A "banketje" still life with a silver tazza, a pie, a peeled lemon, a flute glass, a goblet and an earthenware jug on a draped table
Isaac Wigans was born in Antwerp in 1615. He was taught by the Flemish history painter Vincent Malo (Cambrai ca. 1595 – 1649 Rome). Although an Isaac Wigans became a member of the Antwerp guild of St Luke in 1651, it is impossible to ascertain whether this was in fact the still life painter, or a younger member from his family. As Wigans was already active as a painter from 1631 onwards and probably would have joined the guild earlier, the latter is certainly a possibility. Several still life paintings of fruit are known by Wigans, such as the one in the Curtius Museum in Liège; another example is currently in the collection of the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle. In addition to these, the painter also produced so-called monochrome banketjes, still life pieces in subdued colors which were mostly painted by Dutch seventeenth-century artists such as Pieter Claesz and Willem Claesz Heda. Evidently, some painters in the Southern Netherlands took up the genre.
The present painting is a beautiful example of a so-called “monochroom banketje”. Fully signed, and in superb condition, it is a testament to the great draughtsmanship of Isaac Wigans, and a very important addition to his oeuvre. We are grateful to Dr. Fred Meijer of the RKD (The Hague) for confirming the attribution to Isaac Wigans and for providing a detailed certificate (available on request).
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