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27

Gottfried Wals

Landscape with a Farm and Trees Beside a River

Estimate:

50,000

to
- 70,000 USD

Gottfried Wals

Gottfried Wals

Landscape with a Farm and Trees Beside a River

Landscape with a Farm and Trees Beside a River

Estimate:

50,000

to
- 70,000 USD

Lot sold:

94,500

USD

Gottfried Wals

Cologne 1595 - 1638 Calabria

Landscape with a Farm and Trees Beside a River


oil on copper

copper diameter: 9  5/8 in.; 24.4 cm.

framed: 12 5/8 by 12 5/8 in.; 32.2 by 32.2 cm.

To request this condition report please contact alison.macqueen@sothebys.com



Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 23 June 1982, lot 47;
There acquired by Richard L. Feigen.
A. Repp-Eckert, "Zum Einfluss von Goffredo Wals auf die Kunstlerische Entwicklung Claude Lorrain," in Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, XLVI, 1985, p. 393, reproduced;
A. Sutherland Harris, Landscape Painting in Rome 1595-1675, New York 1985, cat no. 50, reproduced in color;
A. Repp, Goffredo Wals: Zur Landschaftsmalerei zwishchen Adam Elsheimer und Claude Lorrain, Cologne 1985, p. 61, cat. no. 5, reproduced in color;
E. Peters Bowron, Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Master Paintings on Copper, Phoenix 1999, cat no. 63, reproduced in color.

New York, Richard L. Feigen & Co., Landscape Paintings in Rome, 1595-1675, 30 January - 23 March 1985, no. 50;
Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum; Kansas City, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art; The Hague, The Mauritshuis, Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Master Paintings on Copper, 19 December 1998 - 22 August 1999, no. 63.

Gottfried Wals was a German landscape painter who worked in Italy during the first decades of the seventeenth century. Wals studied with the artist Agostino Tassi in Rome, when he also came under the influence of Adam Elsheimer, a German artist who worked primarily on copper. While only a small number of paintings have been attributed to Wals, his name is known primarily because Filippo Baldinucci (1625-1696) wrote that Claude Lorrain, arguably the most famous landscape painter of the seventeenth century, trained under Wals from about 1620 to 1623, when they were both living in Naples.1 Furthermore, he is probably the "Godffredo fiammingo" who assisted Agostino Tassi in Rome between 1613 and 1618. His known oeuvre is reconstructed from one signed etching and several related paintings, one inscribed "Guffride" on the back of the picture.2


The present copper is characteristic of Wals' style and showcases his adept synthesis of the German and Italian traditions of landscape painting. Painted on a small scale, on copper, and in a circular format, like many of the his landscapes, it features a simple division between the foreground, middle ground and background, a luminously painted sky, tiny figures, and a subdued palette of earthy colors.3 Of all of the paintings given to the artist, the present composition is closest in design to his signed etching in the collection of the Albertina, Vienna (inv. no. D/III/30/3). It is easy to imagine how the striking realism of Wals' paintings, with their intricate details, balanced compositions, and explorations of the transforming effects of sunlight, indeed influenced Claude Lorrain, who would go on to inspire the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.4


1. Sutherland Harris 1985, p. 301

2. L. Salerno, Pittori di paesaggio del seicento a Roma, Rome, 1976, p. 186

3. Sutherland Harris 1985, p. 301

4. A. Sutherland Harris, "A Drawing by Goffredo Wals," in Master Drawings 16, 1978, p. 402.