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:

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.

Provenance
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.]

1949

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)

1953

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.]

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