CORNELIA DE RIJCK (Delft 1653-1726 Amsterdam)
A small Tortoiseshell, a Dryas Iulia, a Heliconius Sara, a large Tortoiseshell, a Heliconius Melpomene, a Comma and other butterflies
signed ‘Cornelia de Rijck’ (lower right)
watercolor and bodycolor, watermark posthorn within a shield surmounted by a crown
11 x 778 in. (28 x 20 cm)
with Schaeffer Galleries, New York.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co.,The Artist and the Animal. A Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of the Animal Medical Center, 1968, no. 42.
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Lot Essay

After the death of her first husband, the painter Gerrit van Goor (circa1645-circa1695), Cornelia de Rijck married the Amsterdam based deputy-sheriff Simon Schijnvoet. Schijnvoet owned one of the most important cabinets of curiosities and objects of natural history at the time, which was organised according to the four elements. Earth was represented by insects and the present sheet, showing three European butterflies as well as Central or South American butterflies, was most likely drawn after specimens from Schijnvoet's collection. Cornelia’s drawings are exceedingly rare, but an album with 116 drawings of butterflies and other insects is in the Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm (inv. MS Liggfolio 65; see F.G. Meijer, ‘Surinaamse insecten door Cornelia de Rijck’, RKD Bulletin, 1994, no. 1, pp. 5-7). Like the present sheet, the drawings in Stockholm bear Cornelia’s neat signature at lower right. Cornelia’s drawings are particularly accomplished and bring to mind the work of the most famous female natural history artist of the 17th Century, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), who was her contemporary.

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