Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Philip Wouwerman DPG79, DPG67

DPG79 – Two Horsemen near a Fountain

c. 1650–52; oak panel, 44.1 x 61.3 cm
Monogrammed, bottom right: PHILS . W (PHILS in monogram)

?Marquis de Brunoy sale, Paris (Joullain fils), 2 Dec. 1776 (Lugt 2611), lot 34; bt Dubois, 5,405 livres (with DPG77?);1 Desenfans sale, Skinner and Dyke, London, 27 Feb. 1795 (Lugt 5281), lot 39 (‘Wouvermans – A Landscape, with Figures at a Fountain’; not presented as a pair with DPG77); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 29, no. 305 (‘Unhung’ / no. 36, Landscape, halt of Travellers, horses dogs &c [no support mentioned] Wouvermans’; 2'3" x 2'9"; paired by Britton in the entry for DPG77, q.v.).

Cat. 1817, p. 5, no. 47 (‘FIRST ROOM – North Side; A Landscape, with Horses and Figures; Wouvermans’);2 Haydon 1817, p. 374, no. 47;3 Cat. 1820, p. 5, no. 47; Smith 1829–42, i (1829), p. 285, no. 308 (‘Now in the Dulwich Gallery, and worth 350 gs.’); Cat. 1830, p. 7, no. 126; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 462, no. 126;4 Waagen 1854, ii, p. 343, nos 1–2;5 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 126 (‘The Two Cavaliers’); Sparkes 1876, p. 211, no. 126;6 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 190, no. 126 (‘Painted in the master’s best period’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 20, no. 79; HdG, ii, 1908, p. 336, no. 293 (Engl. edn 1909, p. 341); Cook 1914, p. 44, no. 79; Cook 1926, p. 42, no. 78; Cat. 1953, p. 44; Wright 1976, p. 224; Murray 1980a, pp. 140–41; Murray 1980b, p. 30; Wright 1989, p. 268; Beresford 1998, p. 266; Schumacher 2006, i, p. 316, A368 (‘Beginning of the 1650’s’), ii, pl. 338; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 299, 307; RKD, no. 225960: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225960 (March 17, 2018).

Aberystwyth 1947, p. 9, no. 14 (M. Ellis); London 1952–3, p. 46, no. 205; London 1999b (no cat. no; 1650/52); Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma 2008–10, pp. 100–101, no. 36 (I. A. C. Dejardin).

Single-member oak panel with horizontal grain. The ground preparation of the painting is buff-coloured, with light brown imprimatura. Strong diagonal brushstrokes are visible in the sky. The paint is generally in good condition. Under the frame rebate in the sky there are some light feathery retouchings, which may have blanched. This painting appears almost un-retouched in UV. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–3, Dr Hell.

1) Copy: Carel van Falens, Horsemen at the Well, signed V. Falens, panel, 45.7 x 60.9 cm. City Art Gallery, York, 25 [1].7

Lent to the Royal Academy to be copied in 1834.

Compared to its supposed pair, DPG77, this shows Wouwerman beginning to move away from Van Laer’s influence: the skyline is nearly horizontal, and there is much greater attention to subtle colour transitions throughout, even in the earthy tones of the foreground. The use of the ‘PHILS . W’ (‘PHILS’ in monogram) type of signature would indicate that it was produced after 1646; Frederik Duparc has convincingly suggested a dating of 1650/52,8 as did Schumacher with her ‘Beginning of the 1650’s’.

For a discussion of the picture’s provenance see under DPG77.

Philips Wouwerman
Two Horsemen near a Fountain, c. 1650-1652
panel (oak), oil paint 44,1 x 61,3 cm
lower right : PHiLS. w
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG79

Carel van Falens
Horsemen at the well, c. 1700-1733
panel, oil paint 45,7 x 60,9 cm
York (England), York City Art Gallery, inv./cat.nr. 25

DPG67 – Fish Auction near the Fire Beacon at Zandvoort

c. 1649: canvas, 51.6 x 79 cm
Monogrammed bottom right: PHLS W (PHLS in monogram)

?Jacomo de Wit(t) sale, Antwerp (Everaerts), 15 May 1741 (Lugt 540), lot 22, Plp. Wauwermans [sic]; Een ander stuck Zee-Haeve met een gesicht van Rotsen in de zee, niet min delicaet en uytvoerigh gheschildert; hoogh eenen voet 9 duymen, breet 2 voeten 4 duymen, ƒ300 (Plp. Wauwermans; Another sea-harbour with a view of rocks in the sea, painted no less delicately and detailed; Dutch dimensions 1 ft 9 x 2 ft 4); 9 Desenfans sale, 8 April ff. 1786 (Lugt 4022), lot 70;10 Evening Mail inventory 1790–91 (Wouverman’s Room: ‘Wouvermans – A view of Scheveling, with horses, fishermen and other figures’); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 31, no. 322 (‘Unhung / no. 53, Group of Horses & figures on Sea shore . C[anvas] Wouvermans’; 2'8" x 3').

