Philips Wouwerman - SOUTHERN RIVER LANDSCAPE
SOUTHERN RIVER LANDSCAPE
Oil on panel (parquetted). 38 x 48,5 cm.
PHL. W (PHL joined).
“It is true that after his death his paintings fetched much higher prices than during his life time, because the Dauphin of France and the Prince of Bavaria bought them everywhere in Holland.“ Arnold Houbraken writes this in his biography of Philips Wouwerman whom he terms a “lucky artist“ because of his great success. This southern river landscape is an example for the fascination for Wouwerman in the 18th century. It once belonged to Joseph-Antoine Crozat, Baron de Tugny, a nephew of the famous collector Pierre Crozat whose collection he interited in parts. Looking at the painting - its colours, its light and its atmosphere - one can imagine what fascinated the dix-huitième siécle about Wouwerman.
This late painting, dated by Schumacher around 1665, depicts a river harbour. Shiploads are being cleared and horsecarts loaded, some fish in the river, others swim in it. We see a picturesque bustle, the harbour is populated by numerous figures and animals. The rich figural staffage is a distinctive feature of this painting, since Wouwerman´s harbour scenes and coastal landscapes mostly do not consist of such a large number of figures.
The most striking feature of this painting is its palette, the light, warm tone of the colours and the use of colour perspective that evoke the atmosphere of a misty morning in a southern town. In the right foreground (with the white horse in its centre) the colours are brillant, in the middle ground - and even more in the background - they are used more softly, appearing as if they were painted with pastel. It was probably, above all, this palette that French collectors and artists of the 18th century were attracted to most about the art of Wouwerman.
Walther Bernt, Munich, 8.6.1976.
Joseph-Antoine Crozat, Baron de Tugny. - Sale, Paris, Juni 1751 (for fr. 1.230 to Cressent). - Coll. Cressent, Paris. - Coll. E. Secrétan, Paris. - His sale, Christie´s, London, 13.7.1889, lot 10. - Coll. Samuel Cunliffe-Lister, 1. Baron Masham. - by heritage handed on Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1. Earl of Swinton. - As a loan to the Swinton Conservation College. - The Trustees of the Swinton Settled Estates. - Sale, Christie´s, London, 18.11.1975, lot 68. - Private collection, Germany.
Jean Moyreau: Œuvres de Philips Wouwerman, Hollandais, Gravées d´apres ses Meilleurs Tableaux qui sont dans les plus beaux cabinets de Paris et ailleurs, Paris 1737-1762, no. 93. - Cornelis Hofstede de Groot: Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts. 9 vols. Esslingen and Paris 1908, vol. 2, p. 581, no. 1003a. - Birgit Schumacher: Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668). The Horse Painter of the Golden Age. 2 vols. Doornspijk 2006, vol. 1, p. 356, no. A468; vol. 2, ill. no. 438. - Kurt J. Müllenmeister: Meer und Land im Licht des 17. Jahrhunderts. 3 vols. Bremen 1981, vol. 3, p. 107, ill. no. 555.