- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Isaac de Moucheron, Dutch (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1667 - 1744 Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Man Leading a Horse by a Pond in a Stormy, Wooded Landscape
- Other Titles
- Alternate Title: Man Leading Horse on Forest Track
- Work Type
- 18th century
- Physical Descriptions
- Black ink, gray wash, and white opaque watercolor on cream antique laid paper, framing lines in black ink
- 20.8 x 31.5 cm (8 3/16 x 12 3/8 in.)
image: 15.2 x 22.5 cm (6 x 8 7/8 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- collector's mark: verso, lower right, blue ink stamp: L. 3306 (Maida and George Abrams)
- watermark: I VILLEDARY; variant of Churchill 27, countermark (1691); the Jean Villedary dynasty of papermakers was active in Angoumois (Vraichamp, Beauvais, and La Couronne) 1668–1758, and Gelderland (Hattem) 1758–1812
- inscription: signed lower center, black ink: I. Moucheron fecit
- inscription: verso, upper left, brown ink: 10
- Van den Brande collection, Middelburg , by descent; to E. C. Baron van Pallandt, Haarlem, sold; [through Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, September 26, 1972, lot 359]; to Adolph Schwartz, Amsterdam, sold; [through Robert M. Light, Santa Barbara]; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1991 (L. 3306); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Gift of George Abrams in memory of Milton Gwirtzman, Harvard Class of 1954, 2011.518.
 It is not clear whether Pieter van den Brande (167?-1718) and/or his son, Johan Pieter van den Brande I (1707-1758) formed the collection that descended to Baron van Pallandt (sale 1972). See Charles Dumas and Robert-Jan te Rijdt, "Kleur en Raffinement: Tekeningen uit de unicorno collectie," Zwolle, 1994, pp. 90-91.
- Published Text
- Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums
- William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson
- Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016)
Catalogue entry no. 60a by William W. Robinson:
The painter, draftsman, and etcher Isaac de Moucheron specialized in Italian views, Arcadian landscapes, and idealized gardens and parks with prominent classicizing buildings, a type he popularized. From about 1695 to 1697 De Moucheron visited Italy, where he studied the works of the view painter Caspar van Wittel, as well as those of Gaspard Dughet and other landscapists working in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. After returning to the Netherlands, he established his career as a painter of idyllic landscapes on large canvases that were set into the walls of patrician Amsterdam houses.2 Writing shortly after the artist’s death, the biographer Johan van Gool attested that De Moucheron’s “absolutely exquisite (overheerlyke) drawings and watercolors are as esteemed and sought after as his paintings and pursued enthusiastically by connoisseurs.”3 More than four hundred drawings and watercolors, representing topographical views, Italianate landscapes, woodlands, and park landscapes, are included in the catalogue raisonné of his work by Nina Wedde.4
These three drawings (2011.518, 2013.42, 2004.93) belong to a set of four by De Moucheron that remained together from the first half of the eighteenth century, when they belonged to Johan Pieter van den Brande in Middelburg, until they were dispersed at auction in 1972.5 The fourth is in private hands in Boston (Fig. 1).6 Executed in the same media and technique, the compositions are nearly uniform in size, identically signed in the lower margins, and inscribed on the versos with the numeral 10, although the significance of that number is not clear. The watermarks in two of the sheets are nearly identical, so they may have been produced on a twin mold.7 Like many drawings from the Van den Brande collection, all four are in pristine condition, having remained in portfolios for 250 years. Never remounted, the sheets retain their ample margins and the original owner’s black border lines.8 The form of the signature indicates a date at the outset of De Moucheron’s career.9 Variants of Man Leading a Horse by a Pond in a Stormy, Wooded Landscape (2011.518) and Wooded Landscape with Bathers (2013.42), with the compositions reversed and more vertical in format than the Harvard drawings, appeared in an Amsterdam auction in 1988. The two versions are identical in size and bear successive numbers on their versos, suggesting the works have long been associated as a pair.10
The four drawings, which were together in the Van den Brande collection during the artist’s lifetime and are unmistakably related in format, style, media, and technique, probably constitute a series. As such, they might or might not share a unifying iconography. De Moucheron evoked different weather conditions in each composition: The bare foreground trees, turbulent sky, and horseman’s windblown coat in Man Leading a Horse by a Pond in a Stormy, Wooded Landscape (2011.518) contrast with the fair-weather clouds, lush vegetation, and nude figures in Wooded Landscape with Bathers (2013.42), while a blustery breeze and approaching downpour disrupt the pastoral tranquility in A Shepherd Driving His Flock in a Stormy Landscape (Fig. 1). Some elements of these compositions occur in traditional images of the months or seasons,11 and it is possible that they constitute an unconventional suite representing the Four Seasons.
