Nicolaes Berchem DPG166, DPG157
DPG166 – Roman Fountain with Cattle and Figures (Le Midi)
c. 1655–60; oak panel, 36.8 x 48.4 cm
Signed, bottom left: Berchem
A seal of Sir Francis Bourgeois is on the reverse
?Marc-René, marquis de Voyer d’Argenson, château of Asnières, inventory, c. 1750;1 Louis-Jean Gaignat posthumous sale, Paris, 14–22 Feb. 1769 (Lugt 1734), lot 42, 4,100 francs with a pendant;2 bt Wille (‘Wille le graveur’, according to RKD copy of sale catalogue), 4,001 livres; Jean-Georges Wille sale, Paris (Basan), 6–10 Dec. 1784 (Lugt 3802), lot 3;3 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 23, no. 231 (‘Drawing Room / no. 19, Girl milking a Goat – other figures, cows, sheep &c (comp. to 15 [i.e. Britton 1813, p. 23, no. 227 = DPG157]) – P[anel]. Berghem’; 2' x 2'2").
Cat. 1817, p. 11, no. 191 (‘CENTRE ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with Cattle and Figures at a Fountain; Berchem’); Haydon 1817, p. 389, no. 191;4 Cat. 1820, p. 11, no. 191; Cat. 1830, p. 10, no. 209; Cat. 1831–3, p. 10, no. 209 [in margin ‘+++’]); Smith 1829–42, v (1834), p. 12, no. 17 (companion to no. 18 i.e. DPG157);5 Jameson 1842, ii, pp. 476–7, no. 209;6 Waagen 1854, ii, pp. 343–4;7 Denning 1858, no. 209; not in Denning 1859; Sparkes 1876, p. 12, no. 209; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 9, no. 209;8 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, pp. 43–4, no. 166; Cook 1914, p. 103, no. 166;9 Cook 1926, p. 103, no. 166; HdG, ix, 1926, pp. 106–7, no. 192; Sick 1930, pp. 32–3, 62 (no. 216; fig. 19 study for DPG166); Cat. 1953, p. 10; Schaar 1958, p. 20 [cf. HdG243];10 Murray 1980a, p. 28; Murray 1980b, p. 7; Plomp 1997, p. 65, under no. 35, and p. 68, under no. 40; Powell 1998, p. 87 (fig. 31); Beresford 1998, pp. 40–41; Shawe-Taylor 2000, p. 59; Ševčík, Bartilla & Seifertová 2012, p. 49, under no. 29 (S. Bartilla); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 27–8, 31 (c. 1645–6); RKD, no. 225933: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225933 (June 28, 2017).
London 1815, p. 17, no. 69; London 1843, p. 11, no. 93; Houston/Louisville 1999–2000, pp. 182–3, no. 62 (D. Shawe-Taylor); Haarlem/Zürich/Schwerin 2006–7, pp. 15 (fig.), 134–5, no. 3; Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 34–5, no. 3 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Single-member oak panel, with horizontal wood grain. Seal of Sir Francis Bourgeois on the reverse. This painting is in exceptionally good condition. The panel has a slight warp and slight wear is evident in the kneeling woman’s hair and the body of the goat. It is likely that the work was cleaned and restored by Dr Hell in 1952–3.
