Henri de Fromantiou: Royal illusions

On 6 March 2015, one week before TEFAF, the Bonnefanten will be opening the very first retrospective of Henri de Fromantiou. The museum will be showing a wide selection of paintings by this 17th-century painter of still lifes, who was born in Maastricht and enjoyed his heyday as the court painter in Potsdam. The exhibition highlights not only Henri de Fromantiou's oeuvre, but also his position as court painter, art dealer and restorer in the service of Frederik Willem I, Elector of Brandenburg. De Fromantiou's talent allowed him to portray a royal world in prestigious still lifes of game and of luxury products like flowers and fruit.


De Fromantiou's style can be described as taut and precise. His floral still lifes are composed with a pink rose in the middle, a red poppy often towering above the rest, and a crumpled carpet or cloth can be found regularly in the right corner. His still lifes with game are also characterised by a tight composition. A bird hangs vertically downwards, and a marble table top creates the clean horizontal line. His skills enabled him to emulate the feathers of a bird, the softness of a peach and the glass of a vase like a true master.