N08645_52_lr_1

Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts (Antwerp, active 1659 - after 1683) Trompe l'oeil of an open cupboard. photo Sotheby's

oil on canvas, signed and dated on the etching at center: C.N. Gijsbrechts Aº 1665, 33 1/2 by 29 1/2 in.; 85.1 by 74.9 cm. Est. 120,000—180,000 USD Lot Sold 104,500 USD

PROVENANCE: With Hanover Gallery, London, by 1950;
With F. Frank, London, by 1951;
Marcus, Paris, before 1964;
Probably with Duits Gallery, London;
Oscar and Maria Salzer, Los Angeles;
By whom given to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science,1983 (Acc. FMM 82.31).

EXHIBITED: Lawrence, KS, Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, The Salzer Collection, Trompe L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 4 October - 1 November 1964, cat. no. 20, reproduced on the catalogue cover;
Charlotte, NC, The Mint Museum of Art, The Salzer Collection, Trompe-L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 14 February - 7 March 1965, cat. no. 20;
Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; Seattle, WA, Seattle Art Museum; Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Academy of Art; Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Reality and Deception, 16 October 1974 – 20 April 1975, cat. no. 30, reproduced and on catalogue cover;
Columbus, OH, Columbus Museum of Art; West Palm Beach, FL, Norton Gallery of Art, More Than Meets the Eye: The Art of Trompe l'Oeil, 7 December 1985 – 27 April 1986, cat. no. 2, reproduced pp. 10 and 50;
Dartmouth, NH, Hood Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC, North Carolina Museum of Art; Houston, TX, Museum of Fine Arts; Atlanta, GA, High Museum of Art, Age of the Marvelous, 21 September 1991 - 3 January 1993, cat. no. 197, reproduced p. 431;
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Cleveland, OH, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands, 1550-1720, 19 June 1999 - 9 January 2000, cat. no. 56;
Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Bunkamura, The Bunkamura Museum of Art; Hyogo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Visual Deception, 11 April 2009 - 3 November 2009, cat. no. 28, reproduced pp. 66 and 67.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: G. Marlier, "Het stilleven in de Vlaamse schilderkunst der XVIe eeuw," in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten te Antwerpen, 1941, p. 103;
P. Gammelbo, "Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts og Franciscus Gijsbrechts," in Kunstmuseets Arsskrift 39-42 (1952-55), p. 147, no. 11, reproduced;
G. Marlier, "C.N. Gysbrechts, l'illusioniste," in Connaissance des Arts, no. 145, March 1964, p. 103, reproduced;
A.P. de Mirimonde, "Les peintres de trompe l'oeil et de natures morte aux XVIIe siècle, et les fujets de musique," in Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen," 1971, p. 247, reproduced pl. 27;
M. Battersby, Trompe l'oeil: The Eye Deceived, 1974, p. 108, reproduced;
D. Folga-Januzewska, "Trompe l'oeil de C.N. Gijsbrechts dans les collections du Musée National de Varsovie," in Bulletin du Musée National de Varsovie 22, 1981, pp. 57-61;
Portraits of Objects, Oscar and Maria Salzer Collection of Still Life and Trompe-L'Oeil Paintings, Fresno 1984, cat. no. 21, reproduced in color on the cover;
S.B. Sherrill, "Current and Coming," in Antiques Magazine, December 1985, reproduced;
P.C. Sutton, The Age of Rubens, exhibition catalogue, Boston 1993, p. 551, reproduced p. 554, fig. 1;
M. Braun, Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts und Fransiscus Gijsbrechts, (Diss.), Berlin 1994, p. 95-96, cat. no. 1.1.16;
G. Apgar, S. O'L. Higgins, C. Striegel, The Newspaper in Art, Spokane 1996, p. 10, reproduced fig. 14;
A. Chong and W. Kloek, Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands, 1550-1720, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam and Cleveland 1999, pp. 231-233, cat. no. 56, reproduced pp. 58 (detail) and 232;
O. Koester, Illusions: Gijsbrechts, Royal Master of Deception, exhibition catalogue Copenhagen, 1999, p. 152, reproduced.

NOTE: During the early 1650s in the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe, trompe l'oeil paintings were sought after by collectors and princely patrons who admired the skill and sophistication of these "praiseworthy deceptions".1 As the audience for them grew, a number of different variants evolved, including cut-outs, letter boards and open or closed cupboards, such as the present work.

Here we see a glass-windowed cupboard, its door ajar. Tucked behind a horizontal metal bar and into the wooden frame are various written and printed documents and writing implements, while dimly visible within are stacks of coins, eye glasses, sticks of sealing wax and a wooden box. On the door itself, at the very center of the composition, is a small sheaf of prints, stitched together in the upper margins. The etching on top -- the only one visible to the viewer -- is a small head of a man in profile based on a print by Jan Lievens,2 but Gijsbrechts has added his own signature underneath and the date 1665. To the left is a 1657 almanac from Liège, which partly obscures a newspaper with the headline "Victor...". This latter has been identified as referring to the English victory over the Dutch in the Battle of Lowestoft , June 1665.3 The other elements of the still life are more generic in nature and have not been linked to any known pamphlets or books.

