Adriaen De Gryef (Antwerp c.1670-1715 Brussels): A Pair of Oil on Canvas of Huntsmen with Hunting Dogs & Game

Origin: Flemish
Period: Late Seventeenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1690-1700
The Canvases: 15.75 x 19.25 inches
The Wholes: 20.75 x 24.75 & 21.25 x 25.25 inches

The pair of oils on canvas, depicting hunting dogs, game and hunstmen amidst Flemish rural countryside survive from the late seventeenth century and are presented in a good black and gilt painted frames, one work signed lower right, painted by the well listed old master Adriaen De Gryef 1670-1715.

The pictures are framed slightly differently, one frame is thicker and slightly larger than the other and they have both been lined and have some retouching visible under ultra violet light. Both pictures have dark varnish, one with two retouched scratches and both have some small losses to their surfaces with an even craquelure. The overall condition considering the age of the works would be termed as good. The frames are also in good structural order.

Adrian de Gryef (Antwerp 1670 - Brussels 1715) was a Flemish-school painter of landscapes and still lifes, and was a pupil of Frans Snyders and son and pupil of the Dutch still life painter Jacques de Claeuw. He married in 1689 in Antwerp and in 1690, he resided in Brussels, then returned to Antwerp in 1694. Gryef is famous for the creation of small pictures with picturesque subjects featuring animals, particularly hunting scenes such as these, in outdoor landscapes adorned with trees and flowers. Adriaen de Gryef died in 1715. Today, his pictures can be seen in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Watford Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery and the Ferens Art Gallery with numerous other examples in European museums.

These pictures are typical of de Gryefs work. They show a myriad of hunting dogs including setters and game birds such as pheasants, with hares and more illustrious birds also featuring. In both pictures the animals take the foreground and the main focal points whilst the hunters, with their rifles and hunting horns, are depicted towards the backgrounds. Each animal is beautifully and painstakingly realized and as such each has it’s own personality, one senses.

Exquisitely detailed, this pair make good investment pictures from a true old master.