Hoet 1752, ii, p. 33, no. 22;11 Cat. 1817, p. 6, no. 74 (‘FIRST ROOM – East Side; A View on the Seashore; Wouvermans’); Haydon 1817, p. 376, no. 74 (Albert Cuyp);12 Cat. 1820, p. 6, no. 74 (Wouvermans); Smith 1829–42, i (1829), p. 286, no. 310 (‘Painted in the artist’s first manner […] Now in the Dulwich Gallery, 1826, and worth 150 gs.’); Cat. 1830, p. 6, no. 93 (‘View on the Sea shore’); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 456, no. 93 (‘A brilliant and beautiful picture’); Waagen 1854, ii, p. 343, no. 3;13 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 93 (‘in his first style’);14 Crowe 1874, ii, book v, ch. vi, pp. 432–3 (‘The sale of fish on the coast of Scheveningen is a singularly warm and clear picture in his first manner’); Sparkes 1876, p. 210, no. 93 (‘Painted in the artist’s first manner’, ‘View near Schevening, in Holland’); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 189, no. 93 (‘Selling fish on the coast of Scheveningen’, ‘An early work, of a very picturesque conception’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 17, no. 67; HdG, ii, 1908, p. 570, no. 978 (Engl. edn 1909, p. 576); Cook 1914, pp. 38–9, no. 67; Cook 1926, p. 37, no. 67; Cat. 1953, p. 44; Wilenski 1955, p. 129; Wright 1976, p. 224; Murray 1980a, p. 140; Murray 1980b, p. 30; Wright 1989, p. 268; Beresford 1998, p. 264; Giepmans 2004, pp. 43–4, fig. 46; Schumacher 2006, i, pp. 419–20, no. B60 (doubtful); ii, pl. 568;15 Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 300, 307; RKD, no. 289543: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/289543 (May 18, 2018).

Katwijk 2004, pp. 43–5, fig. 46 (S. Giepmans).

Plain-weave linen canvas. Buff colour ground. Beva-lined and stretched onto a modern stretcher. The original tacking margins are absent and the top and bottom edges of the picture were turned over and used as tacking margins in the past. Although the fold lines are still visible, these 0.7 cm-wide sections have been incorporated into the main picture plane once again. The narrow portion at the top has suffered from flaking in the past. The paint texture has been flattened slightly by a previous lining and the paint is worn from overcleaning in places, particularly in the dark brown areas of the foreground. There are small areas of retouching in the sky and elsewhere. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–3, ?retouchings adjusted, Dr Hell; 1994, verso cleaned, flaking fill secured, top tacking edge secured, S. Plender and N. Ryder; 2001–2, battens removed from top and bottom edges, relined and restretched, T. Cumine; cleaned and retouched, N. Ryder.

1) Philips Wouwerman, Fishermen on the Beach, monogrammed PHILS W, panel, 55 x 60 cm. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, 1434 [2].16
2) Philips Wouwerman, Fishermen on the Beach (Egmond?), monogrammed PHILS. W, canvas, 32.2 x 46.3 cm. Schloß Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel, GK 359 [3].17
3a) Nicolaes Molenaer, The Beach near Zandvoort (from the South-West), panel, 73 x 107 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (last recorded at Dr A. Wieg Fine Art, Amsterdam).18
3b) Nicolaes Molenaer, Fisherfolk (?) on the Beach near Zandvoort (from the South-West), canvas, 42.5 x 77 cm. BvB, Rotterdam, 1531.19
4) Jacob Esselens, Figures on the Beach near Egmond aan Zee, a Lady selling Fish, signed J. Ess…, panel, 46.6 x 66.6 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Christie’s, Amsterdam, 8 May 2012, lot 85).
5) Carl Wilhelm Weisbrod and Jacques Lebas after Pieter Bout, Fish Sellers on the Beach, 1779, etching and engraving, 162 x 210 mm. RKD, The Hague, BD/0676 - ONS/Original Prints (by inventor) [4].20

Lent to the Royal Academy to be copied in 1926 and 1933–4.

