Hendrik van der Borcht

Still Life with a Collection of Curiosities

Still Life with a Collection of Curiosities
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Hendrik van der Borcht
Still Life, Painting, Oil on copperplate, 34.5x34.5 cm
Origin: Germany, 17th century

This early example of a German still life reflects the antiquarian interests of van der Borcht, who organised sales of just the kinds of collections of curiosities seen here. Van der Borcht had visited Italy, where he studied painting and collected carved gems and medals. In the foreground we see a carved shell, "The Reapers", a French work of the second half of the 16th century, symbolising the month of August and forming part of a series of "The Seasons". In the centre is a marble statue of Diana, while the marble to the right is probably Jupiter. Amongst the coins we can identify a denarius of Oton, a 2nd-century BC tetradrachma from Macedonia, a drachma or tetradrachma with a depiction of Athena, a dedication denarius of Faustin I with the sickle moon and seven stars, a denarius of Hadrian and a Hesse-Thuringian bracteate of the 12th century. The artist's treatment of these objects perhaps takes more of an archaeological than an artistic view.

Source of entry: Collection of V. Belevich, St Petersburg, 1889
Exibition: German Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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