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Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem (Haarlem 1620-1683 Amsterdam)
FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (Lots 109, 118, 125, 129, 130, and 138)
Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem (Haarlem 1620-1683 Amsterdam)

Herdsmen in an Italianate landscape with a tower

Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem (Haarlem 1620-1683 Amsterdam)
Herdsmen in an Italianate landscape with a tower
signed and dated 'Berghem: f. 1655'
pen and brown ink, brown wash, brown ink framing lines, minor losses
5¾ x 7¾ in. (14.7 x 19.5 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Amsterdam, 15 November 1993, lot 59.
Sale room notice
Please note that Annemarie Stefes has kindly confirmed the attribution on the basis of a digital photograph and will include this drawing in her catalogue of Berchem drawings with the provisional number II/71a. Please also note that the provenance in fact does not relate to the present drawing but to another version of the composition.

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Lot Essay

Very close to one of four Italianate pastoral landscapes which were engraved by Johannes Visscher in 1660 after designs by Berchem (Hollstein 91-94). While the drawing must be related to the print, it cannot have been directly preparatory, since the two compositions show differences in the figures' positions and the print includes further herdsmen beyond the mounted woman and her companion, as well as additional sheep and oxen. The drawing was executed in the same year as a picture showing a similar Italianate landscape, in which a mounted woman again gestures to her companion (Royal Collection, London; C. White, The Dutch Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge 1982, no. 20). Some twenty years later, Berchem would return to the composition in another painting, in which the woman's pose is closer to that in the present drawing, but in which the Italianate setting is replaced with a lake and wooded hills (circa 1670-75; also in the Royal Collection; White, op. cit., no. 18). There is a version of the present drawing, in the same technique and of similar dimensions, but dated 1656, in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (E. Bock and J. Rosenberg, Die Niederländischen Meister, Berlin, 1930, no. 330, pl. 64).

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