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Grapes with Insects on a Marble Top

Still life painting of a bunch of yellow grapes

Gerard van Spaendonck (1746–1822) 
Grapes with Insects on a Marble Top, ca. 1793
Oil on marble, 11 ¾ x 13 ½ inches
The Frick Collection, New York, Gift of Asborjn R. Lunde (2012.1.01)

Celebrated for its masterpieces of portraiture and landscape, The Frick Collection announced the gift of a remarkable still life by Gerard van Spaendonck, an artist known for his masterful depictions of flowers and botanical specimens across a wide ranging oeuvre that includes miniatures, scientific illustrations, and salon canvases. Van Spaendonck brought his knowledge of the natural world to bear in this rare painting on marble. It provides a harmonious complement to the Frick’s three examples in this genre, Still Life with Plums by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Trompe l’Oeil by Jean-Étienne Liotard, and Plum Branches Intertwined, a recently acquired drawing by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, who was the student of Van Spaendonck. Director Ian Wardropper commented, “His works are quite rare in American public collections, and the most significant holdings are found in France and the United Kingdom, at Musée du Louvre and The Fitzwilliam Museum, respectively. As an extraordinary example of an important yet neglected eighteenth-century artist’s work, Van Spaendonck’s Grapes with Insects on a Marble Top strengthens our holdings in the genre of still life. Already installed in the North Hall adjacent to the Liotard, this acquisition will invite fresh conversations and connections across the Frick’s collection. We are grateful to Asbjorn R. Lunde for his generous gift to the Frick.”