© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Hans Bol is best known for his exquisite miniature landscapes in opaque and transparent watercolors. About one hundred of these works, including the two shown here [2001.54 and 2004.75], have survived, with dated examples ranging from 1579 until 1593, the year of his death. A previously unknown study that came to light in 2014 shows that Bol originally designed these two landscapes as a single oblong composition, with The Outskirts of a Village with Peasants as the left half and Abraham and the Angels as the right half. For unknown reasons he divided the work into two, and on all four sides of each half he added the borders that he routinely used to frame his miniatures: a thin line in shell gold and a thicker one in dark red opaque watercolor. Only Outskirts of a Village is signed and dated.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2001.54
People
Hans Bol, Netherlandish (Mechelen, Belgium 1534 - 1593 Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Title
The Outskirts of a Village with Peasants
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
1589
Culture
Netherlandish
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Opaque and transparent watercolor over traces of black chalk and graphite on antique laid paper mounted overall to wood panel; framing lines in shell gold and dark red opaque watercolor
Dimensions
11.1 x 15 cm (4 3/8 x 5 7/8 in.)
framed: 16.5 x 22.2 cm (6 1/2 x 8 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Signed and dated, lower left, shell gold: HANS BOL / 1589
  • inscription: verso of panel, on outer (cream) layer of paper, center, blue ball point ink: 86140
  • label: verso, board, Christie's label, blue ball point ink: HW 344 / 14
Provenance
Possibly [Sotheby’s, London, 8 February 1950, lot 2]; to R. Frank. Carel Goldschmidt, New York, sold; [Christie's, New York, 12 January 1995, lot 214, repr.]; to [Vermeer Associates, Ltd., Brampton, Ontario] sold; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2001; The Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Special Purchase Fund in honor of Virginia Deknatel and in memory of Lucy Rowland, Paul J. Sachs Memorial Fund, Marian H. Phinney Fund, Agnes Mongan Purchase Fund, Drawing Department Acquisition Fund, and Drawing Department Discretionary Fund, and through the generosity of an anonymous donor, David Giles Carter, the DBH Foundation, and the B. Walter and Geraldine E. Sterenfeld Foundation, 2001.54
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, The Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Special Purchase Fund in honor of Virginia Deknatel and in memory of Lucy Rowland, Paul J. Sachs Memorial Fund, Marian H. Phinney Fund, Agnes Mongan Purchase Fund, Drawing Department Acquisition Fund, and Drawing Department Discretionary Fund, and through the generosity of an anonymous donor, David Giles Carter, the DBH Foundation, and the B. Walter and Geraldine E. Sterenfeld Foundation
Accession Year
2001
Object Number
2001.54
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolors, auct. cat. (London, July 10, 2014), under lot 132, p. 28, repr. fig. 1

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. 18; cat. no. 10a, pp. 55-57, repr. p. 56

Exhibition History

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