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Oil painting - Rocky Landscape with Figures
  • Rocky Landscape with Figures
    Moucheron, Frederick de, born 1633 - died 1686
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Rocky Landscape with Figures

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Amsterdam (possibly, painted)

  • Date:

    early 19th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moucheron, Frederick de, born 1633 - died 1686 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on oak panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev., Chauncy Hare Townshend, 1868

  • Museum number:

    1351-1869

  • Gallery location:

    On display at Osterley Park House, London

Frederick de Moucheron (1633-1686) trained with Jan Asselijn in Amsterdam and worked in France (Paris and Lyon) for several years before settling definitively in Amsterdam in the late 1650s. He belongs to the second generation of Dutch Italianates such as Nicolaes Berchem, Jan Both, Karel Dujardin or Jan Baptist Weenix and specialised in landscape painting reminiscent of his master's and Jan Both's work. His son, Isaac, trained with him and also become an important landscapist.

A probable imitation of Frederick de Moucheron's Italianate landscapes, which were popular from the 17th up to the early 19th century. A typical massive block of rocks on the right hand-side contrasts with a mountainous brighter horizon receding into the distance, a compositional technique used by de Moucheron in many of his works. Small figures in the foreground enhance the sense of verticality and depth however the perspective looks weaker and less structured than in an original composition. However close in style, the overall poor compositional quality of the painting contrasts with de Moucheron's highly praised decorative and picturesque merits.

Physical description

A group of figures in a pastoral landscape with a river.

Place of Origin

Amsterdam (possibly, painted)

Date

early 19th century (painted)

Artist/maker

Moucheron, Frederick de, born 1633 - died 1686 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on oak panel

Dimensions

Height: 52.7 cm estimate, Width: 46.6 cm estimate

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncy Hare Townshend, 1868
Ref : Parkinson, Ronald, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860. Victoria & Albert Museum, HMSO, London, 1990. p.xix.

'Chauncy Hare Townshend (1798-1868) was born into a wealthy family, only son of Henry Hare Townsend of Busbridge Hall, Godalming, Surrey. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (BA 1821). Succeeded to the family estates 1827, when he added 'h' to the Townsend name. He had taken holy orders, but while he always referred to himself as 'Rev.' on the title pages of his books, he never practised his vocation... . Very much a dilettante in the eighteenth-century sense, he moved in the highest social and literary circles; a great friend of Charles Dickens (he was the dedicatee of Great Expectations) with whom he shared a fascination of mesmerism... Bulwer Lytton described his life's 'Beau-deal of happiness' as 'elegant rest, travel, lots of money - and he is always ill and melancholy'. Of the many watercolours and British and continental oil paintings he bequeathed to the V&A, the majority are landscapes. He is the first identifiable British collector of early photographs apart from the Prince Consort, particularly landscape photography, and also collected gems and geological specimens.'

Historical significance: Formerly catalogued as by Frederick de Moucheron (1893 Catalogue, p.182), this work is probably an early 19th century imitation of his style.

It is unclear if this pastoral scene has a subject matter. It may recall the story of lost Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness saved by the angel, but the additional figures do not correspond to this Old Testament episode. A characteristic, imposing rockface on the right contrasts with a brighter, mountainous horizon receding into the distance; a compositional type found in many works by de Moucheron. Its composition imitates his characteristic perspectival devices, such as diagonal rock formations and repoussoir features including the trees in the foreground. Small figures enhance the sense of verticality and depth, but the perspective is weaker than in an autograph work.

Historical context note

Frederick de Moucheron (1633-1686) trained with Jan Asselijn in Amsterdam and worked in Paris and Lyon for several years, before settling in Amsterdam in the late 1650s. He belongs to the second generation of Dutch Italianate painters, such as Nicolaes Berchem, Jan Both, Karel Dujardin and Jan Baptist Weenix. He specialised in landscapes which resemble the work of his master and Jan Both. His son Isaac trained with him and also become an important landscape painter.

Italianate landscapes were particularly popular during the 17th century. The term conventionally refers to the school of Dutch painters and draughtsmen who were active in Rome for over a century from the early 17th century. They mainly produced pastoral scenes bathed in warm southern light, set in an Italian, or specifically Roman, landscape. The term is also often applied, but wrongly, to artists who never left the northern Netherlands but also worked primarily in an Italianate style.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'Rocky Landscape with Figures', manner of Frederick de Moucheron, early 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. 194, cat. no. 235.
A catalogue of the National Gallery of British Art at South Kensington with a supplement containing works by modern foreign artists and Old Masters, 1893, p. 182.

Materials

Oil paint; Oak

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Trees; Children; Figures; Landscape; River; Landscape

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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