Sheep hut in the forest


Adriaen van de VELDE

Amsterdam 1636 – 1672 Amsterdam

Sheep hut in the forest

Brush in gray ink over black chalk; gray ink framing lines.

180 x 276 mm (7-1/8 x 10-7/8 in.)

WATERMARK: two standing lions in a crowned shield above the letters BW,

identical to Heawood no. 3167 (London, dated 1672). (R34)

CHAIN LINES: horizontal, 22-25 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: verso, at lower center  A. van de Velde (pencil); at lower left /r:v– (pencil); at upper right XV (pencil).
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos Sr., his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Roos et al., 30-31 October 1833, Kunstboek W, lot 5.

Jacob de Vos Jr. (L. 1450), his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Muller & Co., 22-24 May 1883, lot 550.

Constant C. Huysman, Breda, and A. J. van Wijngaerdt, Haarlem, their sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 21-22 June 1887, lot 222.

August Sträter, Aix-la-Chapelle (L. 787), his sale, Stuttgart, H. G. Gutekunst, 1014- May 1898, lot 1207.

Rudolph P. Goldschmidt, Berlin (L. 2926), his sale, Frankfurt, F. A. C. Prestel, 4-5 October 1917, lot 593.

H. C. Valkema Blouw (1883-1953), his sale, Amsterdam, F. Muller, 2-4 March 1954, within lots 725-734.

Hans van Leeuwen, Amerongen (L. 2799a), his sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 24   November 1992, lot 204, acquired at the sale.

LITERATURE: Schatborn 1975, pp. 159-65, plate 6.

Robinson 1979, p. 18, cat. no. A-3.

Schapelhouman and Schatborn 1987, under no. 69.

EXHIBITIONS: Cat. Utrecht 1959-60, no. 69

Cat. Laren 1963, no. 113.

Cat. Nijmegen 1965, no. 39.

Cat. Leeuwarden 1966, no. 31.

Cat. Bonn/ Saarbrücken/ Bochum 1968-9, no. 138.

Cat. Rheydt 1971, no. 77.

Cat. Amsterdam 1975-6, no. 124.

Cat. Bremen/ Braunschweig/ Stuttgart 1979-80, no. 139.

Cat. Amsterdam/ Washington 1981-2, p. 117, no. 6.

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.

Adriaen van de Velde’s careful, disciplined creative process is clearly illustrated by this drawing.  Jacob Houbraken, the 17th century Dutch artist and art historian, tells us that Adriaen went out into the fields and woods once a week, carrying his artist’s equipment with him, to make the studies after nature that would result in his paintings.  In this case, he encountered a farmer’s hut and made a careful watercolor, now in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam.

He then made the present drawing, of a very similar hut.  However, there are a few differences from the Amsterdam drawing; the light is now coming from in front of the hut, instead of behind it, and there are slight changes in its structure.

Next, Adriaen turns to the painting, using the present drawing as a preparatory study; again, there are slight adjustments in this new stage: the tree does not divide into two or three separate limbs, the dog has been left out, and a hill rises behind the hut.

This painting, dated 1671, just a year before he dies at age 36, used this and several other drawings, and even a counterproof of a drawing, to make one of Adriaen’s most successful translations of the baroque Arcadia into Dutch dress.

One sign of Adriaen’s great popularity in the 17th and 18th century was the fact that this painting or its replica (Sotheby’s London, December 9, 1992, no. 202) was copied twice by Dirk van Bergen or another member of the artist’s circle (Kurt Goldschmidt, Düsseldorf, 1957, and the Colonna collection, Turin, 1927).