|European Watercolors — Herman Henstenburgh - Scenes with Exotic Birds in Grand Parks (2 of 2)|
|Herman Henstenburgh - Scenes with Exotic Birds in Grand Parks (2 of 2)
A Pair of Henstenburgh Watercolors
Signed, lower left: “H. Henstenburgh. fec.”
Medium: Watercolor and Gouache on Vellum
Dimensions: 17 1/8 x 13 1/4 inches
These two dramatic and exquisitely rendered watercolors are superb works by one of the finest Dutch natural-history painters, Herman Henstenburgh. Henstenburgh was a pupil of Johannes Bronckhorst, a fellow native of Hoorn in the Netherlands. According to contemporary accounts, Henstenburgh started out by depicting birds and landscapes in the manner of his teacher, and then broadened his repertoire to include splendid flower and fruit pieces, and occasional woodland still-lifes. For his flawless draftsmanship and vibrant colors, Henstenburgh won considerable renown even during his own lifetime.
Compositionally, these works are influenced by the smaller watercolors in a similar vein by Bronckhorst, but the execution and colors are here far more dynamic than anything Henstenburgh’s teacher ever produced. The contemporary chronicler Johann van Gool attempted to explain the extraordinary richness of Henstenburgh’s colors by asserting that the artist had invented a new type of watercolor, though the more simple and accurate explanation is that he was exceptionally skilled in this difficult medium.
Signed pictures by Henstenburgh are extremely rare, and these works represent particularly rich and lively compositions by one of the finest Dutch nature painters.