Philips Wouwerman - Travellers Resting in a Grotto

Philips Wouwerman - Travellers Resting in a Grotto - image-1
Philips Wouwerman - Travellers Resting in a Grotto - image-1

Philips Wouwerman

Travellers Resting in a Grotto

Oil on panel (parquetted). 36 x 40 cm.
Monogrammed lower left: PHS W (PHS conjoined)..

Philips Wouwerman was one of the most productive painters of the Dutch Golden Age, with one of the most diverse oeuvres. His magnificent works could already be found in some of the most important art collections in Europe during his lifetime, including those of Dresden, Vienna, and Saint Petersburg.
Working within the varied artistic tradition of the Netherlands, Philips Wouwerman began his career with simple genre scenes in 1639, in the style of the so-called Bamboccianti. He soon developed into an exceptional artist of much greater significance. His individual style was given substantial time to mature throughout his almost 30 year career. Wouwerman's works are characterised by the way in which he depicts the visible world with both extraordinary precision and remarkable liveliness and warmth. He had an ability to depict humans and animals, especially horses, like no other painter and is considered one of the most accomplished horse painters in the history of art.
The present well-preserved work depicts recumbent figures, some of which are already asleep, resting their saddled horses in the safety of a natural grotto. It is a beautiful example of Wouwerman's atmospheric lyricism and mastery in the depiction of nature. Birgit Schumacher dates the work to the late 1650s.
During the 18th century, the piece was housed in the collection of the Prince de Conti in Paris. It was then purchased in 1940 by the Amsterdam art dealer Walter Paech for 1.000 fl, before being sold to the collection of Hermann Göring via Walter Andreas Hofer. The work is not listed in any of the relevant databases as having been expropriated due to persecution and was thus awarded a corresponding certification by the Art Loss Register in London on 21st April 2020.


Prince de Conti (1717-1776), Paris. - Auctioned in Paris, 08.04.1777. - Thomas Emmerson, London. - Auctioned by Phillips, London, 01.-02.05.1829. - B. Narischkine. - Auctioned in Paris, 05.04.1883, lot 42. - Walter Paech art dealers, Amsterdam. - Acquired from them by Walter Andreas Hofer and sold to Hermann Göring, 20.09.1940. - February/March 1945 Transport zur Burg Veldenstein. - Further whereabouts unknown. - 1969 C. Spira, Düsseldorf. - German private collection. - 1970 Kunsthandlung Müllenmeister, Solingen. - Acquired there by a German private collector. - Thereafter by descent to the present owner.


John Smith: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters, 8 vols., London 1829-42, vol. 1, London 1829, p. 242, no. 143. - Cornelis Hofstede de Groot: Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII Jahrhunderts, 10 vols., Esslingen and Paris, 1910-28, vol. 2, Esslingen and Paris 1908, p. 363, no. 392. - Exhib. cat. „Kunsthandelaar en verzamelaar“, Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 27.03.-31.05.1970, p. 28, no. 64, illus. p. 133. - Kurt J. Müllenmeister: Meer und Land im Licht des 17. Jahrhunderts, 3 vols., Bremen 1981, vol. 3, p. 105, no. 543. - Birgit Schumacher: Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668). The horse painter of the Golden Age. 2 vols., Doornspijk 2006, vol. 1, p. 323, no. A385, illus. vol. 2, no. 356.


Kunsthandelaar en verzamelaar, Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 27.03.-31.05.1970, no. 64.

Lot 2070 Dα

100.000 € - 140.000 €

187.500 €