Cornelis Kick - Still life with a Roemer, an Orange and Lemons
Still life with a Roemer, an Orange and Lemons
Oil on panel. 43 x 31.5 cm.
Signed centre right: Corn. Kick.
The Amsterdam still life painter Cornelis Kick presents exactly seven objects in front of a dark background, placed close together and towards the edge of a stone slab: a Roemer glass half filled with white wine, an orange, lemon, a lemon wedge, a thin slice of lemon, a small lemon pip and a knife with its ivory handle protruding slightly over the edge of the table. With these few objects, as well as a few drops of water, Cornelis Kick creates an exciting composition that is slightly off-centre, and attracts the observer especially through the strong contrast of the bright fruits against the dark stone slab and the deep dark background. The splendid Roemer glass stands out against the dark background particularly through the masterfully placed light reflections and mirroring: The upper half of the goblet is only noticeable by the linear light reflections on its edge as well as a flat mirroring on its side. In the lower part of the goblet, yellow reflections evoke the impression of white wine and countless tiny, dot-shaped points of light on the stem evoke the raspberry-shaped decorations.
Arnold Houbraken had already praised the detailed reproduction of the objects in Kick's still life in his De groote schouburgh published in 1718/19. The artist nevertheless poses riddles to this day: His date of birth is listed in the literature as 1634 or 1635; aside his activity as a painter, Kick may have had a shop. The only thing that seems certain is that he lived all his life in or just outside the city of Amsterdam and that his students included the important still life painter Jacob van Walscapelle and Elias van den Broeck. In his De groote schouburgh, Houbraken also reported on Cornelis Kick's portraits (Hy zelf schilderde ook Beelden en Pourtretten), although none are identifiable as by him today. It is therefore exclusively still lifes, especially flowers, for which the artist is known, and which are appreciated for their precise observation of nature and the brilliant reproduction of surface textures and light reflections. On the whole, works by the artist are extremely rare - rarer still are his still lifes with fruits or precious objects such as the present painting which continue to fascinate today through the monumentalising of everyday items and the atmosphere of stillness.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby-Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 30 November 1981, lot 54.
Jan Kelch: Holländische Malerei aus Berliner Privatbesitz, Berlin 1984, exhib. cat., pp. 66-7, no. 31, reproduced;
Susanne Rütten, in Ekkehard Mai (ed.): Das Kabinett des Sammlers, Cologne 1993, pp. 144-145, no. 56, reproduced.
Holländische Malerei aus Berliner Privatbesitz, Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, 1984, no. 31.