Boy leaning on a Windowsill, holding a Birdcage
attributed to Caspar Netscher (Heidelberg 1639 – The Hague 1684)
Selected as one of our favourite things by Andrew, volunteer room guide. He admires 'The glowing, vibrant colours and miniscule brushwork and detail.'
Oil painting on panel, Boy with a Birdcage/ Boy leaning on a Windowsill, holding a Birdcage by Caspar Netscher (Heidelberg 1639 – The Hague 1684), inscribed on stone plaque on window ledge wall: Anno.16.65. The picture shows a half-length image of a boy, his right hand holding a bird cage, with his left hand offering it a glass of water, apparently leaning over a balcony or similar, with an arch over his head. A young boy wearing a red-brown jacket and white cravat leans on a window ledge, looking out towards the viewer. In his right hand he holds a bird cage, which rests on the ledge. To the right, by the curtain pulled to the side, is a hat with yellow and blue feathers and toys: a spinning top and knucklebones on a string. Children with birds were a common motif in Dutch 17th-century paintings, they were common househhold pets and carried other meanings like a love symbol; a suitor happily enslaved by love, although the boy in this picture may be a little young for such connotations. It is thought to be a copy of a lost original by Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt. This composition is based on the painting by Frans Van Mieris I in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.
By 1756, Paris, Jean de Jullienne; 1767, Paris, Jullienne sale, lot 190, bought by Boileau for the duc de Choiseul; 1767-72, Paris, Étienne-François, comte de Stainville, duc de Choiseul (1719- 1785); 6 April 1772, Paris, duc de Choiseul sale, lot 18, bought by Stroganoff; 1772 - 1811, St Petersburg, Count Alexander Strogonaff (1733 - 1811); September 1923, Paris, Hamburger, Frères; 1946, London Edward Speelman; 1946, London, Thomas Agnews; Knightshayes, Sir John Heathcoat Amory; bequeathed to the Knightshayes Gardens Trust on his death in 1972.
Marks and inscriptions
Recto: painted so as to look like an inscription on a stone tablet underneath the window opening: Anno. 16. 65.
Makers and roles
attributed to Caspar Netscher (Heidelberg 1639 – The Hague 1684), artist after Frans van Mieris the elder (Leiden 1635 - Leiden 1681), artist
Jean de Jullienne: Collector & Connoisseur (Esprit et Verité). Watteau and his Circle, Wallace Collection, London, 12 March - 5 June 2011, no. 18 Smith 1842 John Smith, Supplement to the Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, London, 1842, vol. 4 (1833), no. 7 & vol. 9 (1842), p. 539, no. 6 Hofstede de Groot 1907-28: C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, 8 vols., London 1907-28, vol. 5 (1913), p. 174, no. 72 Naumann 1981 Otto Naumann, Frans van Mieris (1635—1681) the Elder, 2 vols., Doornspijk, 1981, vol.2, pp.170 -01, no. C135a Wieseman 2002 Marjorie E. Wieseman, Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-century Dutch Paintings, Doornspijk, 2002, p. 344, no. C35