1a) Nicolaes Berchem, Shepherdesses at a Well, signed twice Berchem, black chalk and grey wash, 267 x 208 mm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Q12 .11
1b) After no. 1a: Jan or Johannes [de] Visscher, A Shepherdess at a Spring, etching and engraving, 283 x 217 mm. Titlepage to a series of four pastoral scenes.12
1c) Nicolaes Berchem, Italian Landscape with Herdsmen near a Fountain, signed and dated CBerghem f. / 1653, black chalk and grey wash, 145 x 203 mm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Q19 .13
1d) Nicolaes Berchem, Shepherds and Women at a Well, signed and dated 1655, pen and wash, 196 x 270 mm. Bredius Museum, The Hague, T 78-1946.14
1e) Nicolaes Berchem, Mule and Shepherdess with Cattle near a Fountain, signed and dated 1657, pen and wash, 285 x 373 mm. Petit Palais, Dutuit Collection, Paris, 1099.15
1f) (Two women in reverse) Manner of Berchem, Southern Landscape with Shepherdesses, canvas, 63.6 x 76.2 cm. National Gallery, Prague, O 10664.16
1g) Nicolaes Berchem, Woman and Children with Sheep and Goats, black chalk, 194 x 267 mm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 5529.17
1h) Nicolaes Berchem, Italian Landscape with two Shepherdesses, panel, 30.5 x 37.5 cm. Van der Hoop Collection, City of Amsterdam, on loan to RM, Amsterdam, SK-C-98.18
2a) Jan Asselijn, Fountain on the Campo Vaccino, Rome, brush in ink, 129 x 199 mm. Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, KdZ 24497 .19
2b) Jan Asselijn, Ruins on the Waterfront, panel, 54.5 x 48 cm. RM, Amsterdam, SK-A-2313.20
3a) Copy: François Dequevauvillier after DPG166, in the collection of J.-G. Wille until 1784 (in reverse), Le Midi, engraving and etching on paper, 338 x 453 mm (image). Teylers Museum, Haarlem, TvB G 5236 .21
3b) Copy, belongs to the same series as 3a (but NOT DPG157): François Dequevauvillier and Carl Weisbrod after a painting by Nicolaes Berchem then in the collection of J.-G. Wille, Le Soir, engraving and etching, 345 x 460 mm (image). Teylers Museum, Haarlem, TvB G 5237 .22
4a) Copy: Ralph Cockburn after DPG166, A Landscape, 1816–20, aquatint, 174 x 241 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 6). DPG .23
4b) John Cousen after DPG166, The Wayside Fountain, etching and engraving on chine collé, 205 x 278 mm. BM, London, 1926,0331.65.24
This is an Italian landscape with the emphasis on a monumental fountain and the people and cattle around it. The panoramic vista and bright, saturated colours are typical of Berchem’s work of the 1650s, as are the elegant peasant figures in this arcadian world.
Schaar associated DPG166 with works datable to c. 1645/6, which does not seem justified.25 The two women and the fountain, the most important element, appear in many of Berchem’s works (see Related works, nos 1c, 1f–1i). There are two drawings related to DPG166 in the Teylers Museum: drawing Q66 is of the fountain with the sculpted head, while drawing Q12 is of the two shepherdesses and the goat (Related works, nos 1a, 1c) [1-2]. Q12 was also used for a print by Jan or Johannes [de] Visscher (1633/6–92/1712; Related works, no. 1b). These two drawings are probably not studies, but independent works for the market.
A drawing in The Hague, dated 1655 (Related works, no. 1d), shows the same fountain with different staffage, and was also the model for an etching. The woman on the left in DPG166 reappears, with a basket, in a drawing which is study for another etching, in the Dutuit collection (Related works, no. 1e). The woman milking appears in another picture by Berchem in Amsterdam (Related works, no. 1h).
The fountain is of an antique type of which a good example, in the Roman Forum, was sketched by Jan Asselijn (Related works, no. 2a). The same fountain as in DPG166, or a very similar one, seems to be shown from the back in a painting by Asselijn (Related works, no. 2b) .
DPG166 was long thought to form a pair with DPG157, but the two pictures differ in both style and size.26 DPG166 may be first recorded in the collection of Marc-René, Marquis de Voyer d’Argenson (1722–88), c. 1750;27 there a pair is noted, featuring a man on an ass and a woman carrying laundry on her head. The pictures next feature in 1769 in the posthumous sale of the collection of Louis-Jean Gaignat (1697–1768), where they were bought by the engraver Johann Georg Wille (1715–1808), who retained them until 1784. While they were in Wille’s possession they were engraved by François Dequevauvillier (1745–c. 1807/9); and Carl Weisbrod (1743–c. 1806), and published by Wille as Le Midi and Le Soir (Related works, nos 3a, 3b) [4-5], as part of a set of four (with Le Matin and L’Après-midi). DPG166 next appears in the posthumous inventory of Bourgeois’ collection in 1813, without its pair. Smith incorrectly proposed that its pair was DPG157, that both had featured in the sale of the collection of Louis-Jean Gaignat in 1769, and that the Dequevauvillier engraving repeated the composition of DPG157 – errors repeated by all subsequent authors.
DPG166 elicited much enthusiasm in the 19th century. Waagen found that ‘The bright light of the sun at noon-day is here expressed with extraordinary skill. The colouring is equally deep and clear, the execution of wonderful precision and elegance.’ To Mrs Jameson it was ‘A brilliant and beautiful little picture’.
