Thursday, 8 June 2017

"Dutch School" may be the work of Gerret Willemsz. Heda

Vanderkindere, from Brussels, sells on 14 May 2017 a "Dutch School, 17th century" still life, estimated at 5,000 to 7,000 Euro.

The work is very close to the famous still lifes of Willem Claesz Heda, but lacks the extreme finesse and brilliance of these. Somehown Heda succeeds in getting his brush strokes exactly right, creating an extremely convincing effect; most followers copy the manners and elements, but don't get the same overall effect even though it is hard to pinpoint which aspects are lacking.

Searching further, I wonder whether this isn't the work of Gerrit (or Gerret) Willemsz. Heda (1625-1649), the son of Willem Heda.Some of his works are very, very similar in composition and execution. The nautiluscup in the above one is identical or nearly identical to the one for sale, but the position has changed just enough that it isn't a simple copy.

The same cup and position also appears in a work by father Willem, but there the difference in execution agin becomes apparent.

There seems to be one other logical candidate for the artist of this painting: Maerten Boelema de Stomme ("The Silent") (1611-1644), another pupil of Heda, who also painted the same cup, and added a ham that looks remarkably like te one in the work for sale. This work sold for £92,500 at Sotheby's in 2013. To me Boelema seems like a slightly better painter than Gerret Heda (who died very young, it ha to be said); and the work for sale feels more like a Heda to me, even though the composition is closer to Boelema (in as far as the compositions of the two differ...)

I estimate this painting at 15,000 to 18,000 Euro.

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