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Rocky Landscape with Cattle and Figures

Oil Painting
ca. 1675 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

This painting, one of a pair (see 480-1882), is a typical example of F. de Moucheron's classical Italian landscapes in which small figures are set in vertical, almost overwhelming vegetation, bathed in a golden Mediterranean sunlight. This highly refined construction looks far less naturalistic than those of the previous generation of Italianate landscape painters such as Cornelis van Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenbergh. Its structure complements the other one's as the rocky versant looks symmetric to the mountain with a statue on the other painting. In this respect, this painting should probably be hung on the left while the other is on the right.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil painting, 'Rocky Landscape with Cattle and Figures', Frederick de Moucheron, ca. 1675
Physical Description
A rocky landscape with a mountain in the distance, a couple leading his cattle, a goat and a dog on a road bending on the right.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 78.6cm
  • Estimate width: 67.2cm
Dimensions taken from C.M. Kauffmann, Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973.
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'Moucheron F' (Signed bottom centre)
Credit line
Bequeathed by John Jones
Object history
Bequeathed by John Jones, 1882

Ref : Parkinson, Ronald, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860. Victoria & Albert Museum, HMSO, London, 1990. p.xix-xx



John Jones (1800-1882) was first in business as a tailor and army clothier in London 1825, and opened a branch in Dublin 1840. Often visited Ireland, travelled to Europe and particularly France. He retired in 1850, but retained an interest in his firm. Lived quietly at 95 Piccadilly from 1865 to his death in January 1882. After the Marquess of Hertford and his son Sir Richard Wallace, Jones was the principal collector in Britain of French 18th century fine and decorative arts. Jones bequeathed an important collection of French 18th century furniture and porcelain to the V&A, and among the British watercolours and oil paintings he bequeathed to the V&A are subjects which reflect his interest in France.



See also South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks. The Jones Collection. With Portrait and Woodcuts. Published for the Committee of Council on Education by Chapman and Hall, Limited, 11, Henrietta Street. 1884.

Chapter I. Mr. John Jones. pp.1-7.

Chapter II. No.95, Piccadilly. pp.8-44. This gives a room-by-room guide to the contents of John Jones' house at No.95, Piccadilly.

Chapter VI. ..... Pictures,... and other things, p.138, "The pictures which are included in the Jones bequest are, with scarcely a single exception, valuable and good; and many of them excellent works of the artists. Mr. Jones was well pleased if he could collect enough pictures to ornament the walls of his rooms, and which would do no discredit to the extraordinary furniture and other things with which his house was filled."



Historical significance: Frederick de Moucheron belong to the second generation of Italianate Dutch landscapists such as Nicolaes Berchem, Jan Both, Karel Dujardin or Jan Baptist Weenix. He trained in Amsterdam with Jan Asselijn but unlike many of his generation, he never seemed to go to Italy and settled in France for some years. Dirk Helmbrecker, Johannes Lingelbach, Adriaen van de Velde and Nicolaes Berchem all provided staffage for his paintings. In this picture, C.M. Kauffmann noted that the figures were long thought to be by Adriaen van de Velde however their costumes seem to belong to a time posterior to his death. Hunting was a popular subject in Dutch Italianate landscapes that enables the artist to challenge the traditional division between figural and landscape paintings.

This composition shows an accurate construction that sacrifices to the close observation of nature: it is structured upon the diagonal rocky versant on the left, which become increasingly light as it recedes into the distance. The half enlightened winding road on the right strengthens this diagonal and enhances the sense of depth along with the trees in the immediate foreground used here as a repoussoir device. Another pair by Frederic de Moucheron in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, show similar subjects in the same warm palette: (Inv. No. GG_425 and GG_428).
Historical context
Italianate landscapes were particularly praised during the 17th century up to the early 19th century. The term conventionally refers to the school of Dutch painters and draughtsmen who were active in Rome for more than a hundred years, starting from the early 17th century. These artists produced mainly pastoral subjects 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 who worked primarily in an Italianate style. Eighteenth-century collectors, especially French ones, preferred a view by Nicolaes Berchem (ca.1620-1683) or Jan Both (ca.1610-1652) to a scene of the Dutch country side by Jacob van Ruisdael (ca.1628-1682) for instance. The taste for the Italianates continued undiminished into the 19th century. An early voice denouncing these artists was that of John Constable (1776-1837) and at the end of the century Italianates had lost favour oartly because of the rise of Impressionism and the appreciation of the Dutch national school of landscape expounded by such eminent critics as Wilhem von Bode, E.W. Moes and Cornelis Hofstede de Groot.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.



This painting, one of a pair (see 480-1882), is a typical example of F. de Moucheron's classical Italian landscapes in which small figures are set in vertical, almost overwhelming vegetation, bathed in a golden Mediterranean sunlight. This highly refined construction looks far less naturalistic than those of the previous generation of Italianate landscape painters such as Cornelis van Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenbergh. Its structure complements the other one's as the rocky versant looks symmetric to the mountain with a statue on the other painting. In this respect, this painting should probably be hung on the left while the other is on the right.
Associated Object
480-1882 (Set)
Bibliographic Reference
Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 194, cat. no. 233.
Collection
Accession Number
481-1882

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record createdJanuary 7, 2004
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