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Joannes Hermans, called Monsù Aurora
Lot No. 608 
Joannes Hermans, called Monsù Aurora

Joannes Hermans, called Monsù Aurora

(Antwerp ? c. 1630–documented to 1665)
Jays on a ledge,
oil on canvas, 75 x 90 cm, framed

We are grateful to Fred Meijer for confirming the attribution on the basis of a digital photograph.

As Meijer notes, the present work is stylistically related to a series of 38 paintings by Monsù Aurora which were commissioned in 1657 by Camillo Pamphilij (cf. La natura morta italiana. Da Caravaggio al Settecento, published by M. Gregori, Milan 2002, p. 396).

In 1984 Safarik confirmed the attribution to Joannes Hermans, registered as Monsù Aurora in the Roman inventories of the Corsini, Colonna and Imperiali families. His painting, The Partridges, which is similar to the present work, bears the inscription J.H.F., JOANNES HERMANS FECIT.

According to Safarik, between 1656-58 Hermans executed numerous game and hunting still lifes for Camillo Pamphilij, depicting both dead and living animals, some set in marshy landscapes as in the painting Ducks Being Attacked by a Dog.

In Rome, Hermans created an exceptionally genre with his paintings of wild duck, partridges and pigeons caught by hunters: with their cool, distanced objectivity, his paintings celebrate the colourful hues of the birds’ feathers, creating a “surreal” ambiance. In this composition Hermans reveals the debt he owed to the works of Jan Fyt and to the series of bird etchings by Pieter Boels who stayed in Rome prior to 1650, as well as his contacts with connoisseurs of the genre such as Nicaise Beernaerts, known in Italy under the pseudonym Monsù Nicasio.
Probably born in Antwerp around 1630, between 1644-45 Hermans was a member of the local Guild of painters as a pupil of Adriaen Willenhout. Hermans is documented in Rome under the pseudonym Monsù Aurora from 1658. David de Coninck and Pietro Navarra, both of whom worked in Rome during the second half of the 17th century, particularly admired Hermans’ compositions.

Specialist: Mark MacDonnell

Joannes Hermans, called Monsù Aurora
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    EUR 18,000 to 22,000
    USD 20,500 to 25,000

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Old Master Paintings
Date: 17.04.2013, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 06.04. - 17.04.2013

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