Mother, children and kittens
Mother, children, and kittens in a basket. What appears to be a signed painting is actually a tile. Signed lower left by the artist. Either the artist painted the image on a tile or the tile was produced with the artist’s image and signature to be sold in multiples.
Since there is no record or information to be found on this piece, it is assumed that it is from the Dutch Golden Age.
A period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) for Dutch independence.
The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe and led European trade, science, and art. The northern Netherlandish provinces that made up the new state had traditionally been less important artistic centers than cities in Flanders in the south. The upheavals and large-scale transfers of population of the war, and the sharp break with the old monarchist and Catholic cultural traditions, meant that Dutch art had to reinvent itself entirely. The painting of religious subjects declined very sharply, but a large new market for all kinds of secular subjects grew up.
Although Dutch painting of the Golden Age is included in the general European period of Baroque painting, and often shows many of its characteristics, most lacks the idealization and love of splendor typical of much Baroque work, including that of neighboring Flanders. Most work, including that for which the period is best known, reflects the traditions of detailed realism inherited from Early Netherlandish painting.
This tile reflects all of those characteristics. The realism is evident and the subjects appear to be wearing clothes from that era. The mother is assisting the youngest child, a girl, in standing over a basket with two newborn gray kittens. The girl is excited and the mother is perhaps holding her from snatching the kittens. A young boy kneels as if he is protecting the furry creatures. It is a sparse environment with only a brick wall and floor. It might be a barn or cottage.
The wood frame is hand carved and provides a beautiful setting for this scene. It’s small size makes it a perfect addition for a kitchen or child’s bedroom.
Framed size: 9 1/2″ wide x 9 1/2″ high