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Trompe l’oeil of a Framed Necessary-board

Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dordrecht 1627 – Dordrecht 1678)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1662 - 1663

Materials

Oil on panel

Measurements

540 x 591 mm (21 1/4 x 23 1/4 in)

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Collection

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset (Accredited Museum)

NT 1257236

Caption

This illusionistic painting is intended to deceive the viewer into thinking it is a real necessary-board stuffed with objects held by leather straps. The type of painting is called 'trompe l'oeil', designed to 'fool the eye'. There is a pair of scissors, a little ivory magnifying glass, a frontispiece of an English play-text (Abraham Cowley's 'The Guardian', a Comedy performed for Prince Charles, later Charles II, in 1641 and revived as 'Cutter of Coleman-Street' in 1663), a large horn comb and a small ivory double comb, a knife, a shaving knife, some playing-cards, a pen-holder; a quill pen, a gilt-tooled leather-bound book, a cameo of a Roman Emperor (which refers to the artist's honour of Painter of the Holy Roman Emperor, bestowed on him by Emperor Ferdinand III in 1651), an envelope addressed to van Hoogstraten himself, a string of pearls, an envelope with a paper seal, and a bunch of keys. The artist, who came from Holland, was in England between 1662–1666 when the picture was painted.

Summary

Oil painting on panel, Trompe l’oeil of a Framed Necessary-board, by Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dordrecht 1627 – Dordrecht 1678), 1662/3; signed (as the address of a letter): Sr [?] Sam[ue]le Hoogstraten / pittor d s sacra / mta Cesare. Inscribed: (as the title of a play): The Guardian / A / COME[DY] / A[cted before] Prince C[harles]. With a similar Dutch giltwood frame with elements of auricular ornament, flowers and fruit, a shell, and a lionmask, the painter has used the actual grain of the panel to represent a backboard, against which three simulated leather straps appear to hold a whole variety of things, including (from upper left to lower right): a pair of scissors; a little ivory magnifying-glass; an open English play-text, a large horn comb and a small ivory double comb; a knife; a shaving knife; some playing-cards; a pen-holder; a quill pen; a gilt-tooled leather-bound book; a cameo of a Roman Emperor, hung from a ribbon; an envelope addressed to van Hoogstraten himself; a string of pearls; an envelope with a paper seal, and a bunch of keys.

Provenance

First recorded 1731, no.92; 1775, no. 112; bequeathed by (Henry John) Ralph Bankes (1902 – 1981) to the National Trust, together with the estates of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy and its entire contents in 1981.

Credit line

Kingston Lacy, The Bankes Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dordrecht 1627 – Dordrecht 1678), artist

References

Roscam Abbing 1993: M. Roscam Abbing, De schilder & schrijver Samuel van Hoogstraten 1627-1678: Eigentijdse bronnen & oeuvre van gesigneerde schilderijen, Leyden, 1993 Brusati 1995 C. Brusati, Artifice & Illusion. The art and Writing of Samuel van Hoogstraten, Chicago 1995, Checklist, nr. 85 (on page 363) Brusati 1999 C. Brusati, ‘Capitalizing on the Counterfeit: Trompe L'Oeil Negotiations’, in A. Chong and W. Kloek eds., Still-life paintings from the Netherlands 1550-1720, 1999, 58-71, p.71, n.21 Blanc 2008 J. Blanc, Peindre et penser la peinture au XVIIe siècle. La théorie de l’art de Samuel van Hoogstraten, Bern 2008, p.181

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