Lot 23
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Autumn Auction: European Fine Art 2019
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Pieter Codde (1599-1678)

An interior with an elegant company playing music and singing

signed with monogram (on the book, centre left)

oil on panel, oval, 31x41,5 cm

Literature:
-Caroline Bigler Playter, 'Willem Duyster and Pieter Codde: The ''Duystere Werelt'' of Dutch genre painting c. 1625-1635', a thesis for Harvard University, Cambridge (MA, USA) 1972, ill. no. 73.

Provenance:
-With Kunsthandel M. Schulthess, Basel, by 1930.
-Auction, Christie's, Amsterdam, 1 October 1981, lot 115.

The present painting is a beautiful example of the way in which Pieter Codde fuses two main subjects of old master painting: portraiture and genre scenes. His paintings often depict playing musicians but the present composition is particularly well-balanced. On this oval panel the musicians are placed on the left side of the panel whilst all the objects are placed on the right side. In most paintings Codde centralises his figures either sitting around a table or standing in an interior; in the present painting there seems to be a more crude separation of the composition, creating an interesting tension between the two.

Codde captures the merry musicians in the midst of playing, testifying to his immediate approach and the informal anecdotal character of his paintings. The positioning of the figures and their facial expressions is in complete harmony. The flute player in the back seems to stare at the lady sitting down and playing the lute, she in her turn looks upwards to the tall main figure standing elegantly with his back towards the spectator and the lady in the back leans against the table and diligently reads the sheet music. On the cover of the music book the monogram of Pieter Codde is visible, as if the musicians are playing his music, his art.

The scene is painted with a naturalism specific to Pieter Codde’s style. The silky smooth texture of the textile is painted with the utmost care. The delicate draping of the main figure’s silver gray costume, enhancing the elegance of his pose, immediately captures the spectators’ eye. The blue dresses of the ladies add colour to Codde’s muted palette and are balanced by their exquisite lace collars. On the far right side of the panel a chair is draped with a flung off coat of one of the musicians; the marvellous Baroque cello is dangling on top of the seat. In style with the Dutch seventeenth century genre tradition, the table is draped with an oriental rug. On top of the table lies the case of the lute, with some sheet music nonchalantly stacked against it, once again testifying to Codde’s informal style.

Along with some of his contemporaries such as Jan Miense Molenaer (1609/10-1668), Thomas de Keyser (1596-1667) and Frans Hals (1582/3-1666), Codde harmonised the merging of portraiture and genre interiors. Today Codde is probably most known for his completion of ‘The Magere Compagnie’ (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, SK-C-374), started by Frans Hals. Works of Codde are integrated in prestigious international museum collections such as the Louvre, Uffizi and the Philadephia Museum of Art.

€ 15.000,00
€ 25.000,00
€ 30.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 30.000

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