Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Although this landscape includes details that appear specific—from the pair of travelers crossing a bridge to the view of a city that recedes in the distance—it does not represent an actual location and was most likely drawn inside Bril’s studio in Rome. Nevertheless, the concern with conveying tangible atmospheric effects, the employment of a low vantage point, and the gradual projection of the sense of depth in this drawing are all signs of a movement toward greater realism in Bril’s art in the years around 1600. Celebrated for his ability to enliven his landscapes through illumination, the artist here transformed a swampy forest interior into a mesmerizing theater of light. He achieved this striking effect by juxtaposing heavily shaded sections, such as the gnarled tree trunks at left, and fields of lighter colors, like the rocky outcrop at center, with areas of paper left entirely unworked.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
TL41760.11
People
Paul (Paulus) Bril, Flemish (Antwerp or Breda 1553/54 - 1626 Rome)
Title
Wooded Landscape with Travelers
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Wooded Landscape with Figures
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
1600
Culture
Flemish
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brown ink, brown and gray wash, over black chalk on cream antique laid paper
Dimensions
actual: 18.2 x 27.3 cm (7 3/16 x 10 3/4 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts
Object Number
TL41760.11
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Franklin W. Robinson, Seventeenth Century Dutch Drawings from American Collections, exh. cat., International Exhibitions Foundation (Washington, D.C, 1977), cat. no. 1, p. 3, and 19, 30 repr. fig. 1

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. 3, repr.

Exhibition History

Seventeenth Century Dutch Drawings from American Collections, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 01/30/1977 - 03/13/1977; Denver Art Museum, Denver, 04/01/1977 - 05/15/1977; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 06/01/1977 - 07/15/1977

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

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/08/2017 - 01/17/2018

The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590–1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/09/2017 - 01/14/2018

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