Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Adriaen van de VELDE

Amsterdam, baptised 30 November 1636–Amsterdam, buried 21 January 1672
Dutch painter, draughtsman, etcher and sculptor

Adriaen van de Velde was the son of Willem van de Velde I (c. 1611–93), and the brother of Willem van de Velde II (1633–1707), both marine painters. The 18th-century biographer Houbraken relates that after early training with his father he preferred landscapes to seascapes, and was accordingly sent to Haarlem to study with Jan Wijnants (1632–84). In 1653 he produced a series of six etchings of landscape scenes. By 1657 he was back in Amsterdam, where in the decade and a half left to him he produced an extensive body of work that consisted primarily of landscapes, but also history subjects, portraits, and at least one genre scene. His landscapes are chiefly Italianate scenes of herders and cattle, which owe a debt not to Wijnants but to Paulus Potter (1625–54), Nicolaes Berchem (1621/2–83) and Karel du Jardin (1626–78). Adriaen van de Velde also frequently contributed staffage of animals and figures to other artists’ works, notably Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/9–82), Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709), Frederik de Moucheron (1633–86), Jan van der Heyden (1637–1712; see DPG155) and Jan Wijnants. He also produced etchings occasionally. His numerous drawings from life reveal his working methods more than is the case with any of his contemporaries.

Britton in 1813 believed that there were two Adriaen van de Velde pictures in the Dulwich collection, the present work and DPG177 (the latter now assigned to Dirck van Bergen), and two in which Adriaen van de Velde had painted the figures (DPG210, now Jan van Kessel, and DPG155, then and now Jan van der Heyden).

Houbraken 1718–21, iii (1721), pp. 90–92; Stechow 1966, pp. 31–2, 60–61, 80, 98–9, 107–9, 160–62; Schatborn 1975; Schatborn 1981, pp. 116–9; Robinson 1979; Chong 1987g; Luijten & De Hoop Scheffer 1988, pp. 213–39; Robinson 1996; Frensemeier 2001; Van den Eerenbeemd 2006; Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016; Ecartico, no. 7615: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/7615 (June 6, 2017); RKDartists&, no. 79763: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/79763 (June 6, 2017).

Dirk Jongman after attributed to Adriaen van de Velde
Portraits of Abraham Genoels (1640-1723) and Adriaen van de Velde (1636-1672), c. 1721
paper, copper engraving 157 x 101 mm
The Hague, RKD – Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis (Collectie Iconografisch Bureau)

DPG51 – Cows and Sheep in a Wood

c. 1669; oak panel, 18.4 x 22.5 cm

Insurance 1804, no. 105 (‘A. Vandevelde – Ditto [landscape] with Cattle’; ‘£50’; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 2, no. 13 (‘Small Parlour / no. 13, Cattle, sheep, in Landscape - Pan[el] - Vandervelde'; 1'3" x 1'6").

Cat. 1817, p. 8, no. 122 (‘SECOND ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with Cows and Sheep; A. Vandervelde’); Haydon 1817, p. 381, no. 122;1 Cat. 1820, p. 8, no. 122; Cat. 1830, p. 5, no. 72; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 454, no. 72;2 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 72;3 Sparkes 1876, p. 182, no. 72; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 173, no. 72;4 Havard & Sparkes 1885, p. 218, no. 72; Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 12, no. 51; Michel 1892, p. 128; Cook 1914, p. 29, no. 51;5 HdG, iv, 1911, p. 536, no. 192 (Engl. edn 1912, p. 513); Cook 1926, p. 28; Cat. 1953, p. 41; Murray 1980a, pp. 131–2; Murray 1980b, p. 29; Beresford 1998, p. 245; Dejardin 2008, pp. 21–2, fig. 16; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 270–71; RKD, no. 284678: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284678 (June 13, 2017).

Single-member oak panel, bevelled at the edges. There is an old split loss from the left side of the verso surface. The varnish has discoloured slightly. Some of the old retouchings have altered and are now visible and appear mismatched. The goat (at the left-hand side) has darkened, or been enhanced as part of a previous restoration. Previous recorded treatment: 1948–53, cleaned and restored, Dr Hell.

