Nature morte (French for “still life”) paintings first became popular in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Assemblies of flowers, fruit, and dead game were the main subject matters, and hundreds of artists from Western Europe would eventually participate in the genre. French artists such as Jean-Baptiste Oudry painted some exquisite scenes, depictions of hunt motifs including game and dogs. These subjects remained highly popular and were used in hunt lodges throughout France. The pair of paintings seen here are very well done 19th century examples of such hunt scenes, each one measuring over 57 inches wide.
Both of our paintings depict hunting trophies displayed on an outdoor veranda. The balcony is elaborately styled with cavetto molding, volute scrolls, and a shaped cartouche beneath a bulbous gadrooned finial. Both paintings contain half of the cartouche and most of the finial, as if they were a continuous panoramic scene, complete with a blue sky and large trees in the background
The left painting features three felled birds piled on top of a deer carcass, with fruit scattered around them. Beneath the trophies is a coiled horn with a red tassel tied to it. A similar scene can be found on the right painting, with three birds displayed on the edge of the balcony. The birds lie on top of a pale green fabric with tassels that has been loosely folded. Under the textile is a hunting rifle and another horn. A garland of fruit is draped across the rifle’s stock, rising onto the balcony.
A beige fabric matte board and molded giltwood frame surround this pair of 19th century nature morte hunt trophy paintings. One central layer of molding has been painted black with foliate rinceaux in each corner, offsetting the pastel-like colors of the canvas. The paintings can be hung in any room of a house, but the subject lends more towards a gentleman’s office or a game room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor buildup to frames and canvases. Craquelure to the black painted border of the frames. Please see photos for details.