Cattle and Figures near a fountain, inspired by the fountain on the Forum Romanum in Rome, ca. 1655-1660
panel (oak), oil paint 36,8 x 48,4 cm
lower left : Berchem
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG166
Shepherdesses with cattle at a well
paper, black chalk, grey wash, indented 267 x 208 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. Q 12
Italianate landscape with shepherds at a fountain, inspired by the fountain on the Forum Romanum in Rome, 1653 (dated)
paper, black chalk, grey wash 145 x 203 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. Q 19
Ruin on the waterfront in Italy
panel, oil paint 54,5 x 48 cm
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./cat.nr. SK-A-2313
François Dequevauvillier and Carl Weisbrod
Evening (one of the four parts of the day), c. 1767-1807
paper, copper engraving, etching 345 x 460 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. TvB G 5237
François Dequevauvillier after Nicolaes Berchem
Noon (one of the four parts of the day), c. 1767 - 1807
copper engraving, etching 338 x 453 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. TvB G 5236
Ralph Cockburn after Nicolaes Berchem
paper, aquatint 174 x 241 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery
DPG157 – Travelling Peasants (Le Soir)
c. 1655–60; oak panel, 34.4 x 45.6 cm
Signed, bottom left: Berchem f
?Van Kretschmar sale, Amsterdam, 29 March 1757 (Lugt 952), lot 40 (ƒ300, to Ketelaar);28 ?not in Gaignat sales (as often said) [L.-J. Gaignat sale (Rémy), 14 Feb. 1769 (Lugt 1734 and 1724), lots 40 and 42, both bt J.-G. Wille (4,001 francs + pendant)];29 ?Desenfans sale, 16 June 1794 (Lugt 5226), lot 56 (‘Berchem – Landscape, with cattle and figures, fording a brook 2 ft. 2 by 1 ft. 10, on pannel’); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 23, no. 227 (‘Drawing Room / no. 15, Cattle passing thro a Brook, figs., distt. mounts. – P[anel]. Berghem’; 2'4" x 2').30
Cat. 1817, p. 11, no. 189 (‘CENTRE ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with Cattle; Berchem’); Haydon 1817, p. 389, no. 189;31 Cat. 1820, p. 11, no. 189; Cat. 1830, p. 10, no. 200; Smith 1829–42, v (1834), p. 12, no. 18 (companion to no. 17 [DPG166]);32 Jameson 1842, ii, p. 475, no. 200 (Companion to no. 209 [= DPG166]); Waagen 1854, ii, p. 344;33 Denning 1858, no. 200 (The companion to 209 [= DPG 166]); Denning 1859, no. 200; Sparkes 1876, pp. 11–12, no. 200; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 10, no. 200 (‘Companion […] to “Le Soir”, but less important than it’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 41, no. 157; Cook 1914, p. 97, no. 157;34 HdG, ix, 1926, pp. 160–61, no. 380; Cook 1926, p. 97, no. 157; Cat. 1953, p. 10; Murray 1980a, p. 28 (‘These two paintings have been regarded as a pair since the 18th century, but they are not the same size and are first recorded together in the Gaignat sale in 1768’); Murray 1980b, p. 7; Beresford 1998, p. 40; De Marchi & Van Miegroet 2006, pp. 396–7, fig. 26; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 28–9, 31; RKD, no. 225975: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225975 (June 28, 2017).
Houston/Louisville 1999–2000, pp. 180–81, no. 61 (D. Shawe-Taylor); Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 32–3, no. 2 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Travelling Peasants (Le Soir), c. 1655-1659
panel (oak), oil paint 34,4 x 45,6 cm
lower left : Berchem f
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG157
Well-preserved single oak member with horizontal wood grain. Light, pinkish-buff ground used as a mid-tone in the distant hills, left middle ground and stream. Wood grain is visible through the thinly applied paint in some areas. The paint layers are generally in good condition. Some blanching has occurred in the dark tones and in the middle distance. Previous recorded treatment includes: 1952–3, cleaned and restored, Dr Hell; 2002, local consolidation of raised paint, cleaned and restored, S. Plender.
