Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Hello Flowers

My father reckoned the dish restaurants call Moules Marinières is always a bargain. You get two dishes - the juice the mussels come in, a kind of a soup, and the mussels themselves, the more substantial main course - for the price of one.

Thus, whenever I see a collector's cabinet painting, I always think of Moules Marinières and of my dad sitting across a table in some restaurant or other, explaining this theory, one of his many random shots at equipping me for independent life.

To me the collector's cabinet genre falls into exactly the same category as Moules Marinières, because the paintings within it also provide the buyer with more than one picture, also for the price of one:

Adriaen van Stalbempt (& associates) 1580 - Antwerp - 1662
Dealer - De Jonckheere

And it's not just pictures. As you can see there are musical instruments, and knick knacks - knick knacks galore:
But I didn't promise knick knacks. I promised flora and fauna. So here's some flora:
Balthasar van der Ast, Middelburg 1593/4 - 1657 Delft
A Still Life of Tulips and Other Flowers in a Ceramic Vase
Dealer - Johnny van Haeften

And here's some more, this time with some (mostly dead) fauna:

That one is a pair with the next one, which teems with fauna:

Both are painted on copper. I realise now that I must have liked the second a lot better than the first, judging by the number of pictures I took of it. That is possibly because the living creatures in it were portrayed as still living. Both pictures are by Pieter Snijers and once again the dealer is Johnny van Haeften, who seems to have rather cornered the market in flower paintings.

By the way, I realised after I'd posted my dog pictures yesterday that I'd missed one. It's from a painting of a Dutch church interior. This picture - and all its ilk (there are quite a few Dutch church interior paintings knocking around the world, I've noticed) - reminds me of the first time I was ever asked to pay to go into a church. It was in Haarlem in the Netherlands in about 1990.

Sadly, since then just about every great church in Europe seems to have decided that it's all right to make visitors pay. Ely Cathedral has even erected an appalling glass wall thing that completely ruins the visual flow of the interior; never mind - the important thing is that it stops anyone from getting inside merely to pray without paying, (and presumably dogs aren't allowed to roam about ever, not even if they do cough up fifteen quid for the privilege):
Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet - 1611/12 - Delft - 1675
The Interior of a Gothic Church with Figures by a Pulpit and an Open Grave, Oil on Panel

What's that you say about paid admission? It's called progress is it? Hmmm.

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