Franz Werner von Tamm - A Hunting Still Life with Powder Bag
Franz Werner von Tamm
A Hunting Still Life with Powder Bag
Oil on canvas (relined). 141 x 218 cm.
Franz Werner von Tamm was instructed as a narrative painter by Dietrich von Sosten and Hans Pfeiffer in Hamburg. He also received more extensive artistic training in Rome, where he is recorded as living from 1685 to 1695. Whilst in the Italian capital, Tamm joined the originally Netherlandish artist's group “Schilderbent”, where he was nicknamed “Dapper” and came into contact with the brothers van Bloemen, Vanvitelli and Maratti. Tamm painted floral still lifes in the Roman-Netherlandish tradition of Mario dei Fioris and became a master in this field. Emperor Leopold I requested him in Vienna in 1695, where Tamm remained as a court painter until 1728. According to Hagedorn, von Tamm also received numerous commissions from the Hamburg senator and poet Heinrich Brockes, who often called him to this city. Tamm began painting floral, fruit and hunt still lifes, and both the subject and style of the present work are typical of his oeuvre. Although the motif has been carefully composed and painted in great detail, it still mimics the appearance of an accidental arrangement. The red powder horn forms the focus of the composition and is often found in Tamm's works. The dramatically spread wings of the heron and the mallard, the dead birds in the left corner of the work and the rabbits hanging from the shotgun to the right can all be interpreted as symbols of abundance. This symbolic motif is heightened by the appearance of the mushrooms in the lower right corner of the piece, which seem to have been senselessly ripped from the earth.
Galerie Welz, Salzburg (labelled to the reverse). - Private ownership, Spain.