Lot 234
Autumn Auction: European Fine Art - 21 november 2018
Gerard van Kuijl (1604-1673)

Granida and Daifilo discovered by soldiers

oil on canvas, 120x132 cm

-M.R. Waddington, 'Another look at Gysbert van der Kuyl' in Paragone, Vol. XI, 125, 1960, p. 51. -E.J. Sluyter, Oud Holland, 91, 1977, pp. 176-177, cat. no. A5, ill. 7.

-Possibly Auction, Amsterdam, 6 March 1708, lot 5 (according to E.J. Sluyter 1977). -Auction, Venduehuis der Notarissen, The Hague, 3 February 1942, lot 83.

Gerard van Kuijl was one of the last Dutch Caravaggists of the seventeenth century. Like many of his Dutch colleagues, Van Kuijl went to Rome and found refuge on the famous Via Margutta. He stayed here for about three years (1629-1631) with Giovanni di Filippo del Campo (ca. 1600-1658), who played an important role in the founding of the Bentvueghels, the notorious brotherhood of painters from the Netherlands. We know Van Kuijl was also involved in this group and he was given the nickname ‘Stijgbeugel’.

After his training in Rome he returned back home and settled in Gorinchem; all known paintings of Van Kuijl were supposedly made in the Netherlands. His work seems to be mostly influenced by famous painters from Utrecht such as Gerard van Honthorst (1592-1656) and Jan van Bijlert (1597/8-1671). Although he seems to have been influenced by Flemish painting as well.

This painting depicts a scene of a pastoral play by Pieter Cornelisz Hooft (1581-1647), which displays the duality between platonic and earthly love. The piece was very popular and has been the subject for many a painting. However most of the paintings depict the scene where the lost Granida receives water offered by Daifilo. The part when the couple gets arrested by the soldiers is seldom depicted (act. V scene IV). Van Kuijl casts this exciting scene in a beautiful chiaro scuro.

One of the only other known works depicting this scene is by Van Honthorst (Centraal Museum, Utrecht, inv. no. 5571). The difference with the present lot is Van Kuijl’s direct approach. The couple is shocked by the soldiers around them, whereas Van Honthorst depicts the couple still unaware of the danger. The hand on the shoulder of Daifilo and the large man in the dark foreground show us the exact moment when the couple is discovered, and when they know they have been caught.

€ 30.000,00
€ 40.000,00