Musical Group on a Balcony

Object Details

Title:

Musical Group on a Balcony

Artist/Maker(s):

Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch, 1590 - 1656)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1622

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

308.9 x 114 cm (121 5/8 x 44 7/8 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.

Provenance
possibly by 1627 -

Gerrit van Honthorst, Dutch, 1590 - 1656 (Utrecht, The Netherlands), in the artist's personal collection, possibly painted for his house.

1800s

Private Collection (Utrecht, The Netherlands), possibly in the house owned by Prof. Baron de Geer van Jutfaas, Nieuwgracht, Utrecht.

- 1924

Private Collection [sold, Frederick Muller, Amsterdam, November 26, 1924, lot 909.]

1949

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

by 1951 -

Pieter de Boer Kunsthandel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Arcade Gallery (London, England)

Possibly Alexander Karda

1959 -

Francis Stonor (London, England), by inheritance to Thomas Stonor.

- 1970

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

Exhibitions
Mostra del Caravaggio e dei Caravaggeschi (1951) (120)
Tentoonstelling Caravaggio en de Nederlanden (June 15 to September 28, 1952) (Cat. 45)
  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, (Antwerp), August 10 to September 28, 1952
Bibliography

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, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 55-56.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), p. 53.

Sutton, Peter C. A Guide to Dutch Art in America (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1986), p. 144.

Koch-Hillebrecht, Manfred. Museen in den USA: Gemälde (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 1992), p. 277.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 61, ill.