PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
STILL LIFE OF GAME, INCLUDING A HARE, GREY PARTRIDGES, A PIGEON, A MUSKET, A POWDER BAG, TRAPPING NETS AND SUMMER FLOWERS BEFORE A STONE FRIEZE, THE WATER GARDENS OF A VILLA BEYOND
112 by 94.5 cm.; 44 by 37 1/4 in.
signed and dated upper right on the stone frieze: J.Weenix/ f.1703
labelled with inventory number lower left: 36
oil on canvas, extended by 8cm. along the top edge, in a fine English carved and gilt wood frame
Purchased by Sir John Thorold, 9th Bt. (1734-1807), of Syston Park, Lincolnshire;
Thence by descent until sold in these Rooms, 8 July 1999, lot 31, where purchased by the present owner (for £270,000).
By the first decade of the eighteenth century Weenix was at the height of his powers and firmly established as the dominant exponent of the game-piece in Holland. For much of this period (1702-14) Weenix was Court painter to the Elector Palatine, Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz at Schloß Bensberg near Düsseldorf for whom he painted the twelve large hunting scenes designed as wall panels for the hunting lodge at Schloß Bensberg (now in the Bayerische Staatgemäldesammlungen, Munich). Goethe, when he saw these in situ in 1774, claimed that Weenix had surpassed nature in visually rendering every tactile value of his subject.
As Sullivan has observed (S.A. Sullivan, The Dutch Game Piece, New Jersey 1984, pp. 61-2), the refinement and elegance of Weenix's work at the turn of the century clearly reflected the growing influence of French taste upon Dutch art. The elegant gardens and statuary in the background, for example, are already present in a Game Piece of 1682(?) in the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe (Sullivan, op. cit., fig. 124). The classical frieze depicted here was another of these elements, and may have been derived from paintings of his father, Jan Baptist Weenix.