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Paulus Potter (1625 - 1654)

Lot 139: The 'Potter' from Swinton Park and Nardus

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

December 2, 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands

More About this Item


Description

- POTTER, Paulus (North Netherlandish 1625 - 1654) & Herman van SWANEVELT (North Netherlandish, French 1603 - 1655) - formerly attributed to. Landscape with cattle, 1645. Oil on canvas; framed in gilded frame. Professionally relined and restored, some craquelure throughout, edges slightly rubbed, occasional small losses of paint (mostly at edges, some with inpaint), else in good condition. With a photograph of a contemp. inscription 'Paulus Potter. pinx.t 1645 & Herman Swaneveldt' (on the reverse) before relining.

Dimensions

Image size 54 x 65 cm., frame size 69 x 81 cm.

Artist or Maker

POTTER, Paulus (North Netherlandish 1625 - 1654) & Herman van SWANEVELT (North Netherlandish, French 1603 - 1655) - formerly attributed to.

Literature

Catalogue of twenty capital pictures by old masters [...], London, Christie, Manson & Woods, p. 6, nr. 31

Provenance

Collection Van Buuren, by descent; collection Leo Nardus; Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 1894; collection George Danby, Yorkshire

Notes

The painting offered here is mentioned in the Christie, Manson & Woods auction catalogue of March 17, 1894 under 'The following are sold by the Order of the Executors of George Danby, Esq., deceased, late of Swinton Park, Yorkshire' as nr. '31 A Landscape, with animals ascribed to Swaneveldt and Potter'. As a matter of fact, Danby had already sold Swinton Park in 1888 before his emigration to South Australia where he died in 1891. The sale of the property, built in 1695 by Sir Abstrupus Danby, included the famous art collection that had been brought together over the centuries as well as the complete inventory. This explains why in 1894 only a small number of lots were auctioned, in addition to a few family portraits the last Danby also kept works by Jan van Goyen, Willem van de Velde and this Potter.
The legendary art dealer Leo Nardus bought this painting at the auction in the same year that he started his business. However, it is more than likely that he had intended this painting for his own collection. From the outset, his business took a huge flight and he struggled to meet demand, particularly from America. Yet he didn't sell the painting that eventually ended up with the niece of his partner Arnold van Buuren and therefore remained in the family Van Buuren. Their trade collection, held in custody at Van Buuren's residence, was looted by the Nazis in 1941 and Van Buuren and his wife were murdered in Sobibor two years later.
Nardus was a man of many talents, he won an Olympic medal in fencing for the Netherlands, was a big name in the French chess world, owned castles and also gained great esteem as an artist and a collector. Opposite his many crooks as a trader are great donations and charity activities. For example, Nardus was also the man behind the benefit auction, held by Frederik Muller for French soldiers in 1917, with his friend Breitner providing a large number of drawings.
Painters Herman van Swanevelt and Paulus Potter would have collaborated on the execution of this piece: Van Swanevelt painted the landscape and foliage, and Potter the staffage. Two artists working together on one painting was not an uncommon occurrence in the seventeenth century. Since each artist painted the part he was specialised in, they created works of high standard. From a 20th century perspective, there is reason to doubt the attribution from 1894. For example, Potter's hand is not easily recognized in the animals and the landscape looks a little bit younger. But out of respect for the legacy we present the work here with the old attribution, together with our modern doubts and with its long impressive history.

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NRC 12 - Fine Art

by
Adams Amsterdam Auctions
December 2, 2019, 6:30 PM CET

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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