A copy after Berchem's 1656 signed original of slightly smaller dimensions in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. SK-A-29; 44 x 66.5 cm.).1
Berchem was one of the second generation of 'Dutch Italianates' - a term conventionally used to refer to the school of Dutch painters and draughtsmen who were active in Rome for more than a hundred years, starting from the early 17th century. These artists produced mainly pastoral subjects bathed in warm southern light, set in an Italian, or specifically Roman, landscape. Berchem was a most prolific artist and enjoyed great success within his own lifetime. He produced numerous paintings, drawings and prints and collaborated with many of his fellow artists by painting the staffage in the works of those such as Jacob van Ruisdael and Meindert Hobbema.
This is a particularly high-quality copy after Berchem's The Three Droves, a panel painted in 1656. Berchem's works during the 1650s demonstrate a departure from his earlier more monochromatic landscapes that were much inspired by the works of Jan van Goyen, towards a purely Italianate style, characterised by more varied and saturated colours that fully convey the warmth of the southern light.
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