Highlights No. 084-1395

Hermannus Collenius (1650-1723) Vertumnus and Pomona

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Large format painting by Herman(nus) Collenius (1650 Kollum - 1723 Groningen) with representation of the "Vertumnus and Pomona" legend from the Metamorphoses of Ovid.

On the right hand side an old woman with admonishing, pointing gesture, approaching a young beautiful woman. The young woman is depicted with a wreath of flowers in her hair and a wicker basket with freshly harvested berries and fruits. She placed her hands with the small sickle loosely over each other while her upper body turns away from the old woman. They sit in an idealized park landscape with a fountain in the middle ground and antique sculptures in the background, while lush greenery frames the scene on the left and right. In the foreground, a classical pedestal with a peacock enthroned on it can be seen. At her feet a black and white spotted puppy has laid down to sleep.

According to the legend, Pomona, goddess of fruitful abundance, shows no interest in her worshippers and, like the god Vertumnus, always dismisses them. She prefers to take care of her plants and her garden. Vertumnus then approaches Pomona in the form of an old woman and urges her to finally pay attention to her suitors, especially the good Vertumnus, pointing to an elm surrounded by a vine tendril with rich grapes; for one would be half as good without the other.

Hermannus Collenius was born in 1650 as the son of a goldsmith in Kollum and died in 1721 or more likely in 1723 in Groningen. It is not known where Collenius was trained as a painter. At the end of 1669 he settled in Groningen and became a member of the glazier and painter guild. He was especially a history and portrait painter, whereby he was highly regarded especially in history painting and probably also undertook a journey to Italy. He was also active as an interior painter and in 1695 he furnished, among others, one of the largest mansions, the one of Nienoord, in Groningen.

Signed in the centre left H. Collenius
Oil on canvas, doubled; in baroque style frame
Dimensions without frame: 114 x 157 cm

Provenance: 1970 auction Vienna, 1974 auction Cologne, since then until 2019 in private ownership.

Lit: Freerk J. Veldman: Hermannus Collenius 1650-1723, Zwolle 1997, p. 96.

  • Origin:Netherlands
  • Dated:1650-1723
  • Material:Oil on Canvas
  • Dimensions:
    HxBxT: 134 x 176 x 6 cm;
    (HxWxD: 52.8 x 69.3 x 2.4 inch)
  • Mark:1f
  • Price:price on request