Clara Peeters (Antwerp 1584 – 1657), A still life of flowers in a roemer with a field mouse and an ear of wheat. Photo Sotheby's

signed lower left: CLARA.P. oil on panel; 27 by 21 cm.; 10 5/8 by 8 1/4 in. Estimation  100,000-150,000 GBP. Lot vendu: 127,250 GBP

PROVENANCE: English private collection from circa 1940;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Sotheby's, 16 April 1997, lot 54, for £180,000, wherepurchased by Green;
With Richard Green, London;
From whom acquired by the present collector.

NOTE: Although Clara Peeters is the first documented female still-life painter, almost nothing of her life or career is known. The dates of her extant works range from 1607 to 1621, and indicate from their awareness of the styles of contemporary painters that she may have worked in Flanders, possibly in or near Antwerp. Although Clara Peeters frequently introduced the motif of flowers into her still-life paintings, pure flower-pieces by her are rare, this being one of only eight examples known or published so far. This painting may be compared to another signed panel of identical dimensions depicting a simple bouquet of flowers within a very similar roemer and with a grasshopper. (1). A mouse similar to that found in the present painting recurs in a slightly larger panel of a Bouquet of flowers in a glass vase recorded by Decoteau in the Avery Collection in California, again signed with the same signature form. (2). Decoteau includes both panels among a group of flower-paintings of similar design which she dates to 1612; the year in which, according to Bredius, the young Peeters was in Amsterdam, and which was to be of central importance to the development of her independent style. Although only two of these examples are dated, such is their stylistic homogeneity that Decoteau assigns the same probable date to each. Another from this group, a slightly larger Bouquet in a vase was sold London, Christie's, 9 July 2003, lot 60. (3)

1. P.H. Decoteau, Clara Peeters, Lingen 1992, p. 29, reproduced fig. 15.
2. Decoteau, op. cit., reproduced plate IV.
3. Panel, 42.2 by 29.8 cm.; ibid. p. 179, no. 10. A version is in an Italian private collection

Sotheby's. Old Master & British Paintings Day Sale. Londres | 05 juil. 2012 www.sothebys.com