Auctioneers and Appraisers

Cornelis De Heem (Flemish, 1631-1695), Autumn Still Life with Pomegranates, Chestnuts, Oranges, White and Red Grapes, Plums, Wheat, and






American & European Works of Art - 2673B
Date / Time :
September 20, 2013 10:00AM


Cornelis De Heem (Flemish, 1631-1695)

Autumn Still Life with Pomegranates, Chestnuts, Oranges, White and Red Grapes, Plums, Wheat, and Insects
Signed "C. DE HEEM" l.r., inscribed "Wolfe..." on the reverse, identified on a label
from Harvard University Art Museums, affixed to the backing.
Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. (64.8 x 54.6 cm), within an ebonized frame.
Condition: Lined, retouch, craquelure, subtle varnish inconsistencies.

N.B. Cornelis de Heem apprenticed under his father, the sumptuous still life painter Jan Davidsz de Heem (Flemish, 1606-1684). He began his career in Antwerp, where he became a master of the painter's guild in 1660, and later worked in Utrecht, IJsselstein, and The Hague. (1)

His still lifes are characterized by "daring colour harmonies, sometimes with a strong blue" as the ribbon in the present work illustrates. (2) Like his father, he devoted himself to floral, fruit, and sumptuous still lifes, capturing the most difficult and ephemeral details-the reflection on silver, dewdrops on fruit, and the subtle sheen of rich fabric.

The present work celebrates the splendor of autumn in the rich variety of the harvest depicted, but true to a vanitas, such details as half-eaten fruit, woody vines, and powdery mildew also foreshadow the subtle passing of the season.

The present work was on long-term loan to the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 1995.
(1) "HEEM, Cornelis de." Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press,
(2) Sam Segal. "Heem, de." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press,

Estimate $80,000-120,000

Under UV inspection retouch appears minimal, with most emphasis on the edges of the canvas, some small areas of retouch within the open pomegranate, outlining the grapes, with scattered dots on the oranges.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Jan Davidsz de Heem, Oxford University, Harvard University, sumptuous still life painter, Antwerp, Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, Massachusetts, Oxford University Press,, Sam Segal,