River scene with boats, a windmill and a natural arch


Michiel CARRÉE

The Hague 1657 – 1727 Alkmaar

River scene with boats, a windmill and a natural arch

Pen and brush in brown ink over traces of graphite; brown ink framing lines.

162 x 247 mm (6-1/4 x 9-3/4 in).

WATERMARK: fragment, Strasbourg lily, at upper center,

similar to Heawood no. 1734 (Paris, dated 1677). (R4)

CHAIN LINES: vertical, 25-27 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: signed M Carree at lower right (pen in brown ink);

verso, shelf-mark 1802 WE. P.29 at lower left (pen in dark brown ink, in the hand of William Esdaile); at upper left 479 (pen in brown ink); at upper right /6 (pen in brown ink); at center Carree 8/ (pencil).

PROVENANCE: William Esdaile (1758-1837), London (L. 2617), his sale, London, Christie and Manson, 22 June 1840, lot 1172.

Estes Galleries, New York, 1958.

Norbert L. H. Roesler, his sale, New York, Christie’s, 31 May 1990, lot 99, 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.

The work of Michiel Carrée is one of the special pleasure of 17th century Dutch drawing.  His paintings are conventional variations on the formula for Italianate Dutch landscapes, with cattle and sheep wandering among fountains and classical statues—a formula established by his master Nicolaes Berchem and other artists of his generation.

It is in his drawings that Carrée comes into his own.  This sheet, with its charmingly chaotic mixture of Dutch windmill, Rhine landscape, and Italianate  natural bridge, is typical for him.  The outpouring of detail, with an equal variety of human and animal activity, is matched by Carrée’s quick and energetic touch and summary descriptions of figures, clouds, and hills.  Aside from his Arcadian views of cattle in Italian fields, he did many drawings, and paintings, of monkeys imitating humans, stag hunts, deer parks, and deer resting or playing.