Hunting scenes were a favourite
subject among the Indian princes of the Deccani kingdoms. This miniature
is an excellent rendering of the moment just before the hawk attacks the
flying duck. The juxtaposition of an intense green with the dark brown
of the horse’s skin and the blue of the sky are typical of the Deccani
school. The artist adds a comic touch with the page and the dog attempting
to keep pace with the galloping horse. The calligraphy on the verso
of the album leaf is by the 17th-century poet Muhammad Murad.
By Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (Paris 1803-1860 Fontainebleau) a View of a lake in charcoal, locally stumped, 261 x 433 mm (inv. no. 2003-T.6)
During Decamps’ lifetime,
his finished drawings were criticized and admired in equal measure. Contemporaries
noted his attention to the quality of the paper he used, and his resourcefulness
in developing techniques which allowed him ‘de l’attaquer
pour obtenir des reliefs et des transparences’. The work presented
here belongs to a large group of charcoal drawings in which the details
have been brought out by the gentle rubbing or ‘stumping’
of the charcoal in certain places. Most of these drawings bear the artist’s
usual signature DC, but this work is not signed, possibly because
it was a gift from Decamps to his friend, the artist Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury
(1797-1890). The drawing may be compared with Decamps’ painting
Christ on the Lake of Genesareth (1853, Louvre). It is typical
of those of his works inspired by his 1828 journey to the Middle East,
which introduced the ‘orientalism’ vogue in nineteenth-century
By Jan Harmensz. Muller (Amsterdam 1571-1628 Amsterdam) a copper engraving Holy Family with angels, after Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611), 323 x 212 mm (inv. no. 2003-P.36)
Following the acquisition of a previously unknown drawing by Jan Muller (inv. no. 2003-T.18), two further engravings by the same artist, on religious and classical subjects, have been added to the collection. The holy family suggests the engraving style of Hendrick Goltzius, for whom Muller worked in 1589. At about the same time, Muller began to make prints of the work of the Flemish artist Bartholomeus Spranger, who was mainly active in Prague at the court of Emperor Rudolf II.
This impression is of exceptionally high quality and of an equally distinguished provenance: it was once part of an eighteenth-century album in the library of the English Spencer family. When the Muller print was acquired, the original binding, now empty, was offered to the Collection by Artemis Fine Arts (inv. no. 2003-R.1). Apart from the Muller print, it had contained works by Dürer, Goltzius, Jan Saenredam and Aegidius Sadeler.
Bibliography: Jan Piet Filedt Kok, The Muller dynasty, vol. I, Rotterdam 1999 (The new Hollstein Dutch & Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450-1700), no. 66II/III; for the album: Marjorie B. Cohn et al., A noble collection: the Spencer albums of old master prints, cat. exh. Madison (Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin) etc. 1992-1993, p. 25 note 29, p. 30-33
By Norbert Goeneutte (Paris 1854-1894 Auvers-sur-Oise) a drypoint Portrait of Henri Guérard, 440 x 243 mm (inv. no. 2003-T.27)
Like his friend Henri Guérard (1846-1897), Norbert Goeneutte was primarily a printmaker who worked at the margins of impressionism. Apart from this print, Goeneutte made two other portraits of Guérard, one of which shows him at the etching press, while in the other he is fashionably dressed. As in the first-state print shown here (of which only one other impression is believed to exist), the marked drypoint effects in the darker passages of the two other portraits exemplify the flowering of French etching at the end of the nineteenth century, to which both Goeneutte and Guérard contributed significantly. The Frits Lugt Collection also contains several prints and a large collection of letters by Henri Guérard.
Bibliography: Gilbert de Knyff, L’art libre au XIXe siècle ou la vie de Norbert Goeneutte, Paris 1978, p. 138, no. 47; Norbert Goeneutte. 1854-1894, cat. exh. Pontoise (Musée de Pontoise) 1994, no. 84I/II