Rinaldo and Armida from Gerusalemme liberata by Torquato Tasso. We have concluded that all these assumptions are wrong. What is the case? Like many of his contemporaries, such as his teacher Honthorst, Van Kuijl chose a scene from Granida (1605) by P.C. Hooft, one of the most popular plays of his time. A princess and a shepherd fall for each other but their love is impossible. After complications and fights, they flee together. Then they are found by soldiers. Until now it was assumed that this is the scene depicted in the painting above. That is incorrect. What we see is not the middle of the tragedy but the beautiful resolution: the knight in the foreground has all rights to marry Granida but capitulates to the perfect love he sees before him. In the words of Hooft: Om haer getrouwe lief een groote Coninginne Verwisselt haeren staet, en wort een harderinne. (To a dearly beloved a great queen changes her class and becomes a shepherdess) Thus Van Kuijl's painting is a monument for the invincibility of true love, love that overcomes all earthly troubles and differences. The catalogue raisonné lists only 15 confirmed paintings by Van Kuyl, of which this is the fifth.

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NRC 11 - Fine Art

by
Adams Amsterdam Auctions
May 27, 2019, 6:30 PM CET

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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