active 1629 – 1635
A Still Life of Fish including Carp, Perch, Pike, dried and smoked Herrings hanging from nails with a dish of Crayfish resting on a stone mortar all placed on a Stone Ledge
Abraham, or Abiah Gibbens was one of the most interesting still life painters working in the early years of the 17th century. Of Flemish descent, Gibbens is recorded as having been elected a member of the Corporation of Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the 26th March 1629. His work is very close in style to that of his French contemporaries Augustin Bouquet, François Garnier and Louise Moillon. There is also an obvious debt to the Flemish painter Jacob van Hulsdonck and the Dutch artist Isaac Soreau. Fruit and flowers are carefully placed on stone ledges, they are always delicately coloured and well drawn. All the dated works by Gibbens that have survived are dated 1635.
Fred G. Meijer refers to a still life of fish by Gibbens, signed and dated 1635, which he describes as the pair to a large canvas still life of fruit. That still life of fruit, one of only three known signed works by Gibbens, is likely the large canvas that appeared at Sotheby's London, 8 December 2005, lot 239 and later at Leclere Maison des Ventes, Marseille 12 October 2016, lot 12. The dimensions of the present painting are identical with the above mentioned fruit still life and the two could feasibly make up the pair referred to by Fred Meijer.
The stone mortar, which has been delightfully repurposed by Gibbens to hold crayfish, is a typically Spanish design. The inclusion of this object suggests Gibbens may have produced this picture in the Spanish Netherlands.
Private Collection, UK
E. Coatalem, La Nature Morte Francaise au XVII siècle, Dijon, 2014, illus. p. 174 (as 'Nature morte aux Poissons').