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Title Still-life of Fruit and Flowers with a Parrot on a Table
Collection Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museums, Burnley
Artist Pseudo Simons (Flemish artist, active 17th century)
Previously attributed to Heem, Jan Davidsz. de (Dutch painter, born 1606, died 1683 or 1684)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest about 1670
Description For many years this painting was rather optimistically thought by the Towneley family to be by one of the most renowned Dutch still life painters, Jan Davidsz de Heem, but a specialist has now attributed the picture to 'Pseudo Simons'. This is an unknown artist responsible for over 100 paintings close to the style of Michiel Simons and to that of the Antwerp painter Jan Pauwel Gillemans the Elder. The grapes have a fine translucency but the birds appear static and unconvincing.
Current Accession Number PA/OIL 93
Subject still life (fruit and flowers); animal (birds)
Measurements 127 x 91 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details In Towneley Hall at the time of purchase by Burnley Corporation 1902.
Notes Recorded in Towneley Painting Catalogue, July 1861, as: 'in Antique bedroom 103 bis - Oil Painting of Parrot Fruit and Still life.' It apparently remained in the wainscot over the fireplace after the purchase of Towneley Hall by Burnley Corporation in 1902, but was not catalogued as part of the museum collection before 1933. Wilfred Dean, in his first report as Honorary Secretary in May 1934 described the painting in these words: 'an exceedingly fine oil painting Still Life, by DeHeem, which was fixed over the fireplace in no. V room off the Long Gallery when the Hall was taken over by the corporation, has been restored and framed…and hung in the dining room.' (See also council minutes 3293 h 12 October 1933.) Dealers label on frame back lc 'R.Haworth, Blackburn', which suggests that the frame was supplied by this dealer. In 1999 Fred Meijer (Rijksburean voor Kunsthistorisches Documentatie, Netherlands) attributed the painting to Pseudo Simons. Christopher Wright in 1987 suggested that this work was probably painted in Antwerp around 1660.
Rights Owner Burnley Borough Council, Towneley Hall
Author Lisa Howard



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