DOOR TOP PAINTING (supraporte / dessus-de-porte), pastoral scene with fountain

Unsigned door top painting, oil on canvas, dimensions without frame 111 x 61 cm. P.o.d.

This romantic door top painting was probably part of an ensemble consisting of painted wall hangings and a chimney piece. The Arcadian scene refers to paintings from the Golden Age: Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) or Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683), although the flat landscape looks 'Dutch'. The Dordrecht brothers Van Strij produced such interior pieces in the period that this supraporte was painted. The pillar with the image on top is characteristic for the neoclassicism period. It dates from between 1790-1830. On the back is the text "Thure ins Esszimmer", and indeed this piece is perfectly in place in a dining room.

The special, unsigned and rare top-door piece that Ars Decora offers, once adorned the dining room of a house in Germany. This does not mean that the painting was made in Germany. It is quite possible that it is painted in one of the so-called wallpaper factories in the Netherlands. There, several artists worked on wall coverings, fireplace and door tops. For that reason, the paintings were not signed. The work was organized according to a strict division of labor between the painters and the workmen who prepared the work. Wallpaper factories employed salespeople who scoured the Republic and the German principalities bordering our country, with examples to win orders. Although the wallpaper factories worked with certain examples (The Hoorn wallpaper factory had several thousand), tailor-made solutions could be provided. After all, no room was the same and the client sometimes had certain specific wishes with regard to the performance. The assignments were carried out at home. If the distance was large, the paintings were sent and applied by local workers in the interior. Hence the name Esszimmer on the back by way of instruction.

This painting is quickly brushed as befits a decorative work, but the figures and animals are well drawn. The composition is professionally set as is the depth effect (note the church village in the background in pale blue tones).

The condition is good and authentic, there are craquelures and small retouches, one repair of a hole in the canvas we have performed (see photo). The varnish has a somewhat irregular shine but is not yellowed or smudged. The list is authentic and enhances the decorative character.

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