Dulwich Picture Gallery I


Carel de MOOR II

Leiden, 25 February 1655–Leiden or Warmond, 16 February 1738
Dutch painter, draughtsman and printmaker

Carel de Moor II studied in Leiden under Gerard Dou (1613–75), Abraham van den Tempel (1622/3–72), Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635–81) and Godefridus Schalcken (1643–1706). In 1683 he entered the Guild of St Luke in Leiden, and ten or eleven years later, with Willem van Mieris (1662–1747) and Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719), he founded the Leidse Tekenacademie (Leiden Drawing Academy), serving with Van Mieris as its director until 1736.

His early work consists of portraits, genre, and narrative pictures, largely in the style of the Leiden ‘fine’ painters. As his career progressed, portraiture came to be dominant. In his lifetime De Moor enjoyed considerable fame: in 1714 he was knighted by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (1685–1740), and he painted the portrait of Peter the Great of Russia (1672–1725).1 Among his students was his son Carel Isaak de Moor (1695–1751), who was also a portrait painter.

The Desenfans/Bourgeois collection included two pictures then thought to be by Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt (1640–91). One of those is the present work, now attributed to Carel de Moor II (the other is ascribed to Manner of Johannes Lingelbach, DPG55). Desenfans and Bourgeois did not know of De Moor, and he was not included in Smith’s 1829–42 biographies of Dutch (and some Flemish and French) painters.

Ekkart 1974, pp. 10–14; Sluijter, Enklaar & Nieuwenhuizen 1988, pp. 45, 182–5; Ekkart 1996c; Aono 2011, on CD-rom, pp. 183–4; not yet in Saur or AKL online (7 July 2020); Aono 2015, p. 188; Ecartico, no. 5475: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/5475 (Karel de Moor II, alias Carel de Moor; Jan. 12, 2018); RKDartists&, no. 57499: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/57499 (Jan. 12, 2018); Fowler to be published.

Carel de Moor (II)
Self-portrait of Carel de Moor (1656-1738), dated 1691
canvas, oil paint 78 x 63 cm
upper right : Cs. d. Moor. Lugduno Batav. su Manu Propria. Ao MDCXCI
Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, inv./cat.nr. inv. 1890, no. 1892

DPG116 Boy with a Goldfinch and its Nest in a Bird-Pot

c. 1700–1710; oak panel, 16.2 x 12.1 cm (arched top)
On the reverse an illegible inscription ending in ‘A’

? (See Related works, nos 8a–8c); ?European Museum, London, 16 Nov. 1801–1 Jan. 1803, lot 117 (‘Slingelandt – A boy pleased with a bird bottle’); European Museum, London, 7 March ff. 1803, lot 117 (idem); European Museum, London, 13 June ff. 1803, lot 117 (idem);2 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 26, no. 266 (‘Small Drawing Room contd / no. 19, Boy with Birds nest in a pot – P[anel] Slingland’; 12" x 10").

Cat. 1817, p. 15, no. 281 (‘FOURTH ROOM – North Side; A Boy with a Bird’s Nest; Slingsland [sic]’); Haydon 1817, p. 395, no. 281 (Van Slingeland); Cat. 1820, p. 15, no. 281 (Slingeland); ?Smith 1829–42, i (1829), pp. 51 (no. 7), 53–4 (no. 17; see Related works, nos 8a–8c);3 Cat. 1830, p. 8, no. 151; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 467, no. 151 (Slingelandt?);4 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 151(Jan Peter van Slingelandt);5 Sparkes 1876, p. 164 (Jan Pieter van Slingelandt);6 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 154, no. 151 (Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingeland);7 Havard & Sparkes 1885, p. 178, no. 151 (Schalcken);8 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 29, no. 116 (Van Slingeland); HdG, v, 1912, p. 480, no. 124;9 Cook 1914, p. 69, no. 116 (P. C. van Slingeland); Cook 1926, p. 65; Cat. 1953, p. 37; Murray 1980a, p. 119 (Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt); Murray 1980b, p. 26 (In the style of Dou, Slingelandt’s master); Beresford 1998, p. 159 (Carel de Moor); Christianson 2005, pp. 147, 148 (fig.); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 134; RKD, no. 287779: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/287779 (Jan. 15, 2018); Fowler to be published, no. A66.

London 1952–3, p. 35, no. 147 (Van Slingelandt); London 1999a, pp. 34–5, 196 (no cat. no.; C. Wright; De Moor); London 1999b (no cat. no.; c. 1700).

