Schooten, Floris van

(Haarlem 1590 - 1655 Haarlem)

A Still life of Fish with Copperware on a Table

Oil on panel
47 x 78 cm
FvS

Not priced History
Contact
A Still life of Fish with Copperware on a Table
<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">England, private collection</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">London, Sale Sotheby's, 20 october 1982, lot 93</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">Solingen, Gallerie M&uuml;llenmeister</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">Private collection Munich</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">The Haarlem artist Floris van Schooten was recorded as a painter in 1605 and again in 1639, as dean of the Guild of St. Luke, the professional painter's guild in the city. The artist's early work consists of market scenes, kitchen scenes with tables set with food and kitchenware, as well as a few paintings of biblical subjects. It is almost impossible to establish a firm chronology of his oeuvre as he dated only a small number of his many works, and his style and handling were rather consistent. Floris van Schooten's earliest works attest tot the substantial influence of his fellow townsmen Nicolaes Gilles (active c. 1612 - in or after 1632) and Floris van Dyck (c. 1575 - 1651). The artist's earliest known dated still life, from 1617, is particularly reminiscent of Floris van Dyck's&nbsp; impressive displays of costly objects. Van Schooten's work is often regarded as representative of the development of still life painting in the Netherlands.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">Van Schooten's still life paintings, spanning nearly half a century - from the early 1600s to the late 1640s - often appear modest, but, as proposed by Poul Gammelbo in 1966, their importance to the artist's contemporaries is probably greater than has so far been believed. For example, the earliest still lifes of the 1620s by Van Schooten's fellowtownmen, Pieter Claesz. (1597/8-1660) and Roelof Koets (c. 1630 - 1681), painted about twenty years after AVan Schooten's earliest still lifes, are very close to the style of the present artist. Further, Gerrit Donck's (c. 1610 -1640) market scenes from the end of the 1630s are clearly influenced by Van Schooten's rather dry mode of painting.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman">The present fish still life with copperware and other kitchen utensils and coins on a table is painted in an elongated, rectangular format, which was typical of the artist's still lifes from around 1630. Even though the lowering of the viewpoint creates the problem of not overlapping items, Van Schooten manages to single them out by limiting himself to a small number of objects. The composition is dominated by a large copper basin on the left of the picture plane. The knife, coins, a small copper vessel and fish are arranged in the table's foreground. To the back, Van Schooten placed a copper cauldron and a terracotta vessel with butter, beside which lies a down-turned sieve-spoon. The knife handle and fish, projecting over the edge of the table into the viewer's space, enhance the illusionistic effect. The tactile qualities of the diffirent materials are beautifully rendered through the effectof a soft, diffuse light on surfaces; the brilliant lustre of the scoured insides of the copper vessels, the dull gleam of the pewter knife, and the slippery gleam of the silver fish. The restrained composition, with its subtle monochrome aspect and red-orange colouring, contrasts with the dark ground, throwing the motifs into sharp relief.</span></span></p>

Sign up for Bijl van Urk's newsletter