Haarlem, c. 1624–Haarlem, 1695 or after
Dutch painter and draughtsman
In 1642 Willem Romeyn was recorded as a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem (1621/2–83) in Haarlem, and his first dated painting is of 1645. By 1646 he had become a master in the Haarlem Guild of St Luke. In 1650–51 he was in Rome. Back in Haarlem, he was an overman of his guild in 1659–60 and in 1677. In 1666 and 1675 with Adriaen van Ostade (1610–85) he acted as a valuer of picture collections in Haarlem. He is last recorded as alive in 1693; in 1694 there was an auction of his collection of drawings, but as two drawings by him in Berlin are dated 16951 he was still alive then.
Romeyn is a typical member of the second generation of Dutch Italianates. His œuvre consists chiefly of paintings and drawings of Italianate landscapes with shepherds and cattle, in the style of his teacher Berchem and his contemporaries Karel du Jardin (1626–78) and Adriaen van de Velde (1636–72). In his landscapes he often includes architectural motifs.
His work was popular in his lifetime and was engraved by several artists , and in the century after his death his pictures generally fetched much the same price as Du Jardin’s. Now, however, his work is largely unknown, mainly because of a lack of critical attention.
Hagedorn 1762, i, p. 253 (Romeyn mentioned for the first time); Knab 1964; Worm 1996b; Schatborn 2001, pp. 147–51, 210; Veldman 2018b; Ecartico, no. 6365: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/6365 (May 25, 2017); Veldman 2018b; RKDartists&, no. 67899: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/67899 (May 25, 2017).
Robert Daudet after Willem Romeyn
Italianate landscape with donkeys, cattle and ruins, dated 1786
paper, etching and engraving 192 x 235 mm
Paris, Institut national d’histoire de l'art
DPG3 – Italianate Townscape with Cattle and Figures
Ater 1650; canvas, 35.2 x 41.9 cm
Signed, bottom right: W. ROMEYN (WR as monogram)
?;2 ?Desenfans sale, Christie’s, 12 May 1785 (Lugt 3882), lot 40, ‘Romyn; Two landscapes with cattle and figures’; sold for £9 19s. to Sir Christopher Sykes, 2nd Bart.;3 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 19, no. 183 (‘Upper Room: West / no. 5, An Arch, Mules, figures &c (comp[anion] to 2 [= Britton no. 180, DPG5] – C[anvas] Romayne’; 2' x 2'3").
Cat. 1817, p. 5, no. 54 or 55. Both called (‘FIRST ROOM – North Side; A Landscape, with Cattle and Figures; Roghman’); Haydon 1817, p. 374, no. 54 or 55 (Romagne);4 Cat. 1820, p. 5, no. 54 or 55, both ‘Landscape with Cattle and Figures; Roghman’; Cat. 1830, p. 3, no. 10 (Roghman); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 444, no. 10 (W. van Romeyn);5 Waagen 1854, ii, p. 344, no. 10;6 Denning 1858, no. 10 (William Van Romeyn); Denning 1859, no. 10 (William van Romeyn); Sparkes 1876, pp. 144–5, no. 8;7 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 138, no. 8 (and 10);8 Havard & Sparkes 1885, p. 216, no. 10 (‘painted under the influence of Karel du Jardin’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 1, no. 3; Wurzbach 1906–11, ii (1910), p. 468; Cook 1914, pp. 3–4, no. 3; Cook 1926, pp. 3–4, no. 3; Thieme & Becker, xxviii, 1934, p. 563 (R. Juynboll); Cat. 1953, p. 34, no. 3; Murray 1980a, p. 299; Beresford 1998, p. 203; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 173–4 (c. 1649); RKD, no. 225956: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225956 (May 25, 2017).
Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 84–5, no. 28 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Plain-weave linen canvas. Grey ground. Glue-paste lined; the original tacking margins are present. The canvas is poorly attached to the lining. The verso is primed with a thick layer of preparation. There are areas of abrasion, particularly in the sky, where there are numerous small retouchings. Two old holes at the top edge in the left of the sky, and another near the bottom right corner. Previous recorded treatment: 1911, cleaned, Holder; 1953, Dr Hell; 1986, varnished and retouched, AMSSEE.
Italianate Townscape with cattle and figures, after 1650
canvas, oil paint 35,2 x 41,9 cm
lower right : WROMEYN
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG 3
DPG5 – Italianate Landscape with a Woman milking a Goat
After 1650; canvas, 35.7 x 41.9 cm
Signed, bottom right: W. ROMEYN (WR as monogram)
?;9 ?Desenfans sale, Christie’s, 12 May 1785 (Lugt 3882), lot 40, ‘Romyn; Two landscapes with cattle and figures’; sold for £9 19s. to Sir Christopher Sykes, 2nd Bart.;10 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 19, no. 180 (‘Upper Room: West / no. 2, A Woman milking a goat, ass, & sheep C[anvas] Romayne’; 2' x 2'3").
