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Work: 79 x 64,5 cm
Frame: 95 x 80 cm
The painting signed with monogram H (lower centre).
The scene of a courtly home-coming from a day’s chase, is a characteristic example of the oeuvre of Jan van Huchtenburg, as exemplified by the subtle handling of late afternoon light, masterful rendering of horses and varied human narrative. In spite of his Dutch training, Van Huchtenburg’s mature style owes much to his time in Paris working with Adam Frans van der Meulen (1632–1690), peintre ordinaire de Roi at the court of Louis XIV. The French classical trappings of the fountain and architecture surmounted by statuary closing off the composition to left and right, along with the refined costume of the aristocrats reposing after a day’s sport, reminds the viewer of the contemporary transformation of former hunting lodges such as Versailles into temples of elegance. Famed also for his battle scenes, in particular cavalry skirmishes, the present work shows Van Huchtenburg’s eye both for detail and atmosphere, from the repoussoir figure of the boy tending the hooded falcons in the foreground to the bubbling jet of the fountain silhouetted against the sunset behind. The pendant to this painting is possibly 'A hunting party by a fountain' sold at Christie’s, London, 17 December 1999, lot 115.
Van Huchtenburg was born in Haarlem. His career took him across Europe. He was trained by Hendrick Mommers, Thomas Wijck and Philips Wouwerman. He was active in Paris (where he worked at the Manufacture des Gobelins and where he stood in the service of Prince Eugene of Savoy since ca. 1708), Rome, Haarlem where he was a member of the guild of Saint Luke and of the Confrerie Pictura), Amsterdam, Leiden, Höchstädt an der Donau, Düsseldorf, Vienna and The Hague. (link)
- Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 7 April 1970, lot 275.