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Pieter van Boucle
Lot No. 582 #
Pieter van Boucle

Pieter van Boucle

(Antwerp 1610–1673 Paris)
A still life with apples, pears, quinces, grapes, plums, berries, figs, a melon, nuts, artichokes, a grey parrot, a hoopoe, and songbirds against a park landscape,
oil on canvas, 117.5 x 155.3 cm, framed

We are grateful to Dr. Ursula Härting, Hamm, for identifying the still life painter of the present work after examination in the original. She has suggested that the present painting was executed during Boucles early period in Antwerp. In her opinion the park landscape in the background was executed by another hand (written communication). The present painting, having previously been tentatively attributed to Adriaen van Utrecht, Frans Snyders, and other artists, was only recently given to the Franco-Flemish painter Pieter van Boucle, a student of Frans Snyders active in Paris from 1623 onwards. Together with Lubin Baugin, he worked in the studio of Simon Vouet. Between 1632 and 1636, Pieter van Boucle was a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. His still lifes from his Paris period are characterised by their huge dimensions and by their rendering against decorative backdrops designed as a landscape or architectural stage, in line with French taste (compare the large still life against a river landscape with a bridge sold at Tajan, Paris, on 22 June 1999 as lot 44 or the still life against a townscape sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 8 July 1992 as lot 19). This latter still life includes many motifs that are also contained in the present composition and which are similarly laid out: the openwork basket in front of which the quinces lie picturesquely scattered and the artichoke are compositional elements reminiscent of Frans Snyders, yet their arrangement is entirely typical of Boucle. The parrot at the centre of the composition recurs in another large still life, which was sold at Tajan, Paris, on 26 March 1996 as lot 45. It is interesting that Jan van Kessel the Younger repeatedly copied the grey parrot depicted in the centre of the present work. It is probable that Kessel and Boucle shared the same model or Kessel was familiar with the present painting (cf. K. Ertz, Die Maler Jan van Kessel, Freren, 2012, cat. nos. 113–115). The importance of Boucle as a still life painter in Paris of the Grand Siècle is underscored by the fact that he collaborated with the most outstanding history painters of the period – not only with Simon Vouet, but, at least in one case, also with Charles Lebrun, as is evidenced by a joint work that was sold at Christie’s, Milan, on 28 May 2008 as lot 248. The park landscape, with a palace recognisable in the right background, is also interesting from the perspective of garden history, for it features an early French parterre in a small pleasure garden befitting a country estate.

Specialist: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo

Pieter van Boucle
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    EUR 40,000 to 60,000
    USD 45,500 to 68,000

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Old Master Paintings
Date: 15.10.2013, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 05.10. - 15.10.2013

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