Two pigs by a high wooden fence


Laurens Vincentsz van der VINNE

Haarlem 1658 – 1729 Haarlem

Two pigs by a high wooden fence

Black chalk, brush in gray ink; black chalk framing lines.

150 x 194 mm  (6 x 7-5/8 in). 291 cm2

WATERMARK: fragment, crown of Arms of Amsterdam, at lower center,

similar to Churchill nos. 32 (dated 1693) and 34 (dated 1698); Heawood no. 369 (Holland, dated 1697). (R38)

CHAIN LINES: vertical, 23-25 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: verso, at lower left corner A.v.d.Velde.465 (in graphite, 19th century?)
PROVENANCE: Th. Laurentius, Voorschoten.

F.W.A. Knight, his sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 29 October 1979, lot 24, acquired at the sale.

EXHIBITIONS: 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.

Laurens Vincentsz van der Vinne was a member of a large family of artists, most of whom seemed to have concentrated on landscapes; the work of at least nine van der Vinnes (some with the first names of their fathers or grandfathers, as well) can be identified.  Nevertheless, Laurens, who may have been a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem, has a style all his own, clearly evident in this sensitive drawing.

This work is especially close to a drawing in the Fondation Custodia, Paris (Van Hasselt 1968, cat. no. 164, fig. 135), a farm among trees, near Overveen; the two sheets show the same interest in the construction of simple farm buildings, especially the pattern of boards that make up the walls, and the same treatment of foliage, particularly where the light has struck the leaves, an effect achieved simply by leaving patches of the paper blank, while other trees are indicated by vertical columns of short, staccato strokes piling upwards, as well as touches of gray wash and, here and there, stronger accents created by wetting the tip of the black chalk.

Interestingly, van der Vinne’s first version of the fence, still visible, went down to the bottom of the paper;  in the final version, the wall stops short of the bottom.  Clearly, the artist enjoyed recording the mixture of horizontals and verticals created by the boards of this modest farm house.  Pigs were a fairly common subject for Dutch artists, from the sheer pleasure in their depiction in Paulus Potter and Adriaen van Ostade to the moralizing humor of Jan Steen and the remarkable sympathy of Rembrandt’s etching.