Woods near Doorn with a herdsman and sheep

woodsneardoornHerman SAFTLEVEN

Rotterdam 1609 – 1685 Utrecht

Woods near Doorn with a herdsman and sheep

Black chalk, brush in brown and gray ink; brown ink framing lines.

400 x 297 mm (15-3/4 x 11-3/4 in).

WATERMARK: fool’s cap with five bells,

similar to Schapelhouman and Schatborn 1998, p. 243, no. W101 (dated 1651); Beck I 1972, cat. no. 296, p. 331, fig. 23 (dated 1652); Heawood no. 1922 (Dutch, dated 1651). (R30)

CHAIN LINES: horizontal, 24-26 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: annotated bij Doren at upper center (black chalk, autograph); verso, at lower center Coll. A…/ de Hag (pencil, 19th century?)
PROVENANCE: Antiquariaat H. Marcus, Amsterdam – Düsseldorf, 1955.

Hans van Leeuwen, Amerongen (L. 2799a), his sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 24 November 1992, lot 175, acquired at the sale.

LITERATURE: Schulz 1982, no. 632.
EXHIBITIONS: Cat. Arnhem, 1958, no. 91.

Cat. Utrecht, 1959-60, no. 53.

Cat. Laren, 1963, no. 98.

Cat. Nijmegen, 1965, no. 21.

Cat. Leeuwarden, 1966, no. 15.

Cat. Bonn/ Saarbrücken/ Bochum, 1968-9, no. 118.

Cat. Rheydt, 1971, no. 67.

Cat. Bremen/ Braunschweig/ Stuttgart, 1979-80, no. 115.

Cat. Fribourg/ Passau/ Trier/ Aachen/ Nuremberg, 1982-4, no. 85.

Robinson, Franklin W. and Peck, Sheldon. Fresh Woods and Pastures New: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Drawings from the Peck Collection. Chapel Hill/ Ithaca/ Worcester. 1999-2001. Published catalogue.

The two drawings by Herman Saftleven in this exhibition illustrate the distance he travels stylistically in about fifteen to twenty years.  The earlier work, from about 1630, is still close to the early drawings of Jan van Goyen and the etchings of Willem Buytewech, even with echoes of late Mannerist draftsmanship.  By the 1640s, his style has become broader, more atmospheric, more spontaneous.  He now looks forward to the work of Simon de Vlieger, Anthonie Waterloo, and Jacob van Ruisdael.

As Schulz (1982, p. 299) points out, the present drawing, which shows the artist at the height of his powers, is close to another in the Graphische Sammlung, Munich (inv. no. 1800), and his etching of 1644 (Hollstein 31).