Ruins of the Temple of Venus Genetrix and the Forum of Nerva

cat39vro-omc

Cornelis VROOM
Haarlem 1591/1592 – 1661 Haarlem

Ruins of the Temple of Venus Genetrix and the Forum of Nerva

Pen in brown ink, brush in brown and pink ink; graphite framing lines.
202 x 299 mm (8 x 11-3/8 in).

Pen in brown ink, brush in brown and pink ink; graphite framing lines.

202 x 299 mm (8 x 11-3/8 in).

WATERMARK: none. (R39)
CHAIN LINES: horizontal, 25-26 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: verso, at lower left T. Wyk (pencil).
PROVENANCE: H. C. Valkema Blouw (1883-1953), his sale, Amsterdam, F. Muller, 2-4 March 1954, within lots 725-734.

Sale, Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 25 November 1971, within lot 687.

Hans van Leeuwen, Amerongen (L. 2799a), his sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 24 November 1992, lot 220, acquired at the sale.

LITERATURE: Keyes 1982, pp. 119-20, plate 10.
EXHIBITIONS: Cat. Utrecht, 1959-60, no. 109.

Cat. Fribourg/ Passau/ Trier/ Aachen/ Nuremberg, 1982-4, no. 114.

Cat. Rome 1982.

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.

This is an early and unusual drawing by Cornelis Vroom; as George Keyes has pointed out, it shows the Forum of Nerva in Rome and is related to a long tradition of Dutch fascination with Roman ruins, from Jan Gossaert and Maerten van Heemskerck to Paul Bril, Willem van Nieulandt, and many other artists into the 19th century. This spacious drawing is especially close in style to van Nieulandt (to whom it was once attributed), for example, in his pen and wash view of the Roman Forum in Dresden. The present work is related to another of overgrown ruins in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, and is in fact different from what was left of the Forum at this time, suggesting that the artist used an engraving or drawing. As Keyes notes, the shepherd tending his flock and the touches of vegetation growing out of the ruins are important additions that indicate Vroom’s use of such a model.

This drawing dates from the second decade of the century. Later, Vroom’s drawings take on an intense, linear calligraphy that is close to Adriaen Verboom, Claes van Beresteyn, and the young Jacob van Ruisdael.