Cat. 1817, p. 5, no. 55 or 54 (see DPG3, above); Haydon 1817, p. 374, no. 55 or 54 (see DPG3, above); Cat. 1820, p. 5, no. 55 or 54 (see DPG3, above); Cat. 1830, p. 3, no. 8 (as Roghman); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 444, no. 8 (W. van Romeyn);11 Waagen 1854, ii, p. 344, no. 8;12 Denning 1858, no. 8 (as ‘William Van Romeyn’); Denning 1859, no. 8 (as ‘William van Romeyn’; ‘Landscape and Figures. Milking Time’); Sparkes 1876, p. 145, no. 10 (‘A low-toned silvery picture’); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 138, no. 10;13 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 2, no. 5; Cook 1914, p. 7, no. 5;14 Cook 1926, pp. 6–7, no. 5; Cat. 1953, p. 34; Murray 1980a, p. 299; Beresford 1998, p. 203; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 173–4 (c. 1649); RKD, no. 225957: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225957 (May 25, 2017).
Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 86–7, no. 29 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Plain-weave linen canvas. The ground is buff, with grey priming under the sky. Glue-paste lined; the original tacking margins are present. 4 mm at the left of the canvas is unpainted. Like its pair, DPG3, this painting’s stretcher appears to have been enlarged at some point, possibly at the same time as the lining was carried out. The lining is poorly attached to the original canvas. The verso is primed and there is an indistinct red seal on the reverse of the stretcher.15 There are areas of abrasion and restored old losses. Previous recorded treatment: 1911, cleaned, Holder; 1935, frame paraffined; 1953–5, Dr Hell; 1986, surface cleaned and some retouching, AMSSEE.
1) After (?) Willem Romeyn, View of the Porta del Popolo in Rome, canvas, 75 x 120 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Bonhams, London, 6 July 2005, lot 155, Dutch School, 18th century) .16
2) Willem Romeyn, Mountainous Landscape with Sleeping Shepherd, panel, 27 x 32.5 cm (oval). Present whereabouts unknown (Lempertz, Cologne, 18 May 1996, lot 1133; Dorotheum, Vienna, 17 Oct. 1995, lot 344) .17
3) Willem Romeyn, Landscape, with a Girl milking a Goat. Present whereabouts unknown (Foster, London, 19 May 1830 (Lugt 12515), lot 31, bt Nathan, £13 13s.).
Although DPG3 and DPG5 are both signed, and Britton in 1813 gave the name as ‘Romayne’, in the earliest Dulwich catalogues both paintings are ascribed to Roghman, that is Roelant Roghman (1627–92), another Dutch landscapist, who specialized in painting castles and travelled in Austria and the Alps, but never in Italy.
DPG3 is an Italianate townscape, with from left to right a 17th-century fountain with cattle basin, a city wall incorporating an antique arch, and a Romanesque church with a Gothic campanile, which seems to be ‘an echo of St Gereon in Cologne; the spiky spirelet is an invention’.18 The rest of the architecture has not been identified (is it further meant to suggest Rome?): it seems likely to be either wholly imaginary or a composite of sketches the artist presumably made during his sojourn in Italy or Germany.
Similar in composition is a View of the Porta del Popolo in Rome, associated with Willem Romeyn (Related Works, no. 1) ; a similar reclining ox appears in another picture by Romeyn, sold in Cologne (Related works, no. 2) ; and what was presumably another similar picture was recorded on the London art market in 1830 (Related works, no. 3).
DPG5 seems to form a pair with DPG3, as they are close in size, but its composition, without architecture, is rather different. If they are a pair, they may represent city and country life. Costume and setting leave no doubt that the scenes take place in Italy, and the pictures are typical of the work produced by the second generation of Dutch Italianate painters. It seems that Romeyn painted them after his return from Italy.
Italianate landscape with a woman milking a goat, after 1650
canvas, oil paint 35,7 x 41,9 cm
lower right : WROMEYN
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG5
manner of/after Willem Romeyn
View of the Porta del Popolo in Rome, c. 1650-1699
canvas, oil paint 75 x 120 cm
Bonhams (London (England)) 2005-07-06, nr. 155
Wide mountain landscape with a sleeping shepherd with his flock
panel, oil paint 27 x 32,5 cm
Lempertz (Keulen) 1996-05-18, nr. 1133
1 Bock & Rosenberg 1930, i, p. 249, nos 13678 and 13679.
2 Both DPG3 and DPG5 have been re-stretched on to 18th-century stretchers. This makes it likely that the seal on DPG5 also dates from that time and is not that of Sir John Gayer (baptised 1584–1649), merchant and Mayor of London (1646), as once suggested by Mr Melvyn Jeremiah.
3 GPID (25 April 2013).
4 No. 54, ‘Romagne. Landscape, with Cattle and Figures’; no. 55, ‘Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.’
5 ‘The Companion to No. 8. Two small pictures, well composed, but cold in colour. Of the painter nothing is known; his manner is like that of Karel du Jardin, to whom, however, he is very inferior.’
6 ‘William Romeyn. – By this scholar of Berghem here are two carefully executed cattle-pieces, in his well-known grey tone, which, though the name of the master is on one of them, are called in the catalogue “Roghman.” (Nos. 8 and 10).’
7 In the biography of Romeyn, p. 144: ‘his name has been placed among “others who have left single works of great simplicity and beauty.”’
8 ‘Two companion pictures, harmonious in colouring, and clearly painted under the influence of Karel Dujardin.’
9 See note 2.
10 GPID (25 April 2013).
11 ‘Landscape. – A Woman Milking.’ See note 5.
12 See note 6.
13 See note 8.
14 ‘A companion picture to No. 3; harmonious in colouring, and clearly painted.’
15 See note 2.
18 According to Dr Christopher Wilson, formerly at University College London, via email Emily Lane to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 5 May 2015 (DPG3 file).