JAN BAPTIST WEENIX (Amsterdam 1621 – Amsterdam 1659)
A Boar Hound with a Joint of Meat Near and Enraged Cat
signed upper right Gio Batta Weenix
oil on canvas
45 x 51 inches (114.5 x 129.5 cm.)
P. & D. Colnaghi, Ltd., London
Private Collection, New York, until 1989
Anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, New York, January 12, 1989, lot 108, where purchased by
Spencer A. Samuels & Company, New York
Greenwich, Connecticut, Bruce Museum, Best in Show, The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today, May 13 – August 27, 2006, and traveling to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 1, 2006 – January 1, 2007
Burlington Magazine, volume 133, no. 1060, July 1991, p. xvi in an advertisement for Spencer A. Samuels & Company, New York
Edgar Peters Bowron, “An Artist’s Best Friend: Dogs in Renaissance and Baroque Painting and Sculpture,” in Best in Show, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2006, pp. 29-30 & 148, fig. 25, illustrated, (date of work given as circa 1650-55)
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist by Dr. Anke Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven
Jan Baptist Weenix was born in Amsterdam in 1621, the son of the architect Johannes Weenix and Grietgen Heeremans. His sister Lijsbeth married the painter Barent Micker (1615 – 1687), whose brother Jan Micker (1598/99 – 1664) was Weenix’s first teacher. He subsequently studied with the Utrecht painter Abraham Bloemaert and completed his training in the Amsterdam studio of Claes Moeyaert. In 1639, Weenix married Josina de Hondecoeter, daughter of the landscape painter Gysbert-Gillisz Hondecoeter (1604 -1653). On October 30, 1642, he drafted his will as he was planning to travel to Italy to experiment with his art. He lived in Italy from 1643 to 1647. In Rome, Weenix joined the Netherlandish artists society, the Bentvueghels. About 1645 the artist probably entered the service of Cardinal Camillo Pamphili. Weenix was in Amsterdam by June 1647, however by 1649 he had settled in Utrecht where together with Jan Both, he was elected an officer of the local painters guild. In 1657, Weenix moved to the Huis ter Mey, where he died in 1660 or 1661, at the age of thirty-nine. Weenix had two sons, one of whom, Jan, became a well known still-life painter.
Along with Claes Berchem and Jan Both, Weenix was a leader of the second generation of seventeenth century Dutch painters. He painted and drew history subjects, views of Mediterranean seaports, landscapes, genre scenes, still-lifes with dead game and some portraits, although these are quite rare. After his return from Italy he always signed his name, as in the present painting, Gio[vanni] Batt[ist]a Weenix, whereas earlier he had written it J[ohannes] Weenicx or Weenincks. The addition of Battista might have been a reference to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili, who became Pope Innocent X in 1644, from whom he received at least one commission.