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    Description

    PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT ST. LOUIS FAMILY

    Studio of JAN (I) VAN KESSEL (Flemish, 1626-1679)

    Kitchen Scene with Fish, Vegetables, Fruit, and Animals, circa 1660s-70s
    Oil on copper with plywood panel backing
    6-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches (16.5 x 21.6 cm)

    PROVENANCE:
    (?) Joseph Philipson (Posen, Poland 1773-1844 St. Louis), St. Louis, Missouri, by 1844;
    Charles Samuel Rannells, Esq., (1813-1877) and Mary Warder Rannells (d. 1896) of St. Louis, Missouri, possibly acquired from the above in 1844-1848;
    Thence by descent to their son and daughter-in-law, Maplewood, Missouri, 1896 to 1939;
    Thence by descent to their son and daughter-in-law, Webster Grove, Missouri, and subsequently Dexter, Missouri, 1939 to 1972;
    Thence by descent to their daughter, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and subsequently Dallas, Texas, 1972 to the present.

    Jan (I) van Kessel was a member of a prolific artistic family from Antwerp. His father was the portrait painter Hieronymous van Kessel, who probably trained him. His uncle was Jan (II) Brueghel, a still-life painter who, in his turn, had worked with his father--a pioneer in the genre of Netherlandish flower paintings and a frequent collaborator of Peter Paul Rubens. After spending several years in Italy, Jan (II) Brueghel returned to Antwerp to assist in his father's large workshop which he ran after his father's death. Jan (I) van Kessel very likely worked with his uncle in the Brueghel family workshop during the middle 1640s, when demand for still lifes, particularly flower painting, was high and production brisk.

    Around 1650, Jan (I) van Kessel branched out into a wider variety of still-life subjects. He exploited the entire gamut of subject matter he would have learned to paint in the Brueghel workshop, notably landscapes composed in series such as the seasons or the elements, usually with a conspicuous inclusion of animals. During the 1650s, he also began producing little cabinet pieces, often on copper, featuring arrangements of insects against plain backgrounds, which have the feeling of natural history studies, live animals organized somewhat encyclopedically in landscapes, and also fish or kitchen still lifes resembling the present work. In his fish paintings, which tend to date to the later part of his life, Jan (I) van Kessel adopted a more painterly approach, which characterizes the handling of this charming work by an artist from his workshop.


    Condition Report*: Paint surface is covered in discolored varnish and shows light strengthening in areas above the fish, with minor restorations along lower and right margins of composition.  Otherwise, paint surface is well-preserved and intact, despite signs of old blistering in scattered passages of dark paint.  In 1978, the painting was cleaned, restored, and revarnished with methacrylate. 
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,486

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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