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Painting Title Poultry
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Camphuysen, Govert Dircksz. (Dutch painter, ca. 1623-1672)
Date Earliest possibly about 1645
Date Latest 1672
Signed yes
Description Four hens are depicted before a chicken hut. Domestic animals were a popular subject matter in 17th century Dutch painting. Poultry was commonly kept as an important source for meat and eggs. In addition, domestic birds had symbolic meaning, e.g. a cock could symbolise pride and contentiousness. The economical situation of the Low Countries in the 17th century enabled even the the lower classes to buy less expensive paintings; Protestant viewers preferred to avoid mythological or religious subjects, concentrating on depictions of their everyday life. Govert Dircksz. Camphuysen was an animal painter, whose style was influenced by Paulus Potter. The attribution of YORAG : 817 is based on the signature, however the artistic quality of the painting seems to be lower than that of other works by Camphuysen.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 817
Inscription front c (on chicken hut) 'G. Camphuysen'
Subject animal; landscape
Measurements 104.1 x 132 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by F.D. Lycett Green through the National Art Collections Fund 1955.
Provenance Col. Rev. Henry West of Wraysbury sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 11 June 1892, lot 34, purchased by Sir Edward Green; by descent to F.D. Lycett Green.
Principal Exhibitions F.D. Lycett Green Gift, York City Art Gallery, 1955, no. 102.
Publications York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. I: Foreign Schools 1350-1800, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1961, p. 51; Wright, C. and Robertson, A., Dutch Seventeenth Century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds, 1982, p. 176 as not good enough for Camphuysen; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 253 as by Camphuysen.

Francis Denis Lycett Green (1893-1959) was a member of the wealthy industrial Green family from Wakefield that was among the great philanthropic benefactors of York. He began buying pictures during the 1920s, advised by some of the most famous art historians of the day. By the 1940s, he owned examples from almost every school and period of European Art a comprehensive collection of over 130 paintings dating back from the early 14th century to the end of the 18th century, representing every important European school of art. In 1952, he offered it to the National Gallery of South Africa, having moved to Cape Town in the hope that the climate would improve his health (which was poor because he was badly injured in the First World War). However when a dispute arose with the Cape Town Gallery, Francis withdrew his pictures in protest and shipped them back to England. The entire collection of 130 pictures was at first on loan to the York Art Gallery and in the spring of 1955 he decided to give it to the Gallery.

Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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