- Gallery Text
Farms and a Dovecote by a Frozen River is an early example of Van de Velde’s innovative use of black chalk for a summary sketch of a landscape. Following his lead, countless landscapists—including Jan van Goyen and Jacob van Ruisdael—came to favor the medium for both quick sketches and finished compositions. The drawing served as the basis for a more finished iteration of the same scene executed in black chalk and gray wash. Whether Van de Velde routinely followed this process to develop his finished drawings is not clear. The survival of this preliminary sketch and a more definitive version of the same composition is unique in his oeuvre of drawings. The urban skyline in the center distance is that of Haarlem, where the artist lived from 1609 until 1618.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Esaias van de Velde, Dutch (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1587 - 1630 The Hague, Netherlands)
- Farms and a Dovecote by a Frozen River; verso: River Scene with a Ferry
- Work Type
- c. 1617-1618
- Physical Descriptions
- Black chalk on off-white antique laid paper; verso: black chalk counterproof, possibly worked up in black chalk
- 18.5 x 30.5 cm (7 5/16 x 12 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- watermark: Strasbourg Lily with reversed 4 and WR below; variant of Heawood 1769 (Schieland, 1616)
- [Alfred Brod Gallery, London], sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1969; The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Gift of George Abrams in honor of Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Publication History
Curtis O. Baer, ed., Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, exh. cat., Vassar College Art Gallery (Poughkeepsie, NY, 1976), cat. no. 7, p. 28, repr.
George S. Keyes, Esaias van de Velde 1587-1630, Davaco Publishers (Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 1984), cat. no. D 70, pp. 51 and 234-5, repr. pl. 73
Frederik J. Duparc, Landscape in Perspective: Drawings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries, exh. cat., The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, 1988), cat. no. 90, p. 211, repr.
William W. Robinson, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., H. O. Zimman, Inc. (Lynn, MA, 1991), cat. no. 28, pp. 74-75, repr.
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. 89, pp. 296-298, repr. p. 297 (recto) and p. 298 (verso) as fig. 2; watermark p. 382
- Exhibition History
Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, 03/28/1976 - 05/07/1976
Landscape in Perspective: Drawings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/20/1988 - 04/03/1988; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 04/15/1988 - 05/29/1988
Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 02/23/1991 - 04/18/1991; Albertina Gallery, Vienna, 05/16/1991 - 06/30/1991; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 01/22/1992 - 04/22/1992; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/10/1992 - 12/06/1992
Abrams 50th reunion exhibition, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/2004 - 06/14/2004
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
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