The present work, which depicts a shepherd at rest in a ramshackle barn, surrounded by his inquisitive flock, is loosely based on a painting by Adriaen van de Velde, economically titled "The Hut" and today in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.1 The subject matter, a somewhat nostalgic and bucolic portrayal of rural Holland, in which both the animals and landscape are idyllically portrayed, would have greatly appealed to collectors of the day, who in Kobell's work saw a continuation of the artistic traditions of the Dutch Golden Age.
Kobell clearly valued the key compositional elements employed in this watercolor, as the same combination of barn and tree were used again by the artist in an oil painting, previously in the Museum Fodor, Amsterdam and today in the Amsterdam Museum,2 as well as a smaller watercolor, previously on the Viennese art market.3
1. E. Bergvelt et al., Kabinetten, galerijen en musea : het verzamelen en presenteren van naturalia en kunst van 1500 tot heden, Zwolle 2005, p. 374, fig. 13.18, reproduced
2. See Beschrijving der schilderijen, teekeningen, prenten, prentwerken en boeken, in het Museum Fodor, te Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1863, no.40
3. With Nebehay, Vienna, by 1970 (catalogue untraced)
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