Single-member oak panel, with an arched top. The reverse bears a monogram or undeciphered inscription. There are two vertical hair cracks on the right side, near the base of the arch. There is fine craquelure all over. The paint film is in good condition, with only a few minor retouchings to the lower left corner and side. No records of previous treatment exist.

1a) Carel de Moor II, A Young Boy playing with Dogs in a Landscape, signed K.D. Moor, panel, 19 x 24 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Francis Palmer; his sale, Sotheby’s Colonnade, London, 16 March 1993, lot 99, £3.680) [2].10
1b) Carel de Moor II, Portrait of a Child with a Coalmouse, signed and dated C D Moor f. 1690, National Museum of Wroclaw, 626.11
2) Carel de Moor II or Jan van Mieris, Portrait of an Artist (Self-Portrait?), panel, 15 x 12 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Daphne Alazraki, New York) [3].12
3) Carel de Moor II, Self-Portrait, canvas, 115 x 98 cm. KMSKB, Brussels, 1353.13
4) Formerly attributed to Willem van Mieris I (1635–81), Children in a Niche with a Bird-Pot, panel, 22.5 x 18 cm. Private collection, the Netherlands (formerly Steengracht collection, auctioned in 1913).14
5) Karel Slabbaert, Portrait of a Boy with a Bird, signed k. slabbaert, c. 1650, canvas, 59.8 x 41.4 cm. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, 280.15
6) Bird-pot, 17th–18th century, earthenware, h. 19.8 cm. BM, London, 1887,0307,B.104.16
7) Cornelis Bloemaert II after Hendrick Bloemaert, Boy with a Bird’s Nest, c. 1625, inscriptions, engraving, 167 x 118 mm. RPK, RM, RP-P-BI-1428 [4].17
8a) Pieter van Slingelandt, ‘A child with a bird-pot in one hand, and on the forefinger of his other little hand a goldfinch; beyond, a maid in the distance and various details’, panel, 13 x 10½ in. (c. 50.8 x 32.2 cm). Present whereabouts unknown (Jacob van Zaanen sale, The Hague, 16 Oct. 1767 (Lugt 1646), lot 4, sold, ƒ400).18
8b) Pieter van Slingelandt, painting of a room in which there is a little boy with a little bird on his hand; a dog is barking at the bird; in the background is a maid with a bucket. Present whereabouts unknown (Gerret Braamcamp sale, Amsterdam, 31 July ff. 1771 (Lugt 1950), lot 206; Pieter Locquet sale, Amsterdam, 22–24 Sept. 1783 (Lugt 3611), pp. 124–5, lot 340).19
8c) Pieter van Slingelandt, painting where an attractive little boy is standing in a room, with a bird perched on his finger, at which a dog is barking; panel, 12½ x 8½ in. Present whereabouts unknown (De Séréville sale, Paris, 1812 (Lugt 8106), lot 62; 1,196 fs 48l; Tolozan sale, Paris, 1801 (Lugt 6204), lot 109, 500 fs 20l).20

The picture shows a young boy holding a bird-pot that has been used as a bird’s nest, with a goldfinch resting on his right hand. Bird-pots (Related works, no. 6) were traditionally placed under the eaves of buildings to encourage birds to nest; they are still being made. They appear more often in pictures made in the Northern Netherlands – e.g. the picture by Karel Slabbaert (1618/19–54) now in Brunswick (Related works, no. 5) – in one case also accompanied by a boy with a broad-brimmed hat and a birdcage (Related works, no. 4).

Richard Beresford in his 1998 catalogue of the Dulwich collection changed the attribution from Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt to Carel de Moor. Slingelandt had been the name since Britton’s inventory in 1813, except for Havard and Sparkes in 1885, who attributed it to Schalcken, who was one of De Moor’s masters. Beresford followed Sturla Gudlaugsson’s attribution on the mount of the photograph of the picture in the RKD; he also pointed out the presence of a De Moor signature on a comparable study of a boy playing with a puppy, in which the model appears to be the same (Related works, no. 1a) [2]. Christopher Wright in 1999 suggested that that picture might be the pendant of DPG116,21 but the dimensions do not match, and DPG116 is vertical, while no. 1a is horizontal. The suggestion by Paul Matthews that DPG116 has a pair in a portrait of an artist (Related works, no. 2) [3], also attributed by Gudlaugsson to De Moor, is highly unlikely. Although they are about the same size, their scale is different, they are different kinds of picture – a self-portrait and a genre picture – and they face in the same direction.22 More recently, Eric Jan Sluijter altered the attribution on the DPG116 mount in the RKD to Jan van Mieris, probably without taking into account the existence of the signed De Moor picture (Related works, no. 1a) [2].

