Möbel·Europäisches Kunsthandwerk·Gemälde

Kunsthandel Peter Mühlbauer
Schloss Schoenburg | 94060 Pocking, Bavaria - Germany
Phone +49 (0)8531 - 18 15 | Fax +49 (0)8531 - 133 00
petermuehlbauer@t-online.de | www.kunsthandel-muehlbauer.com

Möbel·Europäisches Kunsthandwerk·Gemälde

Jacob Marrel

1613/1614 Frankenthal – 1681 Frankfurt

A STILL LIFE OF TULIPS AND OTHER FLOWERS IN A STONE VASE ON A MARBLE LEDGE, WITH A GREEN LIZARD

Signed lower left: ’JACOB  MARREL’
Oil on canvas    

67 x 50.5 cm

Jacob Marrell was born in Frankenthal on the Rhine in 1613 and moved as an 11-year-old boy to Frankfurt where many Dutchmen lived who immigrated to Germany because of their confession. Marrell belonged there to the second generation of still-life painters in the 17th century with Calvinistic background.

In 1627 he began his career as a pupil of Georg Flegel, who was resident in Frankfurt and famous for his still-lifes. According to the painter and art historian Joachim von Sandrart he soon surpassed his master and went around 1630 to Utrecht which was an important centre for this genre in the first half of the 17th century. The first evidence for his stay there is a flower still-life dated ‘ANNO 1634 VTRECK’. In the beginning he was influenced especially by the flower and still-life painters Ambrosius Bosschaert and Jan I. Davidsz. de Heem, of whom he also was a pupil.

Around 1650 he returned to Frankfurt, where he founded a workshop in which Abraham Mignon became one of his scholars. In 1651 he achieved the citizenship and married in the same year the widow of Matthäus Merian whereby Maria Sybilla Merian, the distinguished still-life painter, became his step-daughter.

The position of Jacob Marrell is significant in the history of still life painting in that he forms a link between a variety of schools of flower painting.

Tulips were frequently depicted by Dutch flower painters in the 1630s, no doubt because of the fascination for tulip bulbs at that time. During the ‘tulipmania’ Marrell was involved in the bubble-trade in tulips. He painted the ‘Tulpenboek’, watercolours of the tulips which were for sale to show what buyers could expect from the bulbs they bought. Tulips feature prominently in Marrell’s various flower still-lifes. In 1637 the trade in tulips reached its zenith and extremely high prices were paid for bulbs, when suddenly the trade market collapsed. This financial catastrophe made tulips even more popular.

The present painting is an outstanding example of Marrell’s flower compositions which belongs to one of the most beautiful works in the last period of the master. So it most probably dates to the mid or later 1660s. The tulips, lilies and crown imperial in a bronze-vase create a magnificent bouquet in powerful quality and vibrant colours and can be seen as embodiment of beauty and prosperity, but also as symbol of vanity and transience. The lizard in the foreground also symbolizes caducity. On the other hand, the butterflies, offer a ray of hope since they are used as a symbol of the transmigration of the soul to a better life.


Provenance:
Private collection, Berlin

Expertise:
Ingvar Bergstöm, 1989
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bott, 16th February 2009

Literature:
Gerhard Bott, Die Stillebenmaler Soreau, Binoit, Codino und Marrell in Hanau und Frankfurt 1600-1650, Hanau 2001

Kunsthandel Peter Mühlbauer
Schloss Schoenburg | 94060 Pocking, Bavaria - Germany
Phone +49 (0)8531 - 18 15 | Fax +49 (0)8531 - 133 00
petermuehlbauer@t-online.de | www.kunsthandel-muehlbauer.com

Jacob Marrel

1613/1614 Frankenthal – 1681 Frankfurt

A STILL LIFE OF TULIPS AND OTHER FLOWERS IN A STONE VASE ON A MARBLE LEDGE, WITH A GREEN LIZARD

Signed lower left: ’JACOB  MARREL’
Oil on canvas    

67 x 50.5 cm

Jacob Marrell was born in Frankenthal on the Rhine in 1613 and moved as an 11-year-old boy to Frankfurt where many Dutchmen lived who immigrated to Germany because of their confession. Marrell belonged there to the second generation of still-life painters in the 17th century with Calvinistic background.

In 1627 he began his career as a pupil of Georg Flegel, who was resident in Frankfurt and famous for his still-lifes. According to the painter and art historian Joachim von Sandrart he soon surpassed his master and went around 1630 to Utrecht which was an important centre for this genre in the first half of the 17th century. The first evidence for his stay there is a flower still-life dated ‘ANNO 1634 VTRECK’. In the beginning he was influenced especially by the flower and still-life painters Ambrosius Bosschaert and Jan I. Davidsz. de Heem, of whom he also was a pupil.

Around 1650 he returned to Frankfurt, where he founded a workshop in which Abraham Mignon became one of his scholars. In 1651 he achieved the citizenship and married in the same year the widow of Matthäus Merian whereby Maria Sybilla Merian, the distinguished still-life painter, became his step-daughter.

The position of Jacob Marrell is significant in the history of still life painting in that he forms a link between a variety of schools of flower painting.

Tulips were frequently depicted by Dutch flower painters in the 1630s, no doubt because of the fascination for tulip bulbs at that time. During the ‘tulipmania’ Marrell was involved in the bubble-trade in tulips. He painted the ‘Tulpenboek’, watercolours of the tulips which were for sale to show what buyers could expect from the bulbs they bought. Tulips feature prominently in Marrell’s various flower still-lifes. In 1637 the trade in tulips reached its zenith and extremely high prices were paid for bulbs, when suddenly the trade market collapsed. This financial catastrophe made tulips even more popular.

The present painting is an outstanding example of Marrell’s flower compositions which belongs to one of the most beautiful works in the last period of the master. So it most probably dates to the mid or later 1660s. The tulips, lilies and crown imperial in a bronze-vase create a magnificent bouquet in powerful quality and vibrant colours and can be seen as embodiment of beauty and prosperity, but also as symbol of vanity and transience. The lizard in the foreground also symbolizes caducity. On the other hand, the butterflies, offer a ray of hope since they are used as a symbol of the transmigration of the soul to a better life.


Provenance:
Private collection, Berlin

Expertise:
Ingvar Bergstöm, 1989
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bott, 16th February 2009

Literature:
Gerhard Bott, Die Stillebenmaler Soreau, Binoit, Codino und Marrell in Hanau und Frankfurt 1600-1650, Hanau 2001

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