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    Sale 1986

    Important Old Master Paintings Part I And Part II

    15 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 51

    Hendrick Frans van Lint Antwerp 1684-1763 Rome

    A capriccio of a coastal town with figures at a viewing point in the foreground

    Price Realised  


    Hendrick Frans van Lint Antwerp 1684-1763 Rome
    A capriccio of a coastal town with figures at a viewing point in the foreground
    signed 'HF van Lint F' (lower center)
    oil on canvas
    14¼ x 17 7/8 in. 36.2 x 45.4 cm.

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    Hendrik Frans van Lint was one of the most accomplished and sought-after vedutisti working in Rome in the first half of the eighteenth century. Born in Antwerp, he trained briefly under Pieter van Bredael in 1696-97, before traveling to Rome in 1700, where he spent the rest of his life (except for a brief trip to Antwerp in 1710 following the death of his mother). Once in Rome, van Lint found a large community of northern artists living and working in the Tridente, and became a member of the Schildersbent, the fraternal association of northern artists in Rome. He seems to have gravitated towards Gaspar van Wittel, il Vanvitelli, a native of Amersfoort, who had settled in Rome in 1675 and who became one of the most successful artists of his generation, famed for his topographical views. The young van Lint may have worked in Vanvitelli's studio, assisting the older artist in the large number of commissions that would at times overwhelm him late in his career.

    Van Lint also held a deep admiration for Claude Lorrain, whose work he could easily have studied in numerous Roman collections. Van Lint's nickname, 'Monsù Studio', may refer to his meticulous technique, which he modeled on the great master. Like Claude, van Lint would make detailed drawings in pencil, pen and wash, often in situ, on one of his frequent expeditions to the countryside around Rome. He would then use these preparatory drawings to work up full-scale compositions on canvas, often adding ruins and classical buildings to create elaborate imaginary landscapes in the style of Claude, with their gently suffused light and tranquil air of antiquity. Indeed, Claude's unmistakeable influence can be clearly seen in the present Italianate coastal landscape and its pendant (lot 52).

    The classical setting of these scenes is further enhanced by the meticulously painted and highly animated figures. Van Lint is known to have collaborated with a number of artists in the early 1730s, who provided colorful and imaginative figures for his atmospheric landscapes. These artists included Pompeo Batoni, Giuseppe Chiari, Sebastiano Conca, Corrado Giaquinto, Anton Raphael Mengs, Adriaen Manglard and Pierre Subleyras. By the late 1730s, however, van Lint became increasingly proficient at adding such figures himself and the staffage in this pair of works appears to be wholly by van Lint.

    Van Lint's work was enthusiastically collected by prominent visitors to Rome and artistocrats on the Grand Tour, as well as some of the great Roman patrician families, including the Altoviti, Capponi, Pamphili, Sacchetti and Soderini. Don Lorenzo Colonna had a particular taste for his work, owning no less than seventy landscapes by the artist. Van Lint was also an active member of Rome's artistic community, living in a house on the via Babuino. He was a member of the Congregazione Artistica dei Virtuosi al Pantheon from 1744, and was elected Rector in 1755. This was a corporation of artists who organized annual exhibitions of their own paintings on the metal railings in front of the Pantheon. He probably also worked as a picture restorer and among his ten children, Giacomo became a distinguished landscapist in his own right.