An important rediscovery attributed to the Still life Baroque female master

22/10/2021     Old Master & 19th Century Pictures

ROSEBERYS LONDON: Roseberys presents the final Old Master & 19th Century Pictures auction of the year on Wednesday 17 November 2021.

Lara L’vov-Basirov, Associate Specialist of the department comments ‘Our November Old Master & 19th Century Pictures sale includes a strong collection of 273 paintings, drawings, prints, and frames, spanning almost four centuries from the 1500s to the late 19th Century. The sale is led by the magnificent oil on canvas ‘The Fruit Seller’ attributed to the Italian 17th-Century female artist Louise Moillon. In a significant rediscovery, this work is being presented to the open market for the very first time. Moillon’s oeuvre encompasses around just seventy-five works, the majority of these being pure still-life compositions without a figurative presence. We are grateful to Dr Alsina for his comments on the painting, which can be read in full here. The work on paper section of the sale is led by the highly important drawing ‘Three Punchinelli gathered around a pot of gnocchi’ by the 18th-Century Venetian master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. It is one of just thirty-six Punchinello drawings by the artist and has not appeared at auction since 1974. Aside from these two highlights, we have an important section of 17th and 18th -Century portraiture including examples by Robert Walker, and those in the style of Frans Hals, Sir Peter Lely, Jean Marc Nattier, and Johann Zoffany. Northern European landscapes scenes spanning the 1600s to the 19th Century form a nice grouping, with works by Jan Asselijn, Henri Cleenewerck, and Charles Leickert, and many further canvases by, for example, a Follower of Abraham Jansz. Begeyn, and an artist working in the Circle of Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem. A 17-Century romantic landscape in the style of Salvator Rosa and a ‘View of the Acropolis, Athens’ by British artist William Linton compliment this section. Important maritime works (Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, Nicholas Matthew Condy, and Abraham Hulk Senior), Still life paintings (Alice Vasselon, Alexis Kreyder, and Adriana Sophia Fontein) and several important miniatures (Laurence Hilliard, David Loggan, and Thomas Forster) comprise further sale highlights. The work on paper section of the sale similarly includes many significant works, aside from the Tiepolo. We are further proud to present a significant group of works on paper alongside the splendid Tiepolo drawing. These include an important late 16th-Century drawing by an early follower of Leonardo da Vinci, and at the other end of the sale, a charming sketch, of a mother and child, by Jean-François Millet. Here at Rosebery’s, we are hugely excited to be presenting four centuries of diverse, historically important, and aesthetically significant pictures to the auction market on 17th November.


Attributed to Louise Moillon, French c.1610-1696- The Fruit Seller; oil on canvas, bears restorer's monogram and date '1976' (on the reverse of the canvas), 121 x 102 cm., 47½ x 40 in.

Leading the auction, attributed to the esteemed French 17th-Century female artist Louise Moillon, c.1610-1696, is lot 53. The oil on canvas ‘The Fruit Seller, which is being offered at auction for the first time, comes with a provenance from an important Greek shipping family.  This work represents a significant rediscovery by the Still life Baroque female master, whose oeuvre consists of around just seventy-five works. Only a handful of Mollion’s larger scale ‘figurative-still life’ combination paintings have even been offered on the market before, and the artist was one of the very few female painters in 17th-Century France whose artistic reputation has been held in consistently high regard. This incredibly important example of 17th-Century French Still Life painting comes with an estimate of £40,000-£60,000.


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian 1696-1770- Three Punchinelli gathered around a gnocchi pot; black chalk, pen and brown ink and wash on paper, bears ownership inscription ‘Tiepolo / Collection Jolimont.' (lower edge), 20.5 x 23 cm. 


Entered onto the market with a pre-sale guided price of £20,000- £30,000 is lot 83, black chalk, pen and brown ink and wash on paper, depicting Three Punchinelli gathered around a gnocchi pot by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770.  One of around just thirty-six Punchinello drawings by Tiepolo Senior (Giovanni Battista), and dating to the late 1730s, these Punchinello works are incredibly rare appearances on the art market. The celebrated, buffoon character of the Punchinello originated in popular theatrical productions or ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ in the 1600s. A century later, Tiepolo’s representations of this clownish figure – hunchbacked and clad in a white suit with a tall sugarloaf hat and beaked nose – cooking or eating gnocchi, are thought to point to the festival of Verona on the last Friday of Carnival, the so-called ‘venerdì gnoccolare’, during which vast quantities of gnocchi and red wine were consumed before the beginning of Lent the following week . The drawing hasn’t been seen on the open market since it last came up for sale at Sotheby’s, London in 1974.

