Woods at The Hague with a huntsman and his dog


Joris van der HAAGEN

Dordrecht or Arnhem c. 1615 – 1669 The Hague 

Woods at The Hague with a huntsman and his dog

Pen in gray and brown ink, brush in gray ink; gray and brown ink framing lines.

199 x 313 mm (7-7/8 x 12-1/4 in).

WATERMARK: none. (R15)
CHAIN LINES: horizontal, 24-25 mm.
INSCRIPTIONS: signed and inscribed dit is int haachse bos nomb…JVHagen at lower left (pen in brown ink)
PROVENANCE: Unidentified collector’s inscription J.F.—LvL.No.42 on the mount (pen in brown ink, 18th or 19th century).

Antiquariaat H. D. Pfann, Amsterdam, 1956.

Hans van Leeuwen, Amerongen (L. 2799a), his sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 24 November 1992, lot 96, acquired at the sale.

LITERATURE: Brandt 1986, no. 14.
EXHIBITIONS: Cat. Arnhem, 1958, no. 46.

Cat. Utrecht, 1959-60, no. 25.

Cat. Laren, 1963, no. 51.

Cat. Nijmegen, 1965, no. 26.

Cat. Leeuwarden, 1966, no. 12.

Cat. Bonn/ Saarbrücken/ Bochum, 1968-9, no. 55.

Cat. Rheydt, 1971, no. 32.

Cat. Amsterdam, 1975-6, no. 51.

Cat. Bremen/ Braunschweig/ Stuttgart, 1979-80, no. 52.

Cat. Fribourg/ Passau/ Trier/ Aachen/ Nuremberg, 1982-4, no. 40.

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.

Joris van der Haagen, who spent most of his career in The Hague, was unusually sensitive to the simple beauties of an ordinary forest scene.  Although he did many topographically accurate, and identifiable scenes in Arnhem and other cities, his favorite subject was the Haagse Bos, a broad and stately stand of trees still near the center of The Hague.  About thirty paintings and drawings of this forest survive, dated between 1652 and 1669;  the artist seems to have added the inscriptions and dates years after the execution of most of them.

The central tree dominating the scene in this drawing has been executed in brown ink, contrasting with the rest of the forest in black ink and grey wash.  The towering beauty of these trees, in van der Haagen’s eternal summer, is increased by the small scale of the hunter, who is dwarfed by even the reeds in the foreground.

These woods attracted other artists of the time, such as Jacob van der Ulft (Teylers Museum);  van der Haagen’s love of forests is close to that of Adriaen van de Velde.