NICOLAES PIETERSZ. BERCHEM | A rocky southern landscape with two peasant women and their flock and cattle halting near a stream
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP
NICOLAES PIETERSZ. BERCHEM
Haarlem 1620 - 1683 Amsterdam
A ROCKY SOUTHERN LANDSCAPE WITH TWO PEASANT WOMEN AND THEIR FLOCK AND CATTLE HALTING NEAR A STREAM
signed and dated upper right: Berghem / 1656
oil on oak panel
unframed: 30 x 24.1 cm.; 11¾ x 9½ in.
framed: 41.9 x 36.5 cm.; 16½ x 14⅜ in.
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The panel is uncradled, flat, and stable. The paint surface is clean, with a discoloured varnish. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals fine lines of retouching scattered throughout the composition, notably centre and upper centre to reduce the appearance of the wood grain. There are slightly more concentrated areas of retouching in the central figure's proper left forearm, a spot above the goat centre left, in the central shrubbery and in the top of the central building and the sky above it, the largest measuring 2 x 1 cm. None of these distract from the legibility of the image, which appears to be in overall good condition.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Pieter Rainer, by 1834;
H. Wetzlar, Amsterdam;
With Galerie Sankt Lucas, by 1963.
J. Smith, A catalogue raisonné..., vol. V, London 1834, p. 61, cat. no. 182;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné..., vol. IX, London 1926, p. 138, cat. no. 300.
It is very likely Berchem travelled to Italy, even if not confirmed by existing documents, due to the many paintings he executed in warm tones that evoke the Italian countryside, such as the present work.
It is likely that Berchem reused larger compositions giving them a more Italianate tone following the fashion of the day: one, undated, was recorded in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, by 1904 (inv. no. 598) and is currently in Bamberg, Bavaria;1 the other is kept in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.2 It bears the same date, but instead of the southern setting, the castle of Bentheim is in the background - a feature also found in works by Berchem's contemporaries, such as Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29-82).
1 Hofstede de Groot 1926, cat. no. 289.
2 P. Biesboer et al., Nicolaes Berchem, In het licht van Italië, exh. cat., Haarlem 2007, p. 42.