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Een schilderij van Johannes en Abraham Storck

R. VAN LUTTERVELT
Oud Holland
Vol. 74 (1959), pp. 19-29
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42722976
Page Count: 11
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Een schilderij van Johannes en Abraham Storck
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Abstract

The Atheneum at Helsinki possesses a large painting (ill. 1) signed "Johannes Storck A. Storck ft" and dated 1673 (ill. 2. 2 and 3). This suggests the conclusion that Johannes Storck started the painting and that after his death in 1673 it was finished by his brother Abraham, his junior by about fourteen years. The canvas is painted in the style of the brothers Beerstraten (relatives of the Storcks). After his brother's death Abraham Storck gradually adopted a lighter and more delicate coloration under the influence of Jan van der Heyden. The scene represents a port of the Mediterranean with a large Dutch vessel, a smaller, probably Spanish, ship, a galley and a boat flying a white flag with a red Maltese cross. On the left, slaves are being sold before the church of the Feuillants. This church stood in the Rue St. Honoré, Paris, and had been built by Mansart in 1623—1624. It was demolished in 1804 but is known from an engraving by Jean Marot (ill. 4). The tree in front of the church is an emblem of St. Honoré; the Dutch inscription on the pedestal mentions the church of St. Honoré (ill. 3). The top of the church façade displays the coat of arms of the Rostaing family, who had a mortuary chapel inside the building. The combination of the various components is fanciful but not unique, similar scenes having been composed previously, for instance by the brothers Beerstraten (ill. 5). Paul Bril was the first to paint in this manner (ill. 6) and his example was followed by many artists, notably Claude Lorrain, who invented his compositions in this style. Such pictures undoubtedly had a hidden emblematic significance, indications of which are to be found in Gérard de Lairesse's "Groot Schilderboek" (Big Painters' Book). In this respect, however, the second half of the 17th century was less accurate and to the point than the first. According to De Lairesse, artists could freely use their general education and knowledge of the world to achieve variation, tasteful compositions and decorative effects. It is impossible to say whether the painting was commissioned and, if so, by whom, but from the Dutch inscription and the large Dutch flags it seems very likely that it was a Dutchman.

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