Adriaen van de Venne, 'Geweldige Botticheyt'

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Province of Holland
First half 17th century
Oil on panel
Signed with the monogram
54.5 cm
38.7 cm

L.J. Bol, Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne Painter and Draughtsman, Davaco 1989, p.77 noot 3., p.145
Flämische und niederländische Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Sammlung Schöpke,. 23.6.-17.8.1977 im Thunerhof.

Further relevant literature:
A. Plokker, Adriaen Pietersz. Van de Venne (1589-1662) de grisailles met spreukbanden, Leuven, 1984, no. 10 and no. 39.


Auction Frankfurt, Bangel, 25-4-1928 lot 188, illustrated
Auction Bonn, Küpper en Bodiger, 14-6-1956, lot 21, illustrated
Collection R. & E. Schöpke, Frauenfeld Switzerland
Exhibited Thunerhof Thun 1977, mentioned in catalogue
Auction London, Sotheby’s, 11-12-1985, lot 176, illustrated (auction collection Schöpke)
Auction Luzern, Fischer, 10/11-11-1987, lot 56, illustrated
Auction Zürich, Eberhardt, 28/30-5-1990, lot 139, illustrated
Auction New York, Christie’s, 19-4-2007, lot 300, illustrated
Auction Amsterdam, Christie’s, 14-11-2007, lot 130, illustrated
Private collection

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A man is laid upon a whetstone to whet him. He is so dull his head needs to be sharpened. The seventeenth century viewer must have found this incredibly humorous. In Holland in the seventeenth century the verb for to whet ('slijpen') was also figuratively used to indicate that someone's mind needed to be sharpened. In the 'Depiction of the ridiculous world' from 1635 by the hand of Van de Venne, a print is included that closely resembles the current painting by Van der Venne, although in mirror image. This may lead to the conclusion that the print is made after this painting. The animated signature and the loose touch can only confirm this. The painting would have been executed before 1635.







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