Gijsbrechts painted very few cupboard still lifes. He was undoubtedly inspired by Hoogstraaten, who began painting similar wall cupboards with glass windows in the early 1650s. The present work and a painting of a closed cupboard in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, both dated 1665, are the earliest known. Another closely related picture, dated 1666 was with Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht.4 Unlike the later works that Gijsbrechts painted while in the service of the Danish King Frederick III, now in the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, which include small bronzes and other elements familiar to curiosity cabinets, these three works all feature more mundane elements. It is Gijsbrechts' masterful arrangement of these ordinary materials that attracts and excites us. Using the small etching as an anchor, he fans out the letters and pamphlets around it, curling the edges of the sheets and tilting them just out of the vertical plane so that they catch the light and our eye. Completing the circle at the bottom is a quill pen, whose shadow falls on the cabinet door, which appears to have just swung open.

1. C. Brusati in Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands, 1550-1720, p. 59, see Literature.
2. Bust of a Man with Thick Lips (Holl. 88).
3. A. Chong and W. Kloek,in Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands, 1550-1720, p. 231, see Literature.
4. See O. Koester, The Eye Deceived: Painted Illusions by Cornelius Gijsbrechts, exhibition catalogue, The Hague 2005, pp. 52-53, cat. 12, reproduced.

N08645_36_lr_1

Edwaert Collier (Breda active before 1663 - 1708 Leiden (?)), Trompe l'Oeil still life of a letter rack holding newspapers, letters, a comb, scissors, wax, a letter opener, a magnifying glass and other objects. photo Sotheby's

oil on canvas, 25 1/8 by 30 in.; 63.7 by 76.2 cm, signed and inscribed on the leter lower center: ffor/Mr E. Collier/Painter att/London and dated on the almanac: 1698. Est. 50,000—70,000 USD Lot Sold 92,500 USD

PROVENANCE: Oscar and Maria Salzer, Los Angeles;
By whom given to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science,1983 (Acc. FMM 82.19).

EXHIBITED: Lawrence, KS, Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, The Salzer Collection, Trompe L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 4 October - 1 November 1964, cat. no. 9;
Charlotte, NC, The Mint Museum of Art, The Salzer Collection, Trompe-L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 14 February - 7 March 1965, cat. no. 9;
Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; Seattle, WA, Seattle Art Museum; Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Academy of Art; Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Reality and Deception, 16 October 1974 – 20 April 1975, cat. no. 15, reproduced;
Dartmouth, NH, Hood Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC, North Carolina Museum of Art; Houston, TX, Museum of Fine Arts; Atlanta, GA, High Museum of Art, Age of the Marvelous, 21 September 1991 - 3 January 1993, cat. no. 195, reproduced p. 429;
Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Bunkamura, The Bunkamura Museum of Art; Hyogo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Visual Deception, 11 April 2009 - 3 November 2009, cat. no. 32, reproduced p. 71.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History and Science, Celebration of the Opening, Fresno 1984, p. 12, reproduced;
Portraits of Objects, Oscar and Maria Salzer Collection of Still Life and Trompe-L'Oeil Paintings, Fresno 1984, cat. no. 8, reproduced in color.

NOTE: Trained as a painter in Haarlem and Leiden, Edwaert Collier joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Leiden in 1673. He moved to London in 1693 and had a prolific career there as a painter of vanitas and trompe l'oeil still lifes. These witty and highly decorative works, which were incredibly popular during the late 17th and 18th centuries, have found favor with collectors and connoisseurs in the present day due to their ability to blend reality with deception and their unique resolution to the question at the heart of painting's practice for centuries: how to depict the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface.

The theme of the letter rack seems to have preoccupied Collier during his years in London; we know many examples of these works today – all dated 1693 and later – which can be generally divided into two groups: those with plain, dark, monochromatic backgrounds as seen in the present work, and those with faux bois backgrounds, as in the work sold New York, Sotheby's 28 January 2010, lot 262. Although all of the letter rack works in Collier's oeuvre are composed differently, they do tend to feature similar objects. Indeed, almost every object in the present work reappears elsewhere in other works by the artist. Particularly characteristic are the inclusion of the Apollo Anglicanus Almanac, which the artist often uses to date his works (here, 1698); the folded and dog-eared copy of the London Gazette; a royal speech before parliament (here by King William); and the hand-written "Memory" pad. Also typical is the way in which Collier has signed the work: on a letter tucked into the rack addressed to "Mr. E. Collier Painter att. London". During his time in London, Collier used both the Dutch and English versions of his signature interchangeably; thus, he was sometimes Edwaert or Edwaerd, other times Edward; sometimes Painter at London, others Schilder tot Leyden. A master of the trompe l'oeil genre, Collier's genius lay in his ability to make his carefully arranged and remarkably naturalistic works appear effortless, random and uncomposed.

