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Gallery Text

In pursuit of a career as a painter of portraits and historical narratives, Lievens worked in Leiden during the 1620s, moved for three years to London (1632–35), and spent about a decade in Antwerp (1635–44) before returning to the Dutch Republic. He produced only a few landscape paintings, but landscapes comprise nearly half of his drawings oeuvre. Most are fully resolved compositions, presumably made for sale to collectors. Flawlessly executed with a broad-nibbed reed pen, they must have impressed his clients by their virtuosity as much as by the beauty or topographical significance of the imagery. Forest Landscape with a Pond, which is less formally composed and more freely sketched than those works, is probably a study from life rather than a finished drawing intended for sale.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Jan Lievens, Dutch (Leiden, Netherlands 1607 - 1674 Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Forest Landscape with a Pond
Work Type
c. 1650-1670
Physical Descriptions
Brown ink, brown wash, black chalk and later white chalk on light tan antique laid paper prepared with light tan wash, partial framing line in black chalk at upper edge
22 x 35.6 cm (8 11/16 x 14 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: J. Leupen / c 1660
  • collector's mark: verso, lower right, black ink, stamp: L. 2811b (C. R. Rudolf)
  • watermark:
    IHS surmounted by a cross; variant of Churchill 423 (with PB below, 1664) and Hinterding 2006, vol. 2, p. 156, B.c. (1658)
Possibly Gerard van Rossem, Amsterdam, possibly his sale [De Winter and Yver, Amsterdam, 8 February 1773, no. E393, together with another sheet for f. 17.10 to Fouquet]. Henry S. Reitlinger, London (L. 2274a, without his mark)(1). Carl Robert Rudolf, London (L. 2811b, verso, lower right) sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston (L. 3306, without their mark); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2014.

(1) according to London 1953
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 Professor Seymour Slive
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Hans Schneider, Lievens, sein Leben und seine Werke, De eerven F. Bohn n.v. (Haarlem, 1932), possibly cat. no. Z. 269, p. 229

Karl T. Parker and James Byam Shaw, Drawings by Old Masters, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts (London, 1953), cat. no. 321, p. 80

Hans Schneider and Rudolf E.O. Ekkart, Jan Lievens: sein Leben und seine Werke (Amsterdam, 1973), cat. no. SZ. 429, p. 390 and possibly identical to cat. no. Z. 269, p. 229

Werner Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, ed. Walter Strauss, Abaris Books (New York, NY, 1979), vol. 7, cat. no. 1749x, pp. 3888-9, repr.

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 2008), cat. no. 110, p. 250, repr., and pp. 73 and 297

Peter C. Sutton and William W. Robinson, Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Bruce Museum and Yale University Press (New Haven and London, 2011), cat. no. 14, pp. 64-65, repr.

Gregory Rubinstein, "[Review] Rembrandt Drawings", The Burlington Magazine (January 2012), vol. 154, no. 1306, pp. 65-66, p. 66

Stijn Alsteens, [Review] William W. Robinson, with Susan Anderson, "Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums", Master Drawings (Winter 2015), LIII, no. 4, pp. 531-534, p. 532

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), p. 20; cat. no. 51, pp. 179-181, repr. p. 180; watermark p. 377

Exhibition History

Drawings by Old Masters, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 08/13/1953 - 10/25/1953

Rembrandt and His School: Drawings from the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen Rotterdam, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 12/02/1989 - 01/28/1990

Abrams 50th reunion exhibition, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/2004 - 06/14/2004

Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 10/26/2008 - 01/11/2009; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, 02/07/2009 - 04/26/2009; Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, 05/17/2009 - 08/09/2009

Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Collection of Maida and George Abrams, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, 09/24/2011 - 01/08/2012; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 04/15/2012 - 07/08/2012

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu