Old Master Paintings, Drawings, and British Portraits


JACOB VAN ES (Antwerp 1596 – Antwerp 1666)

 Roses, Tulips, and Narcissuses in a Stone Vase on a Wooden Ledge

signed JACOB. VAN ES in the lower left

oil on panel

18 ¾ x 14 inches          (48 x 36 cm.)


Anonymous sale, Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, November 25, 1972, lot 2494

Maria van Es, The Hague, 1974 until 2014


Van Es spent his entire career in Antwerp painting still lifes. In 1616/17, he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp. Banquet still lifes, along with depictions of more modest repasts, form the majority of his subject matter, and, while his flower pieces were praised during his lifetime, today they are extremely rare. Currently there are about 100 known still lifes by van Es, but only five – other than this one – are purely flowers. Three of these are in museums: Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum; Fondation Custodia, Paris; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg. These florals are defined by a simplicity of composition accompanied by a cool refinement of coloration, as exemplified by this work in which shades of pink, green, and brown predominate. By stripping the panel down to its essentials, a sense of modernity is instilled as well as the element of timelessness. Edith Greindl, in her landmark book Les peintres flamands de nature morte au XVIIe siècle, succinctly described van Es’ output as “la simplicité constitue la grandeur” (roughly, greatness in simplicity).[1]

Other museums in which van Es’ paintings formed part of the permanent collections are those of: Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Capetown, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Kortrijk, Lille, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, Nancy, Omaha, Oxford, Prague, Stockholm, Turin, and Vaduz, among others.



[1] Peter Mitchell, “Jacob Foppens van Es” in European Flower Painters, Interbook International B.V., Schiedam, 1981, pp. 109-110; Fred G. Meijer, “Jacob Foppens van Es” in The Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Dutch and Flemish Still-life Paintings, Waanders Publishers, Zwolle 2002/2003, pp. 204-205; and Adriaan van der Willigen and Fred G. Meijer, “Jacob van Es” in A Dictionary of Dutch and Flemish Still-life Painters Working in Oils, 1525–1725, Primavera Press, Leiden, 2003, pp. 79-80.

Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts

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