Jan Siberechts* (1627-1703)
Sold by Order of the University Trustees of the WILLIAM ROCKHILL NELSON TRUST, Kansas City, Missouri
Jan Siberechts* (1627-1703)

Jan Siberechts* (1627-1703)

Drovers fording a Stream

oil on canvas
25 1/8 x 21 7/8in. (63.8 x 55.5cm.)
with Karl Loevenich, New York, from who acquired by the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, 1933.
T.H. Fokker, Jan Siberechts, Peintre de la Paysanne Flamande, 1931, p. 102, pl. 96.
Handbook of the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, 1933, p.138, ill.; and 2nd ed., 1941, p. 167; and 5th ed., 1973, p. 257.
M. Jaffé, The Flemish and Dutch Schools, Apollo, vol. 96, no. 130, Dec. 1972, p.511, fig. 16.
San Francisco, Golden Gate International Exposition, Masterworks of Five Centuries, 1939, no. 98, illustrated.

Lot Essay

According to a letter to the Frick Art Reference Library from the painting's former owner, the dealer Karl Loevenich, this picture was confused by Fokker in his monograph on the artist with a painting that was with Karl Haberstock, Berlin and had earlier been in the collection of A. Cels, Brussels (sale, Brussels, March 12, 1927, lot 63; earlier lent by Cels to the exhibition in Brussels, Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Retrospective du Paysages Flamand, Sept. 8-Nov. 8, 1926, p. 77, no.288). That painting is somewhat larger (68 x 58cm.), extends the scene slightly on the right, displays less foliage on the tree behind the rider, and is signed and dated 1671. While with Loevenich, the present painting had a companion piece (canvas 25 x 21 13/16in.) that is now preserved in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid (see Ivan Gaskell, Seventeenth Century Dutch and Flemish Painting, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, 1989, pp. 350-51, no. 79, illustrated). A terminus post quem of 1671 for the origin of the present work's design is supported by the appearance of this work or a version in the background of Siberechts's Domestic Interior, dated 1671 in the Statens Museum for Konst, Copenhagen (Inv. no. 661). The version depicted in the Copenhagen Interior has a horizontal format. The present canvas has been cut on the right and slightly (probably less than 1 in.) on the left, but has not necessarily lost as much as the horizontal image in the Copenhagen Interior would suggest. Both the pendant in the Thyssen Collection and the Haberstock version on an upright format with the animals fully visible at the right suggest that the overall composition may only have been cropped by an inch or two.

The landscape theme of figures fording a stream bordered by pollarded willows was a favorite of Siberechts, who often varied individual motifs; a woman carrying a brass milkcan on her head, for example, frequently recurs in his art and suggests that he used a repertoire of figure drawings.