Balthasar Van Der Ast (Middelburg 1593/94 - 1657 Delft), Still life of tulips, roses, an iris and lily of the valley in an ornate glass jug on a stone ledge with a lizard and a shell. Photo Sotheby's
signed lower right: Bvander. Ast.; oil on oak panel; 38.5 by 25.8 cm.; 15 1/8 by 10 1/8 in. Estimate 200,000-300,000 GBP. Lot sold 362,500 GBP
PROVENANCE: Mrs A.R. Sinclaire, London;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 25 April 1956, lot 155, for £1,400 to Edward Speelman;
With William Hallsborough Gallery, London;
Sidney J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar, 1957;
With Kunsthandel Peter de Boer, Amsterdam, 1958;
Donner collection, England;
With Kunsthandel Peter de Boer, 1989;
From whom acquired by the parents of the present owners.
LITTERATURE: L.J. Bol, The Bosschaert Dynasty, Leigh-on-Sea 1960, p. 72, no. 19.
NOTE: While many of Van der Ast’s flower pieces are lavishly composed with a wide assortment of blooms, here he has pared down his composition to a simpler but more elegant form. Four large blooms dominate: two tulips, a yellow iris and a pink rose, with lily-of-the valley, forget-me-nots and rose buds as a supporting cast. His choice of an elegant, restrained composition allows Van der Ast to focus our attention on the beauty of the individual flowers. The clear glass jug allows us to see the stems of the flowers, and as Laurens Bol noted, the S shape of the lizard which turns to look upwards repeats the serpentine form of the ornamented handle of the jug.