Jean Antoine

Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, French 1802-1880- The Battle of Alicudi Off Stromboli, 8th January 1676; oil on canvas, signed and dated '1845' (lower right), bears inscription 'Gudin 1845 / Combat naval en ... / Naples' (on an old label attached to the reverse of the stretcher), 59 x 81.2 cm


(Lot 111) An important battle scene depicting the Battle of Alicudi Off Stromboli, 8th January 1676 by artist Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, 1802-1880, comes with an estimate of £8,000-£12,000. The artist is the highly respected French marine painter and court painter to both King Louis Philippe and Emperor French Napoleon III. He, and fellow artist Louis-Philippe Crépin, were the first official ‘Peintres de la Marine’ in 1830. In the wake of his successful first exhibition at the Salon in 1822, Gudin gained the patronage of King Louis Philippe I who commissioned him to paint around eighty works depicting celebrated French naval battles, to eventually be displayed in the Palace of Versailles. The frenetic naval scene described in the present work is likely to have been completed when Gudin was based in Berlin from around 1845.

Peter Lely

Circle of Sir Peter Lely, English 1618-1680- Portrait of John Noel, Son of Viscount Campden, standing three-quarter length, wearing a red silk cloak, in a landscape; oil on canvas, inscribed 'John Noel Son of / Viscount Campden. / P. Lilley. pinxt' (lower left), 126.8 x 103 cm


Following on from the successful sale of our Studio of Lely portrait in the July Old Master & 19th Century Pictures auction at Roseberys, realising £18,750, we are proud to present lot 28 by the Circle of Sir Peter Lely, 1618-1680- Portrait of John Noel, Son of Viscount Campden. In the present work, the anonymous artist is looking closely at the contemporary portraits being produced by Lely, especially in the later stages of his career. Lely’s increasingly flamboyantly bold approach is echoed here, particularly in the formalised, almost schematic, drapery and the confident rendering of light and shade on its folds. The sensitively conceived face of the sitter is furthermore highly reminiscent of portraits by Lely, and the setting of the autumnal landscape recalls the artist’s earlier English works, which themselves exhibit the influences of Anthony van Dyck and the Dutch Baroque. Here, the sitter is portrayed in his finest dress of a red silk cloak covering his clothes, revealing long full white sleeves, and a large lace cravat. Peter Lely himself painted Noel’s sister-in-law, Lady Elizabeth Wriothesley, the wife of his brother Edward Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough. The three-quarter-length portrait was conceived in 1660-5 and is today held by the National Trust at Petworth House [NT 486278]. The present work was likely painted in the late 1670s. The work on offer comes with an estimate of £4,000-£6,000.


Follower of Jean Marc Nattier, French 1685-1766- Portrait of a lady, three-quarter-length, as Flora, in a white dress and blue wrap; oil on canvas, 126 x 102 cm.


An important oil on canvas portrait, lot 54, by an anonymous 18th-Century French artist working in the vein of French artist, Jean Marc Nattier, 1685-1766 comes with the pre-sale estimate of £4,000-£6,000. 18th-Century French portraitist Jean Marc Nattier, son of the portraitist Marc Nattier, was celebrated for his paintings of ladies from Louis XV’s court depicted in classical costume. The present work is highly reminiscent of his style and indeed Nattier depicted contemporary women in the guise of Flora - the mythological goddess of flowering plants, fertility, and spring - on a number of occasions. Here, the female sitter is portrayed as Flora in windswept drapery, against the backdrop of a dramatic sky, and is rendered in Nattier's distinctive palette of whites and blues. Nattier himself adopted these features in his portrait of Princess Henriette of France, as Flora, housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.


Circle of Abraham Bloemaert, Dutch 1566-1651- A woman in a straw hat holding a basket of fruit; oil on canvas, 87.2 x 76 cm. 


Lot 49, an oil on canvas, Circle of Dutch artist Abraham Bloemaert, 1566-1651, depicting a woman in a straw hat holding a basket of fruit, is estimated to make £4,000-£6,000 at auction. Abraham Bloemaert and his son Hendrick Bloemart painted several single figures in the manner of the present work. This work was likely painted in the 1630s.


William Linton, British 1791-1876- View of the Acropolis, Athens, with a shepherd and his flock in the foreground; oil on canvas, inscribed 'Athens' (lower right), 38 x 54.4 cm.

