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$ 38,000

Still Life with Rose, Insects, Butterfly and Conch Shell

Documentation Ample Provenance
Origin Netherlands
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Tempera on parchment
W. 8.25 in; H. 6.25 in;
W. 20.96 cm; H. 15.88 cm;
Condition Good.
Description Framed: 16.75" w x 14" h (42.5 x 35.5 cm)

Margareta de Heer worked for most of her career in Friesland, where she married the painter Andries Pietersz Nieuhoff. Her known oeuvre consists of some forty works; the earliest dated is a 1644 still life with shells and insects in the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden. Her signed and dated works are all watercolors or tempera on parchment consisting of studies of flowers, shells, butterflies, caterpillars, insects, lizards, and insects in soft colors. Most of the others would appear to date from the 1650s, and this is the latest of her known dated works. The majority of her other compositions are either farmyard scenes, or still life compositions similar to this. Amongst the latter, two comparable examples are in Groningen (where there are 9 or 10 watercolors of the artist), another is in Amsterdams Historisch Museum (see L.J.Bol, Bekoring van het kleine, Stichting Openbaar Kunsstbezit, 1963, cats. 7, 22, and 34), while another, also including shells, was sold in London, Sotheby’s, 21 March 1973, lot 34, perhaps the same as in the Silvano Lodi coll. Milan. Her paintings are reminiscent of Georg Hoefnagel (1542-1600), while her draughtsmanship can be compared to Maria Sibylla Merian, but with a more painterly rendering, (her studies more appropriate for a studiolo or wunderkammer).

Although there was a long-established Dutch tradition of still life and natural history watercolors and gouaches, de Heer’s compositions and technique are remarkably innovative, anticipating the works of artists from rather later in the seventeenth century such as Johannes Bronckhorst and Herman Henstenburgh.
Styles / Movements Other
Incollect Reference Number 308556
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