Lot 176. Jacob van Hulsdonck (Antwerp 1582 – 1647), A still life with a vase of carnations and a basket of peaches, plums, black and white grapes, and cherries on a wooden table top, with a maybug, a red admiral butterfly and a bluebottle, signed lower left IVHVLSDONCK.FE. (IVH in compendium), oil on panel, 19 1/4 by 25 5/8 in.; 49 by 65 cm. Estimate 600,000 — 800,000 USD. Lot sold 722,500 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
Provenance: Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 27 May 2004, lot 26 (reproduced on the cover);
There purchased by the present owner.
Note: Jacob van Hulsdonck was born in Antwerp but was taken by his parents at an early age to Middelburg where he was to remain for some time before returning to the city of his birth. Details of his artisitic training are unknown. In Middelburg he is likely to have come into contact with Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, who was the dominant artistic personality in the city from the mid 1590s, but Hulsdonck's presumed early works have few stylistic parallels with those of Bosschaert and he is unlikely to have been his pupil. Closer affinities can be found with the works of Osias Beert the Elder, one of the leading still life painters in Antwerp in the early 17th century, suggesting that Hulsdonck may have worked in his circle before becoming a Master in the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp in 1608. Here he established a successful workshop specialising in the depiction of fruit in bowls or baskets, set upon wooden table-tops. According to Van der Willigen and Meijer (A. van der Willigen and F.G. Meijer, A Dictionary of Dutch and Flemish Still-life Painters Working in Oils, 1525-1725, Leiden 2003, p.114) between 35 and 40 signed examples of such works are known, with five including small vases of flowers. To these can be added the present work, a recent addition to the artist's oeuvre (see provenance), and a painting which must rank as one of Hulsdonck's most successful compositions.