- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Esaias van de Velde, Dutch (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1587 - 1630 The Hague, Netherlands)
- Landscape with Riders
- Work Type
- c. 1618-20
- Physical Descriptions
- Brown and black ink and brown and gray wash on cream antique laid paper
- 19.3 x 29.1 cm (7 5/8 x 11 7/16 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- collector's mark: verso, lower left, blue ink stamp: L. 3306 (Maida and George Abrams)
- watermark: none visible
- inscription: mount, verso, lower right, graphite: E. V. de Velde
- [Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York] sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1987 (L. 3306, verso, lower left); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.
- 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. 90 by William W. Robinson:
Landscape with Riders is datable, on the basis of its composition and technique, to around 1618–20. Esaias van de Velde left Haarlem and settled in the Hague before October 1618, so it probably belongs to the very productive phase of his career that followed his arrival in the political capital and seat of the Dutch court. Landscapes with horsemen, one of Esaias’s favorite themes, figure in his work as early as 1614.1 Prominent features of the present design—the location of the riders in a foreground corner, the road emerging from an allée of trees, and an open vista on the opposite side—recur in paintings and a drawing from the late teens and early twenties, a date range also indicated by the costumes.2 The type of picturesque, dying tree in the center foreground of the drawing also dominates Esaias’s etching Wooded Landscape with Travelers of about 1618–19 (Fig. 1), in which the rendering of the foliage also recalls the varied pen work of the Harvard sheet.3 Two paintings dated 1619 include similar weeping trees and are particularly close in composition to the drawing (Fig. 2).4 Finally, the ink-and-wash technique of the work resembles the handling of a drawing dated 1619 in Leipzig.5 George S. Keyes noted that the subject and design reflect Van de Velde’s persistent admiration for the work of David Vinckboons.6
Landscape with Riders is a fully resolved composition executed in the studio. Although neither signed nor dated, it must be a finished, independent work of art rather than a study for a painting or print.
1 George S. Keyes, Esaias van de Velde 1587–1630 (Doornspijk, 1984), cats. 71 (1614), 114 (1614), 116 (1615), and 122 (1616).
2 Compare the compositions and costumes in Keyes, cats. 122 (1616), 18 (1619), 110 (1619), 131 (1619), 156 (1619); and D 163 (dated by Keyes to the early 1620s).
3 Esaias van de Velde, Wooded Landscape with Travelers (Fig. 1), c. 1618–19. Etching and engraving; 173 × 176 mm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 61.739. See Clifford Ackley in Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts; Saint Louis: Saint Louis Art Museum, 1980), cat. 41, pp. 68–70; and Keyes, cat. E 8, pp. 319–20, for this print.
4 Esaias van de Velde, Riders Resting on a Wooded Road (Fig. 2), 1619. Oil on panel; 38 × 50 cm. Signed and dated. Private collection. Keyes, cat. 18, pp. 123–24; for the other painting of 1619, see idem, cat. 156, p. 161. See also Peter Sutton in Peter C. Sutton, Pieter Jacobus Johannes van Thiel, Albert Blankert, et al., Masters of 17th‑Century Dutch Landscape Painting (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Boston: Museum of Fine Arts; Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1987), cat. 105, pp. 497–99. I am grateful to George S. Keyes for confirming the attribution and dating of the drawing and for suggesting the comparison with these two paintings (letter to the author, 29 October 1990).
5 Keyes, cat. D 75, p. 236.
6 George S. Keyes, “[Review] Seventeenth‑Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection,” Master Drawings, vol. 30, no. 4 (Winter 1992): 443–48, p. 447.
- 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 Konrad Oberhuber
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Publication History
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. 29, pp. 76-77, repr.
George S. Keyes, "[Review] Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings. A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection", Master Drawings (Winter 1992), vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 443-448, p. 447
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. 10, pp. 44-45 and 247, 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, p. 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), p. 20; cat. no. 90, pp. 299-300, repr. p. 300
- Exhibition History
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
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
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