Wouwerman's authorship has been doubted both in the past and today: according to Haydon in 1817, together with ‘the best judges’, it was an Aelbert Cuyp (1620–91);21 in 1997 Duparc described it as ‘rather weak, due to condition?’,22 and Schumacher called it ‘inconsistent’ and with ‘little brilliance.23 But there are other paintings attributed to Wouwerman that are close in subject and style. A picture in Dresden (Related works, no. 1) [2] has the same elements of hoist, simple hut, and fire beacon; according to the Gemäldegalerie, dendrochronological analysis indicated the earliest date for it as 1645, but 1649 was more likely.24 DPG67 has a more rectangular format and far fewer figures, giving it a more restful feeling. Another scene of a fire beacon on a beach by Wouwerman is in Kassel (Related works, no. 2) [3].

While many Dutch beach scenes are said to be at ‘Scheveling’ or Scheveningen, after the port near The Hague, the square fire beacon places the scene of DPG67 near Zandvoort, which is close to Haarlem. (Dulwich has another sea scene near Zandvoort, by Bakhuizen, DPG327.) The beacon, a kind of light-tower, was also depicted by Klaes Molenaer (c. 1628/9–76; Related works, nos 3a and 3b) and Jacob Esselens (1627/8–87; Related works, no. 4). The people on the beach bear some resemblance to those in a print after Pieter Bout (1640/45–89/1719; Related works, no. 5) [4]. According to Remmelt Daalder this is indeed the coast of Holland, called ‘de Zijde’, where there were no harbours. In the villages people fished with ‘pinks’, ships that were rolled up on the beach with the help of logs, shown here lying on the beach.25

DPG67 may have been in the collection of the Antwerp dealer Jacomo de Witt (active 1698–1721) by 1741, although its present dimensions are slightly wider, and where it has sandy dunes the De Witt picture is said to show rotsen, rocks.26 It seems likely that it is the picture mentioned in one of Desenfans’ 1786 sales and in the 1790–91 Evening Mail inventory of his collection.

Philips Wouwerman
Fish Auction near the Fire Beacon at Zandvoort, c. 1649
canvas, oil paint 49,6 x 79 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG67

Philips Wouwerman
Fisherman on the beach
panel, oil paint 55 x 60 cm
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, inv./cat.nr. 1434

Philips Wouwerman
Fishermen on the beach (Egmond?)
canvas, oil paint 32,2 x 46,3 cm
location unknown : PHILS.W.
Kassel (Hessen), Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel), inv./cat.nr. 359

Carl Weisbrod and Jacques-Philippe Le Bas after Pieter Bout
Fishermen selling fish on the beach, dated 1779
paper, etching and engraving 162 x 210 mm
lower left : Peint par P. Bout
The Hague, RKD – Nederlands Institute for Art History (Collection Old Netherlandish Art), inv./cat.nr. BD/0676 - ONS/Original Prints (by inventor)


1 GPID (10 June 2013): Jean Páris de Montmartel, Marquis de Brunoy, sale, Joullain fils, Paris, 2 Dec. 1776 (Lugt 2611), lot 34: Philippe Wouvermans – Deux autres tableaux, du mérite le plus distingué: l’un représente des cavaliers à la porte d'un cabaret, situé dans une campagne dont le lointain est admirable; l’autre des hommes à pied & à cheval qui semblent égarés & demander leur route à une femme qui est auprès d’une fontaine. Bois; hauteur 15 pouces 6 lignes, largeur 22 pouc.; bt Dubois, 5,405 livres (for two paintings). (Two other pictures, of the most distinguished merit: one depicts horsemen at the door of a tavern, set in a countryside of which the distance is admirable; the other has men on foot & on horseback who seem to be lost & to be asking their way from a woman near a fountain. Panel. French dimensions, c. 42 x 59.4 cm.).

2 Assuming that the nos 80 and 84 in this catalogue are DPG34 and DPG36, the only possibility for DPG79 is that it is no. 47.

3 ‘WOUWERMANS. Ditto [= Landscape], with Horses and Figures.’