DPG116 does look like an engraving by Cornelis Bloemaert II (c. 1603–92) after his older brother Hendrick Bloemaert (c. 1601–72; Related works, no. 7) [4]. That was part of a series of four showing boys all with different animals, of c. 1625. The series was very popular: we find various versions for another sixty years, and even painted versions – after the prints. In the print a boy is shown holding a bird’s nest in his cap (so not with a bird-pot), and two lines of verse saying effectively ‘If you find a nest, take it before someone else takes it’, which according to De Jongh exemplifies human rapacity.23 There are however differences between the print and DPG116: in the painting the boy appears to care for the bird and its nest rather than to be stealing it.

The provenance of the picture is unclear. Smith, in his text about Pieter van Slingelandt, gives two entries, nos 7 and 17, which, he suggests, might be the same picture. Hofstede de Groot in 1913 and Bille in 1961 agree with that. However when you read the descriptions in the sale catalogues, it seems that the picture in the Van Zaanen sale (1767) is not the same as the one in the Braamcamp sale (1771) and the Locquet sale (1783), mainly because a bird-pot is mentioned, which is missing from the other descriptions. Moreover a maid is mentioned in het verschiet (in the distance) which probably means that she was outside, while in the other catalogue descriptions the maid is inside the house. The Locquet picture might or might not be the one in the Paris sales (Tolozan 1801 and De Séréville 1812), but if it was it could clearly not have been purchased by Bourgeois, who died in 1811. None of the descriptions matches DPG116: at the simplest we are not looking at a furnished room, there is no dog or maid, and the child’s clothes are black, not coloured.

In 1949 DPG116 was valued by Thomas Agnew and Sons at £900 (the cheapest of the sixteen Dulwich paintings was £100 for Adriaen van de Velde, DPG51, the most expensive £33,000 for Rembrandt, DPG163).

Carel de Moor (II)
Boy with a goldfinch and its nest in a bird-pot
panel (oak), oil paint 16,2 x 12,1 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG116

Carel de Moor (II)
Boy with spaniels
panel, oil paint 19 x 24 cm
lower center : K.D.Moor
Private collection

Jan van Mieris
Self portrait of Jan van Mieris (1660-1690), c. 1675
panel, oil paint 15 x 12 cm
Private collection

Cornelis Bloemaert (II) after Hendrick Bloemaert
Boy with a Bird's nest
paper, engraving 167 x 118 mm
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./cat.nr. RP-P-BI-1428


1 With many thanks to Pamela Fowler, email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 15 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file).

2 Based on GPID (29 April 2011 and 2 May 2011). It seems that the same painting was being offered on 16 Nov. 1801 and 13 June 1803. As no sizes are given, it is not certain whether Bourgeois or Desenfans acquired the painting on or after the last date at the European Museum.

3 Smith suggested that his nos 7 and 17 were the same picture. No. 7: ‘A Child with a bird bottle, and a goldfinch perched on its finger: a variety of other objects enrich the composition’. Smith gives as provenance for the picture, of which he does not know the whereabouts: Collection of ‘M. Zaamens 1767 400 flo. 36l.; M. Braamcamp 1771 560 flo. 50l.; M. Locquet 1783 630 flo. 57l.’ And then as dimensions: ‘13 x 10½ inches P[anel].’ These dimensions are almost the same as the ones in the Britton inventory (1813), 12 x 10 inches, but those include the frame. No. 17: ‘An Interior; in the middle of which is a little boy, with light hair, dressed in green, and wearing a black velvet cap, with white feathers, holding a bird, perched upon one of his fingers; and in the back of the room is a servant entering. Collection of Tolozan 1801; 500 fs. 20l. Sereville [sic]1811; 1196 fs. 48l. This is probably the one already noticed [i.e. Smith’s no. 7], or a copy of it. 12½ in. by 8½ in. – P[anel].’ Smith does not include any information about his no. 7 or 17 in his supplement (1842), and he does not refer to the Dulwich painting at all. See for the Van Zaanen sale note 18 below (Related works, no. 8a); for the Braamcamp and Locquet sales note 19 below (Related works, no. 8b); and for the Tolozan and De Séréville sales note 20 below (Related works, no. 8c).

4 ‘It is very delicate, but hardly conveys an idea of the power of this industrious painter.’