1) Adriaen van de Velde, Grazing Cow turned left, counterproof of a red chalk drawing, 123 x 161 mm. Print Room, Louvre, Paris, 23065r [2].6
2a) Adriaen van de Velde, Grazing Cow facing left and Two Sheep, red chalk, 86 x 160 mm. Petit Palais, Dutuit Collection, Paris.7
2b) (in reverse) Adriaen van de Velde, Grazing Cow with Two Sheep, signed and dated 1670 A.V.V. F, etching, 126 x 174 mm. RPK, RM, Amsterdam, RP-P-OB-12.919.8
3) Adriaen van de Velde, Sketch of a Cow, graphite and watercolour, 87 x 145 mm. Courtauld Institute Gallery, London, D.1932.XX.22verso [3].9
4) Adriaen van de Velde, Cow drinking, 1669. Present whereabouts unknown.10
5a) Copy: signed B. P. Ommeganck, unknown support, 34 x 42 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Bearne’s auction house, Torquay, 15 Jan. 1981, lot 415; photo Witt).
5b) Copy: Ralph Cockburn, Landscape, with Cows and Sheep, aquatint, 117 x 178 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 31), DPG [4].11

Cows at a watering place are a common theme in Adriaen van de Velde’s work. The figure of the drinking animal here is reminiscent of that in two drawings by the artist of cows grazing (Related works, nos 1 and 2a, b) [2]. The cow in the background is based on a drawing in the Courtauld Gallery (Related works, no. 3) [3]. The golden light that suffuses the composition seems to indicate that the picture was produced late in the artist’s short life, a suggestion supported by Hofstede de Groot’s observation that the drinking cow recurs in a picture dated 1669 (Related works, no. 4).

The small picture was probably still in the Netherlands or France in the late 18th century, as it was copied by the Flemish landscape painter Balthasar Paul Ommeganck (1755–1826; Related works, no. 5a); see also DPG145, where Ommeganck emulated Paulus Potter and Aelbert Cuyp (1620–91). It has not proved possible to trace its provenance before its appearance in Desenfans’ Insurance list of 1804. Interestingly Bourgeois, and probably earlier Desenfans, had paired it with DPG324 (manner of Potter), as appears in Britton’s inventory of 1813.12 Bourgeois may have painted DPG324 to make the pair.

In 1949 was at £100 the cheapest of the sixteen Dulwich paintings, which were then valued by Thomas Agnew and Sons (the most expensive being Rembrandt’s Girl at a Window at £33,000).

Adriaen van de Velde
Cows and sheep in a wood, c. 1669
panel (oak), oil paint 18,4 x 22,5 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG51

Adriaen van de Velde
Grazing Cow turned left, c. 1669
paper, red chalk, counterproof 123 x 161 mm
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./cat.nr. Printroom; 23065r

Adriaen van de Velde
Sketch of a cow, c. 1669
paper, pencil, watercolor 87 x 145 mm
London, Courtauld Institute of Art, inv./cat.nr. D.1932.XX.22 (verso)

Ralph Cockburn after Adriaen van de Velde
Landscape, with Cows and Sheep, 1816-1820
paper, aquatint 117 x 178 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery


1 ‘Van der Velde. Ditto [= Landscape], with Cattle, Sheep and Figures.’

2 ‘A very small picture; and, for the master, indifferent.’

3 ‘A beautiful little picture, which however came into this Gallery in a condition which rendered it almost impossible to distinguish the subject of it. It must have been neglected for years. It is like all his pictures natural, agreeable, & delicate. Mrs. Jameson however says “it is, for the master, indifferent.” Look at it again, Mrs. Jameson!’; 1859: ‘A beautiful little picture – natural agreeable and delicate – worthy of the most careful examination.’

4 ‘Soft in tone, of a very delicate chiaroscuro.’

5 ‘This little picture, soft in tone, delicate in chiaroscuro, is a beautiful example of the master’s landscape-pieces.’

6 RKD, no. 297784: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297784 (May 13, 2020); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 271, fig. 1, under DPG51; Lugt 1929–33, ii, 1933, p. 42, no. 792; in both Michel 1890c and Michel 1892 the drawing features as the frontispiece. Nowhere the ‘original’ is mentioned of which the counterproof was made.

7 Lugt 1927, p. 34, no. 80, fig. XL.

8 Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, p. 194 (fig. 17); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.39451 (Nov. 27, 2017); Luijten & De Hoop Scheffer 1988, p. 224, no. 11.

9 RKD, no. 297785: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297785 (May 13, 2020); see also http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/gallery/9271d7fc.html (May 12, 2020).

10 Priem 1997, pp. 117 (fig. 16), 222, no. 155: Adriaen van de Velde; Cow drinking, 1669, Six sale, Amsterdam (Mensing), 16 Oct. 1928, no. 48; see also HdG, iv, 1911, pp. 532–3, no. 178 (Engl. edn 1912, p. 510).

11 RKD no. 284679: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284679 (Nov. 27, 2017).

12 As mentioned under the pair, DPG324: ‘Small Parlour / no. 15, Landscape with 2 cows – compn to 13’ [= DPG51].

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