4 Of no. 125 and no. 126: ‘Both these pictures are of great beauty, full of air, and life, and light. They are the same, I presume, which were sold from the collection of the Marquis de Brunoy, in 1749 [sic], for 216l.’

5 ‘1. A landscape; in the foreground two horsemen in conversation with a girl [DPG77?]. 2. The companion picture with some horsemen; a woman shaking out fodder before a horse. On panel, 1 ft. 8 in. high, 2 ft. wide. The landscapes are in the style of Wynants; the careful execution is in a warm tone [DPG79?] (Nos. 63, 64).’ NB: nos 63 and 64 in the Dulwich catalogue of the time are by Pieter Wouwerman, on canvas, and smaller (9½ x 14⅛ in.).

6 p. 211, under no. 126: ‘This and the preceding picture [no. 125] are those, it is believed, which were sold from the Marquis de Brunoy’s Collection, in 1749 [sic], for 216l.’

7 RKD, no. 289542: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/289542 (May 18, 2018); see also https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/horsemen-at-the-well-7837 (May 5, 2018); the maker of this copy is Carel van Falens (1683–1733).

8 Letter from Frederik J. Duparc to Richard Beresford, 18 Aug. 1997 (DPG79 file).

9 According to Smith 1829–42, i (1829), p. 286. no. 310, who is citing Hoet 1752, ii, p. 33, no. 22 (see note 11).

10 ‘Wouvermans – 70 A view of Scheveling; 2 ft. 6 by 3 ft. 6, on canvas’; ‘£75-0-0’ (copy in DPG).

11 Hoet cites the sale catalogue of De Witt 1741 (see note 9 above).

12 A View on the Sea-shore. With fishermen in the fore-ground arranging and disposing of their fish; in the distance is a race on the sands. The many excellencies of this charming picture place it among the best works of Cuyp in the Gallery. It was for some time attributed to Wouwermans; but the best judges have restored it to its rightful master.’

13 ‘An excellent picture of the first period, which in impasto and style approaches Isaac van Ostade’. No number mentioned.

14 1858: ‘It is signed by Philip Wouvermans, but not quite in his usual style. Still it is quite genuine. It is in his first style. Exhibited by Desenfans in 1789 for sale – lowest price to be accepted £80! Ms Cat of Desenfans.’ 1859: ‘This picture is in his first style; and signed by Philip Wouwermans himself. […] It was formerly in the possession of De Witt at Amsterdam at the sale of whose Collection in 1741 it was purchased for 300 florins, or about £27! In 1789 Mr Desenfans exhibited it for sale for £80 as the lowest price. Smith in his Catalogue Rais: no 310 values it at £157.10. It would fetch more in these days.’

15 ‘inconsistent picture. Some parts such as the head of the grey horse have been captured very well […] the sky seems as if scrubbed off. […] altogether the picture is painted with little brilliance.’

16 RKD, no. 270025: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/270025 (May 6, 2018); Marx & Hipp 2007, p. 592, 1434; Schumacher 2006, i, p. 349, no. A451, ii, fig. 421.

17 RKD, no. 289780: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/289780 (May 28, 2018); see also http://altemeister.museum-kassel.de/34010/ (May 19, 2020); Schnackenburg 1996a, i, p. 330, ii, fig. 146; Schumacher 2006, i, p. 349, no. A453, ii, fig. 423.

18 Giepmans 2004, p. 43 (fig. 44).

19 ibid. (fig. 45); Giltaij 2000, p. 129.

20 RKD, no. 205555: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/205555 (May 19, 2020); see for another copy https://www.teylersmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/kunst/kg-14847-visverkopers-op-het-strand (May 18, 2018); Atwater 1989, ii, pp. 566–7, no. 195.

21 See note 12. We have been unable to find the judges alluded to by Haydon.

22 Letter from Frederik J. Duparc to Richard Beresford, 18 Aug. 1997 (DPG77 file).

23 See note 15.

24 Email not in file (2012).

25 He doubts however the exact location of the lighthouse: Egmond, Scheveningen, or Zandvoort? Emails from Remmelt Daalder to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 28 March and 9 April 2018 (DPG67 file).

26 For the suggested De Witt provenance see above, note 15. The dimensions of the De Witt picture are given as 1 ft 9 x 2 ft 4; assuming that these are Antwerp feet and inches, that is approximately 50 x 67 cm. DPG67 measures 51.6 x 79 cm. This raises the question whether additions were made to DPG67?

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