Anton Henstenburgh (1695-1781)
Gouache and watercolor, over black chalk, with traces of gum arabic, on vellum, within black wash framing lines
Signed/Inscribed/Dated Signed in gray ink, lower right: AHenstenburgh. fec= (AH in monogram)
Dimensions 29.10cm wide 36.70cm high
Description / Expertise
Anton was the son of Herman Henstenburgh (1667-1726), one of the most skillful and scientifically precise still-life watercolourists of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century tradition. Like Johannes Bronkhorst, who was his teacher, Herman worked as a pastry cook in Hoorn and practised his art as an amateur. Like his better known father Herman, Anton Henstenburgh worked in Hoorn as a painter of bird and flower gouaches.
In his Nieuwe Schouburg der Nederlantsche Kunstschilders en Schilderessen of 1750-51, Johan van Gool recorded that Herman bequethed to his son both his profession and his vocation of watercolour painting. Anton “also dedicated his leisure time to art, and is already far advanced,“ wrote Van Gool, implying not only that Anton was still alive circa 1750, but that he was not very far along in years.”
Anton’s work was virtually unknown until a group of 27 watercolours of insects and flowers appeared at auction in 1972, as part of the famous Van Pallandt sale (Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 26 September 1972). This collection was formed by the Middelburg connoisseur Pieter van den Brande (167(?)-1718), and was passed down in the same family, remarkably intact, until sold by Baron van Pallandt in 1972. Anton’s work is strongly reminiscent of that of his father. In the sale in 1972 several sheets were signed with the monogram similar to his but clearly composed of the initials AH, and at least one was copied in party from a work by his father, Herman.