Lot 116, an oil on canvas artwork by British artist William Linton, 1791-1876, ‘View of the Acropolis, Athens, with a shepherd and his flock in the foreground’ comes with an estimate of £3,000-£4,000. Linton’s works are generally indebted to certain seminal 18th-Century artists including Claude Lorrain, Claude-Joseph Vernet, and Richard Wilson. Indeed, their influence is evident in the dramatic lighting and sweeping composition of the present work, which imbue the scene with a sense of grandeur and theatricality, and reinforce the historical and cultural significance of its subject. Linton travelled extensively in Europe and this is one of a number of works he painted on his travels.


Attributed to Pieter Molyn, Dutch 1595-1661- A wooded rural scene on the outskirts of a village; oil on panel, 40.1 x 54.8 cm.

On offer within the sale is lot 44, attributed to Dutch artist Pieter Molyn, 1595-1661 on, an oil on panel, depicting a wooded rural scene on the outskirts of a village; estimated to make £7,000-£10,000. Working during the 17th-Century Dutch Golden Age, Molyn would have faced substantial competition from his artistic contemporaries. The prevalent talent in Northern Europe during this time no doubt motivated him to experiment in genres including portraiture, seascapes and historical scenes, yet his talents principally lay in landscape painting. In the wake of a trip to Italy in around 1618, his works transitioned from Flemish-inspired Mannerist landscapes to more tonal naturalistic compositions with sweeping diagonals. The present work corresponds to the former style and can be dated to c.1630.


da Vinci

Follower of Leonardo da Vinci, late 16th Century, Italian 1452-1519-  Old woman, head and shoulders, in profile to the left and wearing a head covering; black chalk on laid paper, 17.5 x 13 cm.


Lot 9 is an early follower of Leonardo da Vinci from the late 16th Century coming with an estimate of £1,200-£1,800. It has a first-class provenance history with many important early owners, who were some of the most significant, acquisitive and discerning collectors of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Centuries including: Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart de Saint-Morys; his son, Charles Etienne de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Carrière, (French 1772-1817), The English artist Thomas Rowlandson, Dr Carl Robert Rudolf (b.1884), London (L.2811b). Its early dating makes it all the rarer and it is an interesting and unusual addition to the work on paper section of Roseberys sale. The drawing appears to be an early free interpretation of one of Leonardo da Vinci’s so-called caricatures.



Circle of Frans Hals, Dutch 1582/3-1666; Portrait of a young woman, seated quarter-length, turned to the left in a black dress with white collar and cap; oil on panel

Estimated to make between £3,000-£5,000 is lot 27, circle of Dutch artist Frans Hals, 1582/3-1666; Portrait of a young woman, seated quarter-length, turned to the left in a black dress with white collar and cap; oil on panel. The style and technique are very similar to a number of portraits by Hals, with the present work depicting a young, probably middle-class woman dressed in traditional Calvinist clothing, likely executed in around 1650/60. Portrait commissions had become increasingly popular in the Netherlands during the 17th Century due to the new-found wealth of many merchants based in Haarlem and The Hague, and this burgeoning class was increasingly looking to demonstrate their status amongst society. Hals's ability to capture likenesses as well as his generally swift execution made him a popular choice amongst this monied elite. The loose brushstrokes and shadowing across the sitter's face in the present work exhibit a number of similarities to 'Portrait of an old woman', sold at Christie's, New York, 30 January 2013, lot 29. However, the detailed and meticulous execution of the sitter's costume, including the bonnet and silk collar, point to a different hand.



Follower of Abraham Jansz. Begeyn, Dutch 1637/8-1697- River landscape with donkeys and sheep; oil on canvas, 108 x 157.4 cm.

Lot 45, by a follower of Dutch artist Abraham Jansz. Begeyn, 1637/8-1697, an oil on canvas depicting a River landscape with donkeys and sheep, comes with the estimate of £3,000-£5,000. The present work betrays the artist's skill in depicting landscapes, architectural features, animals, and still life motifs, and displays many similarities to Begeyn's landscape sold at Christie's, London, 26 April 2017, lot 316. Here, the prominent vegetation and red flowers in the foreground particularly recall Begeyn's own compositions. In general, Begeyn's landscapes display an amalgam of Italianate and Northern European influences, in the manner of Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem, and these dual antecedents are very much present in this landscape.


Old Master & 19th Century Pictures

Wednesday 17 November, 11am

Viewing Times

Sunday 14 November 10.00am – 2.00pm
Monday 15 November 9.30am – 5.00pm
Tuesday 16 November 9.30am-5pm
Wednesday 17 November 9.30am-10.30am

Please contact for condition reports and further information.



Please note the conditions of sale that relate to this catalogue.
Buyer's Premium: The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 25% up to £250,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £250,000-500,000 (24% inclusive of VAT), 12% from £500,000 onwards (14.4% inclusive of VAT) The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.



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