Jaques van de Kerckhoven, called Jacopo da Castello (Antwerp circa 1637-1712 Venice) The Dove and the Snake, inscribed, upper right: 'MATTH. S: CAP. X. O B, oil on canvas, 50 x 46.5 cm, framed ÜBERLANGTEXT
with Gasparrini Rome;
where acquired by the present owner
E. Safarik, I volti di Willem Drost, in: Per l’arte da Venezia all’Europa. Studi in onore di Giuseppe Maria Pilo, ed. by M. Piantoni, L. De Rossi, Venice 2001, p. 405, illustrated p. 656 fig. 4 (as Jacomo Victor)
We are grateful to Fred Meijer for suggesting the attribution on the basis of a photograph.
Many of Kerckhoven’s paintings were executed according to a precise allegorical meaning. In the present painting the inscription refers to the sixteenth verse of the Gospel according to Matthew: ‘Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves’ (see literature).
Typical of Kerckhoven’s style are the chromatic touches, the tactile consistency of the bird’s feathers and the roughness of the stone, rendered through a careful analysis of nature. The animals are emerging from the background towards the viewer. It is possible to compare the present painting with the Still Life with Two Pigeons (see RKD database, no. 262912) and with Turkeys and Pigeons with Vegetables and Fruits (see RKD database, no. 64248).
Kerckhoven was a Flemish painter active in Italy, specialising in nature vive and becoming prominent in the Veneto where he is documented from 1685. He was a pupil of Jan Fyt (1611–1661) in Antwerp and the influence of his master can be seen through the accurate and precise depiction of the animals in the present painting. Meanwhile, the vivid colors, enhanced by chiaroscuro, reveal Kerckhoven developing his own style, inspired by Italian artists (see F. Bottari, E. Safarik, La natura morta nel Veneto, in: La natura morta in Italia, vol. I, 1989, figs. 422-424).
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10 novembre 2021
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