Gaspard Dughet, called Gaspard Poussain (Rome 1615-1675)
Gaspard Dughet, called Gaspard Poussain (Rome 1615-1675)

The cascade at Tivoli, with two washerwomen resting by a path

Details
Gaspard Dughet, called Gaspard Poussain (Rome 1615-1675)
The cascade at Tivoli, with two washerwomen resting by a path

oil on canvas
37 ¼ x 51 ½ in. (94.6 x 130.8 cm.)
Provenance
Francesco I, King of Naples (1777-1830), and by descent to his daughter,
H.R.H. Marie Caroline de Bourbon, duchesse de Berry (1798-1870); Drouot, Paris, 19 April 1865, lot 374, as 'Joseph Vernet', to the following,
M. de Puysegur.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 1999, lot 284 ($100,000), when acquired by the present owner.

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Lot Essay

The attribution to Dughet has been confirmed by Malcolm Waddingham (written private communication with the owner). Although he considers the chronology of Dughet’s work to be problematic, save for fresco commissions, he considers this landscape to be part of a series of twenty views of Tivoli executed in the artist's maturity from around the late 1660s or early 70s. Characteristics that led to his dating of the present work include Dughet's later propensity for depicting landscapes with structures atop high mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls with lakes or streams below. Comparable works from the period include an earlier version of a view at Tivoli held in the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, and one in the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne. As Waddingham notes, the latter is particularly similar to the present picture in the handling of the hills on the right, and in the treatment of the clouds, which he notes are virtually identical. Yet, in our version, he observes a greater sensitivity to the execution of the architecture, where ‘the temple stands proudly prominent and a trifle higher than the other edifices, and across the ravine the back of the farmstead with its loggia is presented with Breenberghian clarity and neatness.’

Waddingham suggests the bambocciante artist Karel Dujardin was responsible for the conversing women in the foreground. In comparing the present picture to Dujardin’s Landscape in the Campagna (1675; Antwerp, Royal Museum of Fine Art), Waddingham describes a ‘warm and liquid’ light that is shared by its shepherd and our women in Tivoli. The proposed collaboration between the two artists correlates with Dujardin’s second stay in Rome from 1675-78, helping place this landscape in the final year of Dughet’s life. Through such chronological suppositions, Waddingham feels we are left with the freedom to enjoy ‘one of Dughet’s outstanding masterpieces, splendid in its lack of superfluous distraction.’

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