5 1858: ‘Indeed with one or two exceptions, delicacy is a much [greater + unreadable deleted] more common characteristic of his handiwork than power. There are several of his pictures in England in the Earl of Ellesmere’s & Sir R. Peel’s Collections.’ 1859: ‘If it were possible, he was even more laborious than his master [Dou]. He was three years painting the portraits of one family in a picture, and it took him [three deleted] a month to finish a lace-frill.’

6 ‘probably the picture No. 7 in Smith’s Catalogue’.

7 ‘Broadly executed. An early and unusually attractive picture of the master; harmonious and bright in colour. Smith’s Catalogue, No. 7 (?).’

8 ‘an attractive work by this painter’.

9 According to HdG, v, 1912, pp. 480–81, no. 127 (Engl. edn 1913, p. 456), which he identifies as Smith nos 7 and 17, is a different painting (33.4 x 27 cm), not the Dulwich picture (his no. 124). See also Related works, nos 8a–8c.

10 RKD, no. 288034: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/288034 (March 19, 2018). With thanks to Pamela Fowler, no. A67 of her œuvre catalogue of De Moor; email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 15 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file).

11 With thanks to Pamela Fowler, no. A47 of her œuvre catalogue of De Moor; email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 17 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file).

12 RKD, no. 65810: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/65810 (Jan. 12, 2018). According to Pamela Fowler, this picture is not by Carel de Moor II: email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 15 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file). Earlier, Sluijter had attributed it to Jan van Mieris: see Sluijter 1989, p. 293, fig. 7.

13 RKD, no. 131808: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/131808 (Jan. 12, 2018); KMSKB 1984, p. 200, no. 1353. Pamela Fowler is not convinced that this is by Carel de Moor; it is in her ‘problematic’ section: email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 15 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file).

14 De Vries & Buvelot 2012, pp. 60–61, 96–7, no. 45.

15 RKD, no. 297740: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297740 (July 7, 2020); see also http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karel_Slabbaert_-_Der_Knabe_mit_dem_Vogel.jpg (May 15, 2018); Bakker 1984, pp. 274–5, no. 79 (G. Jansen); Klessmann 1983, p. 191, no. 280.

16 See https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1887-0307-B-104 (July 7, 2020).

17 RKD, no. 287780: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/287780 (Jan. 15, 2018); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.81547 (Jan. 12, 2018). The inscriptions are Doen ick dit nestken vant, ick hebbet wt genomen. Ick docht, die vint die heeft, daer mocht een ander comen (When I found this nest, I took it. I thought, finders keepers, before someone else comes along). See De Jongh & Luijten 1997, pp. 187–90, part of a series of boys with an animal.

18 Terwesten 1770, p. 651, no. 4: Een Kindje met een Vogel-Krukje [probably Vogel–kruikje is meant, which is bird-pot] in het eene, en op de voorste Vinger van het andere Handje een Puttertje houdende; voorts een Meid in het verschiet met meerder bywerk, door P. van Slingeland … ; hoog 13, breet 10¼ duimen; Dutch dimensions [NB inside the frame; in Rynland inches, where 1 in. = 3.14 cm]. 400–0’. Although Terwesten gives the dimensions inside the frame, indicating a much larger picture, it is not impossible that this could have been DPG116, as errors were made in dimensions; however in the Dulwich picture there is no maid in the distance on the left, and the ‘ornamental details’ are confined to the boy’s hat, so it seems that this is not DPG116. (See also note 3 for Smith nos 7 and 17.)

