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Title Domestic Interior with Still Life
Alternative Title The Interior of a Cottage; Interior with Still Life
Collection Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens, Barnsley
Artist Attributed to Boursse, Esaias (Dutch painter, 1631-1672)
Previously attributed to Ostade, Adriaen van (Dutch draftsman and painter, 1610-1685)
Date Earliest possibly about 1655
Date Latest 1672
Description Boursse was born in Amsterdam in 1631. He was the son of a textile worker from Valenciennes who had set up as a bookbinder. It is generally assumed that he was a pupil of Rembrandt. He joined the Amsterdam Guild around 1651 and, sometime before 1653, visited Italy. Boursse joined the East India Company in 1661-3 as a midshipman, travelling to India. He died at sea during his second voyage to India in 1672. His scenes of interiors and courtyards show the influence of Brekelehkam and later that of Pieter de Hooch. His work is also very close in style to his contemporary, the Delft painter Jan Vrel. Few examples of Boursse's work survive. In this example, like many of his works, his predilection for white linen can be seen, the handling of which is similar to a signed example in the Wallace Collection.
Current Accession Number A1913
Subject figure; everyday life; still life; interior
Measurements 27.3 x 22.9 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Given by the National Art-Collections Fund 2002.
Provenance Bought from Thomas R. Rutley by William Harvey of Barnsley, 11 July 1854, 60, as Interior with Still Life by A. Ostade; by descent to Henry Harvey, J. P. (1867-1879); by descent to William Harvey of Leeds (1879-1917); given by William Harvey to National Loan Collection Trust, 19 June 1917; transferred to National Art-Collections Fund, 20 May 2002.
Principal Exhibitions National Exhibition of Works of Art, Leeds Infirmary, 1868, cat. no. 651, as The Interior of a Cottage by Ostade; The Loan Collection of Works by 'Old Masters', and by deceased artists of the English and Foreign Schools, Municipal Art Gallery, Leeds, 1889-90, cat. no. 506, as Interior of a Cottage by A. van Ostade; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1982-83, as by Boursse; Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, Birmingham City Museums and Art Gallery, 1989-90, as by Boursse.
Publications Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1919, 1920, 1928, 1930, 1937, cat. no. 8, ill. pp. 22-3, as by Boursse; Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1954, cat. no. 8, p. 4, as by Boursse; The William Harvey Collection of Dutch and Flemish Paintings, Cannon Hall Museum, 1975, cat. no. 9, as by Boursse; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds, 1982, as by Boursse; Wright, C., Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, London, 1989, as by Boursse.

Boursse's paintings are mainly of interiors and virtually all contain a single female figure. Although the woman in the background of this work is wearing a white cap, she is not as finely painted as many of the other women in his work. The figure is closest to an example by Boursse in York Art Gallery. The painting in the Wallace Collection is believed to have been his most accomplished of interiors. It is believed that his brother, L Boursse, was also an artist and there is sometimes confusion between the two.

Fred Meijer of the RKD in The Hague believes that the work should go back to its original attribution of Ostade. The handling of the earth on the floor is very close to that by Ostade and the softness around the edges of the drapery is also similar to examples by him. There is a good case for changing the attribution to Ostade on this basis. Peter Sutton of the Bruce Museum, Connecticut, an expert on Boursse, did not feel that this is a work by the artist and referred to an item Sotheby's e sale Old Master Paintings Part Two, London, 8 July 2004, lot 134, attributed to Cornelis de Man and which used to be attributed to Boursse. However the handling of the linen in this work is different to the Barnsley painting and it has been decided to retain the Boursse attribution.

This painting is part of a collection formed by William Harvey of Barnsley (1811-1867). Harvey was a Quaker, whose family made its money in the linen industry. Most of the paintings were acquired between 1849 and 1866 through the dealer Thomas R. Rutley and his son Colonel J. L. Rutley. The company later traded as Messrs Rutley. The collection consists mainly of Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century paintings. On his death, the collection passed to Harvey's brother, Henry Harvey, J.P. (1814-1879). Nothing was added to the collection during this period and it was passed by descent to a nephew, William Harvey of Leeds. William Harvey of Leeds donated his collection to the National Loan Collection Trust in 1917. The purpose of the Trust was to lend pictures to regional galleries in England and the British Colonies. It was finally agreed to lend the collection on long term loan to Cannon Hall in Barnsley and in 2002 the collection was transferred to them on a permanent basis.

The original invoice for this work survives at the NACF, at that time attributed to Ostade.

Rights Owner Cannon Hall Museum (Barnsley Metropolitan Council)
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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