1 (This note refers to the provenance.) It is not clear whether Pieter van den Brande (167?– 1718) and/or his son, Johan Pieter van den Brande I (1707–1758) formed the collection that descended to Baron van Pallandt (sale 1972). See Charles Dumas and Robert-Jan te Rijdt in Kleur en Raffinement: Tekeningen uit de Unicorno collectie (Amsterdam: Museum het Rembrandthuis; Dordrecht, Netherlands: Dordrechts Museum, 1994), pp. 90–91.
2 Nina Wedde, Isaac de Moucheron (1677–1744): His Life and Works with a Catalogue Raisonné of His Drawings, Watercolors, Paintings, and Etchings (Frankfurt am Main and Berlin, 1996), vol. 1, pp. 24–144.
3 “terwyl zyne overheerlyke Tekeningen en Waterverwen, al zo gewilt en geächt als zyne Schilderyen, door de Liefhebbers met grooten yver gezocht worden. . . .” Johan van Gool, De nieuwe schouburg der nederlantsche kunstschilders en schilderessen: Waer in de levens- en kunstbedryven der tans levende en reets overleedene schilders, die van Houbraken, noch eenig ander schryver, zyn aengeteekend, verhaelt worden (The Hague, 1750–51), pp. 365–66.
4 Wedde, vol. 1, p. 64.
5 Sale, Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 26 September 1972, lots 357–60.
6 Isaac de Moucheron, A Shepherd Driving His Flock in a Stormy Landscape (Fig. 1). Black ink, gray wash, 152 × 225 mm (image), 200 × 312 mm (paper). Signed, lower center, black ink, I Moucheron fecit. Sold at Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 17 November 1993, lot 31. Private collection, Boston. See Wedde, cat. D102, p. 270.
8 Charles Dumas and Robert-Jan te Rijdt, pp. 27–28 and 90–92.
9 Wedde, vol. 1, under cat. D200, p. 319 (cat. 60c).
10 Michel Segoura in Dessins Anciens des Écoles du Nord (Paris: Michel Segoura Gallery, 1989), no. 38. Wedde, cats. D72 and D73, pp. 256–57. The variants measure 181 × 226 mm, while the three Harvard compositions and Figure 1, which is in a Boston private collection (the images, not the entire sheets) range from 152 × 225 to 156 × 230 mm.
11 For example, the gardener who puts out a potted plant in Landscape with a Formal Garden (2004.93) relates to a long tradition of horticultural workers with potted plants in images of Spring; Yvette Bruijnen and Paul Huys Janssen, De Vier Jaargetijden in de kunst van de Nederlanden 1500–1750 (’s‑Hertogenbosch: Noordbrabants Museum; Louvain: Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens, 2002), cat. 17, pp. 122–23, cat. 33 (April), pp. 128–30, cat. 94, pp. 168–69, and cat. 123, pp. 184–85. Nude bathers, as in 2013.42, represent July in a woodcut in a Dutch almanac of 1658; Bruijnen and Janssen, p. 87, fig. 78.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gift of George Abrams in memory of Milton Gwirtzman, Harvard Class of 1954
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Publication History
Andrea Busiri Vici, "Fantasie Grafiche Romane d'Isaac de Moucheron", L'Urbe: rivista romana di storia, arte, lettere, costumanze (March -April 1981), vol. 2, pp. 63-65, p. 64, repr. fig. 8
Nina Wedde, "Isaac de Moucheron (1677-1744): His Life and Works with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Drawings, Watercolors, Paintings, and Etchings", Peter Lang (Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, 1996), vol. 1, cat. no. D70, pp. 70 and 256, and under cat. no. D72, p. 256
William W. Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 76, pp. 178-9, 264 and 277, repr.
Michiel C. Plomp, "[Review] Bruegel to Rembrandt. Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection.", Oud Holland (2004), vol. 117, no. 1/2, pp. 99-102, pp. 100 and 101 (n. 3)
William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), cat. no. 60a, pp. 207-209, repr. p. 208 (top); watermark p. 378
Old Master Drawings, auct. cat., Sotheby's, New York (New York, January 30, 2019), p. 152, under lot 106
- Exhibition History
Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, British Museum, London, 06/13/2002 - 09/22/2002; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 10/10/2002 - 12/08/2002; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/22/2003 - 07/06/2003
- Subjects and Contexts
Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings
- Related Works
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