Merry Company in an Arbor

Object Details


Merry Company in an Arbor


Adriaen van de Venne (Dutch, 1589 - 1662)






Oil on panel


16.4 x 23 cm (6 7/16 x 9 1/16 in.)

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At the left of this small landscape, a group of maidens make music under an arbor of flowers. In an enclosed area to the right, two women sit on a net used for catching finches. From all sides youths spy on the women, perching in trees or hiding behind bushes or tree trunks. One bold voyeur clings to the top of the arbor, peering down at the women below. Another, entangled in a net, is apprehended by a soberly dressed woman, while two jesters above have fallen out of the trees.

This light-hearted painting by Adriaen van de Venne was part of a series of four landscapes representing the seasons. This painting, thought to represent spring, and its companion, A Jeu de Paume Before a Country Palace (A Ball Game Before a Country Palace), both include imagery relating to love .

- possibly 1687

Possibly Constantijn Huygens, heer van Zuilichem, 1596 - 1687 (The Hague, The Netherlands; Hofwijck, Voorburg, The Netherlands), possibly by inheritance to his only daughter, Susanna Huygens-Doublet.

possibly 1687 - 1725

Susanna Huygens-Doublet, vrouwe van Sint-Annaland, 1637 - 1725 (Sint-Annaland, Tholen, The Netherlands), upon her death held in trust by the estate.


Estate of Susanna Huygens-Doublet, vrouwe van Sint-Annaland, 1637 - 1725 [sold, Vrouwe van Sint-Annaland sale, November 6, 1725, lots 3-6, which included 83.PB.364.1.]

- 1854

Ralph Bernal, 1783 - 1854 (London, England) [sold, Bernal sale, Christie's, London, March 10, 1855, lot 616 (with 83.PB.364.2), possibly to W. Lea.]

1855 -

Possibly W. Lea, Esq.

1889 - before 1918

Henry Lee [unsold, Lee sale, Christie's, London, March 1, 1889, lot 40, and thereafter probably by inheritance to Frederick Lee.]

- 1918

Frederick Lee [sold, British Red Cross Society sale, Christie's, London, April 20, 1918, lot 1911 (with 83.PB.364.2), to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., for 480 gns.]


Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to Frank Partridge & Sons Ltd., 1918 (Agnew stockbooks, nos. 5154-5155).

1918 -

Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd., English, founded 1902 (London, England)

- 1932

Sir John Frecheville Ramsden, sixth Bart., 1877 - 1958 (Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire, England) [sold, Ramsden sale, Christie's, London, May 27, 1932, lot 46, to Machonachie for 95 gns.]

1932 -


- 1979

Private Collection [sold, Christie's, London, March 30, 1979, lot 9, to John Hoogsteder, Ltd.]

1979 - 1983

Hoogsteder/Naumann, Ltd. (The Hague, The Netherlands; New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580 - 1620 (December 11, 1993 to March 6, 1994) (Cat. 328.I)
  • Rijksmuseum, (Amsterdam), December 11, 1993 to March 6, 1994