19 19 Bille 1961, ii, pp. 117–18. The descriptions in the Braamcamp and Locquet sale catalogues differ slightly. Braamcamp sale (Bille, pp. 49, 49a and 50): Een Kamer, waar in een kleine Jonge, loopende met een Vogeltje op de hand; wat verder op den Voorgrond ligt een gebroken Vogelkooy; een Hond agter den Jongen staande bast tegen het Vogeltje; ter zyde een Tafel met een Tapyt waar op een Pot met Bloemen staat. Verders ziet met door een ander Vertrek een Meid met een Emmer in de Hand, schynende in het eerste Vertrek te komen; boven de Deur ziet men eenige Antike Beelden als anders (A room in which a little boy is walking with a little bird on his hand; slightly further forward lies a broken cage; a dog behind the boy is barking at the bird; to one side is a table with a carpet on which stands a pot of flowers. Beyond, in another room is a maid with a bucket in her hand, coming towards the first room; above the door you can see some Antique statues, as in other pictures). Locquet sale, Amsterdam, 22–24 Sept. 1783 (Lugt 3611), pp. 124–5, lot 340: Dit fraaije Cabinetstukje verbeeld in een gemeubileerde kamer een bevallig Jongetje in deftige Kleeding, hebbende een hoedje met Pluimen op het hoofd, hy houd op de linker hand een Vogeltje en in de regter eene Krukje met belletjes, een klein Hondje schynt tegen het vogeltje te blaffen, op de voorgrond ligt een vogelkooi, ter linkerzyde staat een Tafel met een tapytje bedekt, waarop een pot met bloemen geplaatst is, daar nevens een stoel, verder ziet men door een open deur in een ander vertrek een Meid met een Markt-Emmer in de hand, boven de deur ziet men Antique beelden. (This beautiful cabinet painting depicts in a furnished room a graceful little boy elegantly dressed, a hat with feathers on his head; he holds in his left hand a little bird and in his right a little pot with little bells; a little dog seems to be barking at the little bird; in the foreground lies a birdcage; at the left is a table covered with a little carpet, on which stands a pot of flowers, with a chair next to it; beyond, one sees through an open door in another room a maid holding a market bucket; above the door you can see Antique statues.) The descriptions do not fit DPG116 (the boy is not walking; there is no dog, and no maid (with a bucket). Nor do they match the description of the picture in the Van Zaanen sale (see preceding note). According to HdG (v, 1912, pp. 480–81, no. 127; Engl. edn 1913, p. 456), Related works nos 8a–8c are the same picture, so the provenance starts with Van Zaanen and ends with De Séreville: see note 9 (HdG no. 127). Bille (1961, ii, pp. 49, 49a) agrees. However according to us no. 8a (the Van Zaanen picture) is not the same as 8b and 8c: see the main text.

20 Smith, i, 1829, pp. 53–4, no. 17 (see note 3 above). The descriptions vary slightly. Tolozan sale (GPID, 20 March 2018): Ce Tableau offre l’intérieur d'une chambre hollandaise. Au milieu et sur le devant, on y voit debout un jeune enfant d’une jolie figure avec une belle chevelure blonde. Il est vêtu d'une robe de couleur verte, et a sur la tête un chapeau de velours noir ajusté d'une plume blanche. Dans sa main droite est un petit bâton, tandis que de l'autre il tient un chardonneret perché sur son doigt, après lequel aboie un petit chien épagneul. Plus loin, à gauche, et sur un plan très-reculé, on distingue une jeune servante prête à entrer dans cette chambre. Divers accessoires enrichissent ce précieux Tableau. (This painting shows the interior of a Dutch room. In the centre and foreground you see the standing figure of a young child with a pretty face and fine blond hair. He is wearing a green garment, and has on his head a black velvet hat with a white feather. In his right hand is a little stick, while in his other hand he holds a goldfinch perched on his finger, that is being barked at by a little spaniel. Beyond on the left, in the far distance, you can see a young housemaid ready to enter the room. Various accessory features add richness to this precious painting.) De Séréville sale (GPID, 20 March 2018): Dans un intérieur d'appartement on voit un joli enfant en jaquette bleue, coiffé d'une toque garnie de plumes; il est debout, tenant un oiseau sur son doigt, qui fait aboyer un petit chien épagneul. Une table couverte d’un riche tapis, et un vase de fleurs, forment un accessoire intéressant. A la gauche du sujet, différents autres détails contribuent à la richesse et à l'agrément de ce morceau précieux et de toute rareté. Il provient du cabinet célèbre de Tolozan. (In an apartment you see a pretty child wearing a blue jacket and a cap with feathers; he is standing, holding a bird on his finger, that prompts a little spaniel to bark. A table covered with a rich carpet and a vase of flowers are an interesting accessory element. To the left of the subject, several other details contribute to the richness and attractiveness of this precious and extremely rare piece. It comes from the famous cabinet of Tolozan.) According to Bille (see previous note), this picture is the same as that in the Braamcamp and Locquet sales.

21 Wright 1999, p. 196.

22 Moreover, according to Pamela Fowler, Related works, no. 2 is not by De Moor: email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 15 Jan. 2018 (DPG116 file).

23 E. de Jongh in De Jongh & Luijten, pp. 187–9. The same author thinks that a print of 1606 (no. 16) of a nest robber could be interpreted erotically: acting is better than knowing, so a lover should act quickly (ibid., p. 110). But not all nest robbers should be interpreted in that way; such an image could also mean something like actions speak louder than words.

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