We are grateful to Dr. Dror Wahrman for his assistance in cataloguing the present lot.

N08645_38_lr_1

French School, 19th Century, Trompe l'Oeil of a Barber's Cabinet. photo Sotheby's

oil on canvas, 25 3/8 by 21 3/8 in.; 64.5 by 54.3 cm. Est. 12,000—18,000 USD Lot Sold   43,750 USD

PROVENANCE: Oscar and Maria Salzer, Los Angeles;
By whom given to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science, 1983 (acc. no. FMM 82.62).

EXHIBITED: Lawrence, KS, Museum of Art of the University of Kansas, The Salzer Collection. Trompe l'Oeil and Still Life Paintings: A Loan Exhibition, 4 October - 1 November 1964, no. 30, reproduced p. 21 (as Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Oudry);
Charlotte, NC, The Mint Museum of Art, The Salzer Collection, Trompe-L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 14 February - 7 March 1965, cat. no. 30 (as Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Oudry);
Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; Seattle, WA, Seattle Art Museum; Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Academy of Art; Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Reality and Deception, 16 October 1974 – 20 April 1975, cat. no. 81, reproduced (as French School, 19th Century);
Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Bunkamura, The Bunkamura Museum of Art; Hyogo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Visual Deception, 11 April 2009 - 3 November 2009, cat. no. 26, reproduced p. 64 (as French School, 19th Century).

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Portraits of Objects, Oscar and Maria Salzer Collection of Still Life and Trompe-L'Oeil Paintings, Fresno 1984, cat. no. 51, reproduced (as French School, 18th Century).

N08645_37_lr_1

Edwaert Collier (Breda active before 1663 - 1708 Leiden (?)), Trompe l'oeil still life with an Engraving of Erasmus of Rotterdam affixed to a wood board. photo Sotheby's

oil on canvas, 18 1/4 by 14 3/4 in.; 46.3 by 37.5 cm., signed and dated: E. Coljer fecit/Anno 1693. Est. 15,000—20,000 USD
Lot Sold 37,500 USD

PROVENANCE: Oscar and Maria Salzer, Los Angeles;
By whom given to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science,1983 (Acc. FMM 82.20).

EXHIBITED: Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; Seattle, WA, Seattle Art Museum; Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Academy of Art; Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Reality and Deception, 16 October 1974 – 20 April 1975, cat. no. 16, reproduced;
Dartmouth, NH, Hood Museum of Art; Raleigh, NC, North Carolina Museum of Art; Houston, TX, Museum of Fine Arts; Atlanta, GA, High Museum of Art, Age of the Marvelous, 21 September 1991 - 3 January 1993, cat. no. 195, reproduced p. 428;
Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Bunkamura, The Bunkamura Museum of Art; Hyogo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Visual Deception, 11 April 2009 - 3 November 2009, cat. no. 19, reproduced p. 56.

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Portraits of Objects, Oscar and Maria Salzer Collection of Still Life and Trompe-L'Oeil Paintings, Fresno 1984, cat. no. 9, reproduced.

NOTE: A recurring motif in Collier's work, the artist often incorporated the print of Erasmus of Rotterdam into his trompe l'oeil still lifes, sometimes alone, and sometimes incorporated into arrangements of various objects.

N08645_33_lr_1

Flemish School, 17th Century, Trompe l'Oeil Marble Relief of The Adoration of the Shepherds. photo Sotheby's

oil on canvas, 15 1/2 by 11 1/8 in.; 39.4 by 28.3 cm. Inscribed indistinctly, lower right ...er pinx 71 ? Est. 6,000—8,000 USD Lot Sold 11,875 USD

PROVENANCE: Oscar and Maria Salzer, Los Angeles;
By whom given to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science, 1983 (acc. no. FMM 82.59).

EXHIBITED: Lawrence, KS, Museum of Art of the University of Kansas, The Salzer Collection. Trompe l'Oeil and Still Life Paintings: A Loan Exhibition, 4 October - 1 November 1964, no. 12, reproduced (as Dutch School, 17th Century);
Charlotte, NC, The Mint Museum of Art, The Salzer Collection, Trompe-L'Oeil and Still Life Paintings, A Loan Exhibition, 14 February - 7 March 1965, cat. no. 12 (as Dutch School, 17th Century);
Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; Seattle, WA, Seattle Art Museum; Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Academy of Art; Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Reality and Deception, 16 October 1974 – 20 April 1975, cat. no. 77, reproduced (as Dutch School, 17th Century);
Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Bunkamura, The Bunkamura Museum of Art; Hyogo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Visual Deception, 11 April 2009 - 3 November 2009, cat. no. 35, reproduced p. 74 (as Dutch School, 17th Century).

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Portraits of Objects, Oscar and Maria Salzer Collection of Still Life and Trompe-L'Oeil Paintings, Fresno 1984, cat. no. 48, reproduced (as Dutch, 17th Century).

Sotheby's. Old Master Paintings. 03 Jun 10. New York www.sothebys.com