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Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -
Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -  - Paintings & Drawings Style Louis XIV Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -  - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -  - Louis XIV Antiquités - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -
Ref : 101799
16 500 €
Period :
17th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on panel
Dimensions :
L. 12.6 inch X l. 10.04 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) - 17th century - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) - Louis XIV - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) - Antiquités - Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -
Galerie de Frise

Ancient portrait painting

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Young angler - Attributed to Godfried Schalken (1643-1706) -

Attributed to Godfried SCHALKEN
(Made 1643 - The Hague 1706)
Young fisherman with a line
Oil on panel from a board
H. 32,5 cm ; W. 25,5 cm
About 1670/75

Related works:
- Autograph version with many variants, Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Inv. N°837
- Copy or workshop version of our painting with slight variations but of inferior quality, Germany, sold at Berlinghof Auktionshaus in 2002

The purpose of this note is not to make a biography of Schalken, for which you will find the reference book by Thierry Beherman published by Maeght in 1988. The aim here is to understand this version of a painting of formidable workmanship and to compare it to the work preserved in Berlin with its many variants in order to draw some hypotheses of conclusions.
Our young angler is a very interesting subject that can be found as early as the 16th century to invoke one of the four temperaments. Not melancholy as one might think at first glance, but phlegmatism. The interpretation of the astrological symbols closely linked fishing and phlegm, laziness, slowness, often represented alongside the moon.

Here the composition is very clear in this sense. The young man, his chin resting on his arm, is looking at his modest cane, the cap of which he is soaking, next to snails and butterflies in the irises. The whole near a willow under a heavy sky, like a night sky. All the elements are there to give the explanation of the subject and not to leave the spectator in front of a simple scene of kind. Let's go back to the willow, a tree that loses its fruit before it matures. It is often considered a symbol of lost youth, a reference to passivity or to times of debauchery. Plato advised in his time to ban fishing from the education of children since it is an activity of waiting and not of exercise or reflection. There is no need to explain the presence of small, slow-moving animals with short lives or flowers... The image speaks for itself!

Let's go back to the differences between the Berlin version and our version, whose quality is admittedly slightly inferior and can therefore hardly be given with certainty to Schalken himself. This version has some additional elements compared to ours. The row of willow trees on the left side of the composition is replaced in our version by a simple area of reeds which opens up to a bright sky. The sky is also different because of the clouds represented.
A white butterfly flying in the middle of the irises has been removed as well as a large leaf located in the back of the young fisherman at the foot of the willow.
The only addition to our painting besides the Berlin version is a second fish next to the earthen pot.

What to conclude from these variants? A version commissioned from Schalken, simplified and partly realized by the master for the flowers, animals and various details, then entrusted to one of his best students for the background? In any case, this panel was seen later since a copy exists, passed on the art market in Germany in the early 2000s, from which this time the second fish has been removed.

In any case, the quality of our painting is undeniable and its small size combined with the typically Dutch light make it a wonderful object.

Galerie de Frise


17th Century Oil Painting Louis XIV