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Oil painting - Landscape with cattle

Landscape with cattle

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    19th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wijnants, Jan (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John M. Parsons

  • Museum number:

    495-1870

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A landscape dominated by a cluster of tall trees, figures and cattle wade through the marshy waters below. Jan Wijnants [Wynants], (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. While the subject and motifs of 495-1870 recall Wijnants, the work is executed in a sketchy manner and the artist has not used the light to help define the space in the same way. The composition also lacks the characteristic luminosity of Wijnants' works, suggesting that the picture is a later work by the master's less skilled followers.

Physical description

A landscape dominated by a cluster of tall trees, figures and cattle wade through the marshy waters below

Date

19th century (painted)

Artist/maker

Wijnants, Jan (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on panel

Dimensions

Height: 47 cm estimate, Width: 34.8 cm estimate

Object history note

Bequeathed by John M. Parsons, 1870
John Meeson Parsons (1798-1870), art collector, was born in Newport, Shropshire. He later settled in London, and became a member of the stock exchange. His interest in railways led to his election as an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1839, and he was director or chairman of two railway companies between 1843 and 1848. Much of his time however was spent collecting pictures and works of art. In his will he offered his collection of mostly German and Dutch schools to the National Gallery (which selected only three works) and to the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington, later the Victoria and Albert Museum. The South Kensington Museum acquired ninety-two oil paintings and forty-seven watercolours. A number of engravings were also left to the British Museum.

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. While the subject and motifs of 495-1870 recall Wijnants, the work is executed in a sketchy manner and the artist has not used the light to help define the space in the same way. The composition also lacks the characteristic luminosity of Wijnants' works, suggesting that the picture is a later work by the master's less skilled followers.

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', follower of Jan Wijnants, 19th 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. 382.
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

Catalogued in 1893 as the work of Wijnants, this is in fact a 19th century work.

Materials

Oil paint; Panel

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Trees; Landscapes; Cattle

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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