WIJNANTS Jan & VAN DE VELDE Adriaen
(Haarlem Circa 1635 – 1684 Amsterdam) – (1636 – Amsterdam – 1672)
Wooded evening Landscape with a Hunter and his Dogs, another Hunter on Horseback conversing with a Peasant, a Fisherman and a Falconer carrying a Hoop of Falcons on a Path, a Wagon and other Figures by a Lake beyond
Signed with initials ‘J. W.’ (lower left)
Oil on canvas; 59 13/16 x 75 1/3 in.
(Probably) Baron Puthon, Vienna, from whom purchased posthumously by Mr. Netscher, by whom sold for about 600 l. to De Reus Collection, The Hague. Baron Anselm von Rothschild, Vienna; by 1873 Rothschild inv. no. AR867; Christie's London, Rothschild Collection, 8 July 1999, lot 218; Private collection.
Vienna, 1873, no. 123
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. no. 9100, since 1948, as painted circa 1670
(Probably) SMITH J., "A Catalogue Raisonné....", Supplement, London, 1842, pp. 747-8, describing the picture in reverse, and the nearer huntsman as mounted, incorrect horizontal measurement: a "capital and splendid work of the combined masters Wynants and Adrian Van der Velde"
1903 "Theresianumgasse" Inventory, p. 32, no. 61
HOFSTEDE DE GROOT C., "A Catalogue Raisonné...", VIII, London, 1927, p. 529, no. 438
1934 "Theresianumgasse" Inventory, p. 187, no. 318
HEINZ G. & KLAUNER F., "Katalog der Gemäldegalerie", II, "Teil, Vlamen, Holländer, Deutsche, Franzosen", Vienna,
1963, no. 419
DEMUS K., ed., "Katalog der Gemäldegalerie, Holländische Meister des 15., 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts", Vienna,
1972, p. 110, noting a verbal query on the attribution by J. Nieuwstraten, who has confirmed that he does not remember this query, and has absolutely no doubt whatsoever regarding the authenticity of the picture, and indeed believes that the Rothschild picture is "one of the best authentic works by Wijnants" (oral communication)
BRANDSTAETTER C., ed., "Die Gemäldegalerie des Kunsthistorischen Museums in Wien, Verzeichnis der Gemälde", Vienna, 1991, no. 9100, p. 136, fig. 523
KORB S., WILCOX M. & WILKIE A., ed. "Christie's Review 1999-2000", London 2000, p. 40 "Grande aste" in 'Antiquariato', September 1999, illustrated p. 44
EISELE Klaus, 'Jan Wijnants (1631/1632- 1684): ein niederländischer Maler der Ideallandschaft im goldenen Jahrhundert', Stuttgart 2000, colour illustration plate XVIII, cat n° 93, pp. 138 & 279, illustr. in black and white SCHWARZ Birgit, 'Hitlers Museum. Die fotoalben "Gemäldegalerie Linz: Dokumente zum "Führermuseum", Vienna, Cologne & Weimar 2004, Katalog - Album IV/10, p. 112 and p. 237, illustration IV/10
Born in Haarlem, but working in Amsterdam from 1660, Jan Wynants was one of the foremost of the Dutch artists of the second half of the seventeenth century who moved away from the restricted palette of the 1620s and 1630s. His paintings are predominately landscapes and dunescapes, following the tradition established by Pieter de Molijn, Philips Wouwerman, Jacob van Ruisdael and others. The using of groups of trees, and paths receding into the middle ground, is typical of his creation of a sense of space, highlighted by strategic areas of sunlight. Wynants' work appealed strongly to the eighteenth-century English taste for Dutch landscapes, and his work influenced artists such as François Boucher and Thomas Gainsborough, the impact on the latter being particularly striking in the present picture.
Adriaen van de Velde was one of a famous Netherlandish family of artists. His father and brother, the Willems van de Velde I and II, were marine painters, who in 1672/3 moved to England, working for the Stuart monarchs. Adriaen, by contrast, was one of the most gifted of Dutch landscapists. Houbraken relates that he first studied in Amsterdam under his father, but, inclining towards landscapes, he was sent to Haarlem to study under Wynants. During a career of less than two decades, he produced an extensive and varied body of paintings, drawings and prints. Amongst these, meadows and Italianate views with herdsmen and cattle predominated, although he also painted beaches, dunes, forests winter scenes, portraits in landscapes and historical pictures. Due to his skill in painting figures and animals, van de Velde was often employed to add staffage to pictures by fellow artists, including Wynants (as in the present picture), Ruisdael, Hobbema, van der Heyden and de Moucheron.
There are similar compositions by Wynants in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (inv. no. 38, 22.2 x 27.9 cm., one of a pair) and the National Gallery of Ireland (inv. no 508, 94 x 120 cm); the 1972 Vienna catalogue, op. cit., notes another similar composition, formerly in the Matsvanszky collection, Vienna.