Attributed to Christoffel van den Berghe (c. 1590-after 1645)
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Attributed to Christoffel van den Berghe (c. 1590-after 1645)

A rocky river landscape with horsemen and other figures on a path, a town with a church and a castle beyond

Details
Attributed to Christoffel van den Berghe (c. 1590-after 1645)
A rocky river landscape with horsemen and other figures on a path, a town with a church and a castle beyond
oil on copper
8 x 10 1/8 in. (20.3 x 25.8 cm.)
Provenance
with Slatter Gallery, London, 1953, when acquired by the family of the present owners.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Little is known about Van den Berghe and his oeuvre was only properly understood when, in 1956, Laurens Bol ascribed to him a small group of pictures bearing the monogram 'CVB', formerly given to an anonymous monogrammist (L.J. Bol, Oud Holland, LXXI, 1956, pp. 183-95). Only around a dozen firmly attributed pictures by the artist are known, of which the majority are flower pieces.

Van den Berghe's landscapes, of which only five are known to exist, are firmly rooted in what Bol terms the 'Middelburg-Brueghel' tradition of landscape painting that grew up in that city in the second decade of the seventeenth century. He was strongly influenced by the work of Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne who was in Zeeland between 1614-25. The latter's Landscape with a Parable of the Prodigal Son of 1617 (Kassel, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) is closely comparable with the present picture. Both reveal a pervading debt owed to Jan Breughel I, in the fancifully attired figures, the imaginary architecture and the crisp handling of the trees. These motifs recur in Van den Berghe's signed summer landscapes: see for example the work in the Mauritshuis, The Hague, and that exhibited from a German private collection, Masters of Middelburg, Amsterdam, Kunsthandel K. & V. Waterman, March 1984, pp. 234-5, no. 59.
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