Johann Amandus Wink (1748-1817)
“Floral Still Life”
Oil on oak panel
Size 17 ¼ x 13” 44 x 33cm
He was born in Eichstatt on the Atmul River in Bavaria, Germany. A small town in the 18th century but an area of outstanding natural beauty. As a small boy he became aware of an engraver called Basilus Besler who published in 1613 the first major book outside of Italy on flowers. This book was republished in 1713 the title being Hortus Eystettensis (Garden at Eichstatt)
His uncle a painter, Christian influenced his desire to become a still life painter. Holland was very much the central point of still life painting in Europe, epitomized the Antwerp academy where he met Peter Faes (1750-1814) and both were influenced by Jan Van Huysum (1682-1749)
Wink painted still life and mixed scenes of fruit, flowers and animals in the spirit of these great masters. He studied with the attention and precise detail which was applied to the quality of materials and panel preparation. By allowing the sap to diminish in wooden panels by age, also using smaller panels in order to avoid any warping or curvature as well as the importance of priming and painting techniques. There condition after 200 years bears prudence to his and contemporary Dutch painters of the 18th century.
His flowers bouquets and composition, producing an overall impression of elegance, soft variegated tones placed on a marble ledge with his initials engraved on it. Also his painting had generally a light palette with leaves of plants with blue black hue tinted with green so reminiscent of the 18th century.
He returned to Munich to live and to find important clients to purchase his paintings. In the court of Paris they were also very well received maximillian being a huge influence on genre and flower paintings at this time.
The museums of Nurnberg and Munich exhibited his paintings. It is recorded in the catalogue of 1927 of Smlg Speyer in Statsgem that a fine painting of flowers and honeysuckle was initialed J.A.W 1790.
Insects play an important part in his paintings; there is a wasp on the left hand side counterbalanced by a grasshopper on the right, supplemented by two butterflies at the top of the painting. The addition of caterpilers, snails and a fly add realism and animation to this superb work.
Wink uses the whole surface of the panel for his flower composition and just insects and flower bouquets are quite rare by this talented painter. The open wooden basket gives great depth to the composition with water droplets giving freshness and vitality to the painting.
There is a label on the reverse of the painting stating that this picture was in Oppenheimer’s collection in April 1877. This diverse family starting with bankers in the 17th century spread through Europe specializing in commerce and precious stones. It may well have been in the collection of Rebecca Oppenheimer 1839-1911 a lady who collected fine botanic paintings.