Thursday, 20 April 2017

Unknown artist C. De Vylder

Walldorf, from Germany, sells on 22 April 2017 as lot 1091 an "Unclearly signed, 19th century Belgian school, Antwerp 1860" genre painting estimated at 500 Euro.

The painting isn't especially good, but signed Belgian paintings always make me curious to find out who actually painted it. Luckily, the auction house provided a close-up of the signature. It seems to say C. De Kylder or C. De Vylder or any variation thereof.

It turns out that this is a largely unknown painter, who appears from time to time at auction with similar works, often dated to the same year, 1860. One auction stated that he or she was Dutch and lived from 1840 to 1880, but I haven't been able to confirm this. The RKD doesn't list them.

A possibility is that this was a student at the important Antwerp Royal Academy of Art, who painted a lot during his studies (ca. 1860) but then quit painting and went on to live an unremarkable live somewhere. Seems like a pity in that case, as they had some talent, enough probably to become a moderately succesful painter of commercial works like the above. They wouldn't have become a major master of the genre though.

Above are shown the other works by him that I could find. And that's it. No trace of his origin, first name, ... could be found online.

Value? The estimate seems about right. The first and fourth painting above were sold together at Christie's South Kensington in 2000 for £3,500, but they seem to be somewhat better than the one for sale, and were twice as large. The work for sale is quite small (32 by 25 cm).

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