Musical Group on a Balcony

Object Details


Musical Group on a Balcony


Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch, 1590 - 1656)






Oil on panel


309.9 x 216.4 cm (122 x 85 3/16 in.)

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Smiling, singing figures gather around a balcony to play musical instruments, inviting the viewers below to join in the fun. The revelers' facial expressions and bright colorful clothes heighten the festive, carefree mood. A parrot and a dog, gazing down from their perches, round out the merry group. Possibly part of an allegory of Harmony, the painting may have originally been slightly wider and twice as long, containing a complete balustrade and more figures. The head of the man at the top is a modern addition.

Gerrit van Honthorst painted this illusionistic ceiling, the earliest of its type made in the Netherlands in 1622, two years after his return from Italy, where he saw similar painted ceilings. Careful calculation of perspective allows the figures to burst plausibly through the flat plane of the painted panel.

possibly by 1627 -

Gerrit van Honthorst, Dutch, 1590 - 1656 (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

possibly by 1846 -1903

Barthold Jacob Lintelo, Baron de Geer van Jutphaas, Dutch, 1816 - 1903 (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

probably from 1903

Lammerts J. van Buren, Dutch (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

by early 20th century

L. J. del Baere, Dutch (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

- 1924

Private Collection [sold, L. J. del Baere Sale, Frederick Muller, Amsterdam, November 26, 1924, lot 909.]


Private Collection (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) [sold, Schilderijen, antiquiteiten, oosterse tapijten, S. J. Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, October 4, 1949, lot. 43, for 220 guilders.]

by 1951

Pieter de Boer Kunsthandel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


Arcade Gallery (London, England)

Possibly Alexander Korda, 1893 - 1956 (London, England), possibly by inheritance to his wife, Alexandria Irene Boycun, 1956.

possibly in 1956

Alexandria Irene Boycun, 1928 - 1959 (London, England)

by 1958 - 1968

Francis Stonor, died 1968 (London, England), by inheritance to his cousin, Thomas Stonor, 1968.

1968 - 1970

Thomas Stonor, 7th Baron Camoys, English, born 1940 (London, England) [sold, Stonor sale, Christie's, London, April 10, 1970, lot 88, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Mostra del Caravaggio e dei Caravaggeschi (April to June 1951) (Cat. 120)
  • Palazzo Reale (Milano)
Tentoonstelling Caravaggio en de Nederlanden (June 15 to September 28, 1952) (Cat. 45)
  • Centraal Museum, (Utrecht), June 15 to August 3, 1952

L'Hotel de Ventes Doelenstraat, Amsterdam. Antiquités- objets d'art. November 25-28, 1924 unpaginated, lot 909.

S. J. Mak van Waay, Amsterdam. Schilderijen, antiquiteiten oosterse tapijten. October 4, 1949 p. 11, lot 43.

Mostra del Caravaggio e dei caravaggeschi, exh. cat. (Milan: Palazzo Reale di Milano, with Sansoni Editore, 1951) p. 70, no.120, fig. 89.

Gerson, Horst. "Die Austellung Caravaggion und die Niederländer." Kunstchronik 5 (November 1952) p. 289.

Hess, J. "Die Gemälde des Orazio Gentileschi." In English Miscellany: A Symposium of History, Literature and the Arts, Vol. 3. Mario Praz, ed. (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1952) p. 179.

Nicolson, Benedict. "Caravaggio and the Netherlands." The Burlington Magazine 94, no. 594 (September 1952) p. 251n14.

Caravaggio en de Nederlanden, exh. cat. (Utrecht: Centraal Museum, 1952) pp. xxvi, 31, no. 45.

Zeri, Federico. "The Pallavicini Palace and Gallery in Rome I: The Palace." Connoisseur (December 1955) p. 186.

Isarlo, George. Les Indépendants dans la peinture ancienne (Paris: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1956) pp. 133-34.

Nicolson, Benedict. Hendrick ter Brugghen (London: Lund Humphries, 1958) p. 107, under no. A74.

Judson, J. Richard. Gerrit van Honthorst: A Discussion of his Position in Dutch Art (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1959) pp. 65n3, 68n4, 74, 106, 112, 123, 126, 248-49, no. 198, fig. 24.

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London, Christie's. Catalogue of Important Pictures by Old Masters. April 10, 1970 p. 50, lot. 88, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972) p. 75, no. 92, ill.

Reznicek, E. K. J. "Hont Horstiana." Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 23 (1972) pp. 172-75, figs. 3, 4.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975) pp. 71, 112, 113, ill.

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Fredericksen, Burton B., Jírí Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978) p. 69.

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