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Oil painting - Landscape with cattle and herdsmen seated on a log
  • Landscape with cattle and herdsmen seated on a log
    Wijnants, Jan
  • Enlarge image

Landscape with cattle and herdsmen seated on a log

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (painted)

  • Date:

    late 17th century-early 18th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wijnants, Jan (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on oak panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncy Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:

    1370-1869

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A dirt road cuts through a landscape of rolling hills, a herdsman rests on a log with his cattle nearby while his dog runs on ahead. Jan Wijnants (ca. 1635- 1684) was a Dutch landscape painter from Haarlem. By December 1660 Wijnants was in Amsterdam, where he remained for the rest of his life. Wijnants followed in the tradition of dune painting established by Pieter de Molijn, Philips Wouwerman, van Ruisdael and others. Typical of his early work of the 1660s is Landscape with Cattle (1661; London, Wallace). A sense of space is created in the left half of the picture by the pattern of the trees and meandering, ribbon-like paths that diminish as they recede into the distance. Sunlight falls naturally on fields and dunes, highlighting at strategic points the blond tones of the sand. The painter of 1370-1869 has similarly depicted sunlight entering through the clouds to illuminate the hills in the distance in order to create a sense of depth and has included a meandering dirt track which draws the eye into the painting. The space is not entirely resolved however and the light passing through the clouds lacks the luminous quality characteristic of Wijnants, suggesting that the picture is a later work by one of Wijnants less skilled followers.

Physical description

A dirt road cuts through a landscape of rolling hills, a herdsman rests on a log with his cattle nearby while his dog runs on ahead

Place of Origin

Netherlands (painted)

Date

late 17th century-early 18th century (painted)

Artist/maker

Wijnants, Jan (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on oak panel

Marks and inscriptions

'J. Wijnants'
Inscribed lower right; the signature is false and appears to have been added at a later date.

Dimensions

Height: 32.3 cm estimate, Width: 39.3 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncy Hare Townshend, 1868

Historical significance: Jan Wijnants [Wynants], (ca. 1635- 1684) was a Dutch landscape painter from Haarlem. A typical work is his Landscape with a Dead Tree and a Peasant Driving a Sheep along a Road (1659; London, N.G.) which includes the stark tree-trunk, a motif derived from Jacob van Ruisdael, which became a leitmotif in Wijnant’s paintings in the second half of his career. By December 1660 Wijnants was in Amsterdam, where he remained for the rest of his life. Wijnants followed in the tradition of dune painting established by Pieter de Molijn, Philips Wouwerman, van Ruisdael and others. Typical of his early work of the 1660s is Landscape with Cattle (1661; London, Wallace). A sense of space is created in the left half of the picture by the pattern of the trees and meandering, ribbon-like paths that diminish as they recede into the distance. Sunlight falls naturally on fields and dunes, highlighting at strategic points the blond tones of the sand. The painter of 1370-1869 has similarly depicted sunlight entering through the clouds to illuminate the hills in the distance in order to create a sense of depth and has included a meandering dirt track which draws the eye into the painting. The space is not entirely resolved however and the light passing through the clouds lacks the luminous quality characteristic of Wijnants, suggesting that the picture is a later work by one of Wijnants less skilled followers. There is a similar landscape which appears to be by the same hand, describes as 'circle of Wijnants' in the Museum voor Schade Kunsten Gent (1976-D).

Historical context note

Landscape paintings were extremely popular during the 17th century and increasingly encompassed a variety of forms and genres. Dutch painters in particular were inspired to paint nature, both their familiar surroundings as well as more exotic locales, the most popular being Italy. In the early 1600s, innovative contributions to landscape paintings were made, especially by the marine painters who concentrated on the changing effects of light according to atmospheric conditions and perspective and had a considerable impact on the appearance of landscape painting. Panoramic views also became popular in 17th-century Netherlandish art and views of the Dutch countryside developed under the influence of Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) who employed a broken brushwork technique and used a restrained monochromatic palette of earthy colours. Towards the end of the 17th century, a shift in taste is detected in favour of more academic and classical landscapes inspired by Italianate paintings and often employed as settings for mythological or historical subjects.

Descriptive line

Oil Painting, 'Landscape with Cattle and Herdsmen Seated on a Log', manner of Jan Wijnants, late 17th-early18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 303, cat. no. 381.
A Catalogue of the National Gallery of British Art at South Kensington with a supplement containing works by modern foreign artists and Old Masters, 2 vols., 1893. p. 189

Production Note

Acquired as by Wijnants, this is a later imitation, perhaps of the 18th century.

Materials

Oil paint; Oak

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Landscape; Cattle; Dog (animal)

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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