NB: Not engraved by François Dequevauvillier
1) Copy: Ralph Cockburn after DPG157, Fording the Brook, c. 1816–20, aquatint, 174 x 239 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 23), DPG .35
This picture shows an extensive Italian landscape, where depth is created by the mountain in the background in a haze of light clouds, but the composition is focused on the peasants and animals. It seems likely to have been painted in the mid- to late 1650s, at a point when Berchem had achieved his own distinctive and idealizing style. The young woman riding an ass is one of his stock figures, as are groups of peasants or herdsmen on the move, typically near fords or streams (cf. DPG122 and DPG196). What is particularly impressive is the way in which the mountain is made up of broken brushstrokes that give the impression of a hazy light. The long shadows cast by the figures indicate that the scene is intended to be set in the early morning or late afternoon.
Since Britton’s inventory of 1813 DPG157 has been mistakenly paired with DPG166, Le Midi (their dimensions are in fact different), and called Le Soir. Adding to the confusion, Smith stated that both pictures had been in the sale of the Gaignat collection in 1769, and that an engraving made by Dequevauvillier repeated the composition of DPG157. In the engravings, however, DPG166 is paired with a different painting (see under DPG166, Related works, nos 3a, 3b) [4-5], which has confusingly similar motifs.
Ralph Cockburn after Nicolaes Berchem
Fording the brook, 1816-1820
paper, aquatint 174 x 239 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery
1 Bibliothèque Universitaire, Poitiers, Archives d’Argenson, D 475, Asnières, section IV, pièce 1 (‘Catalogue des tableaux de M. le marquis de Voyer’), fol. 13. The information about Marc-René, marquis de Voyer d’Argenson (1722–82), comes from Anne Leclair (see also Leclair 2002). In 2004 she wrote to DPG about Wouwerman DPG78 and Berchem DPG166 (March, April and May 2004; DPG166 file). She asserts that DPG166 came from the Voyer d’Argenson collection, c. 1750.
2 GPID (Aug. 4, 2015): Nicolas Berghem – Deux tableaux très-gracieux & du bon temps de N. Berghem, peints sur bois, chacun porte 13 pouces 6 lignes de haut, sur 18 pouces de large; l’un composé de cinq figures dont une femme qui trait une chevre, une autre debout derrière elle, une troisième qui retire du linge de l’auge d’une fontaine sur laquelle elle est montée; deux vaches, une chevre & son petit, un chien & quatre moutons; des montagnes & du paysage dans l'éloignement. Le second Tableau représente une femme qui mene boire des vaches à la riviere proche de quelques rochers couronnés d'arbres, un homme sur un âne, un chien & deux chevres; dans l'éloignement, une femme porte du linge sur la tête, un mouton est à côté d’elle. (Nicolaes Berchem – Two pictures, very attractive and from Berchem’s good period, painted on panel, [French dimensions]; one is composed of five figures, among whom are a woman milking a goat, another behind her, a third getting linen out of the basin of a fountain on which she has climbed up; two cows, a goat and her kid, a dog and four sheep; mountains and landscape in the distance. The second picture shows a woman bringing cows to drink in the river near some rocks crowned with trees, a man on a donkey, a dog and two goats; in the distance a woman carries linen on her head, a sheep is next to her.) The description of the last picture shows that it was not DPG157; so DPG157 was not in the Gaignat collection; see also the letter by Anne Leclair to DPG, 27 April 2004 (DPG166 file).
3 Berghem – Deux Paysages, mélés de ruines, ornés de figures & animaux divers: dans l’un, on voit une fontaine publique; dans l’autre, un Paysan monte sur un âne, s’en retournant au Village; on en connoît les estampes gravées par de Quevauviller, sous les titres du midi & soir. Ils sont du meilleur temps du Maître, riches de composition & de la plus parfaite conservation peints sur bois de 18 pouces, sur 14 de haut. (Berghem – Two landscapes, with ruins intermingled, ornamented with various figures and animals: in one, you see a public fountain; in the other, a peasant on a donkey, returning to the village; engravings after them by De Quevauviller are known, with the titles noon and evening. They are from the best period of the master, with rich compositions and in a most perfect state of conservation, painted on panel [French dimensions]).
4 ‘Berghem. Landscape, with Cattle and Figures at a Fountain.’
5 ‘La Blanchisseuse. A handsome fountain, with a large stone basin in front, in which a woman is washing linen. In the foreground are two females, the nearest of whom is milking a goat; the other stands by the side of a red cow; a white cow is also near the fountain: three sheep, two goats, a kid, and a dog, complete the composition of this admirable picture. 18 The Companion […] Engraved by Dequevauviller, under the titles of Le Midi and Le Soir […] Collection of M. de Gaignat, Paris, 1786, 4001fs. 160l. Now in the Dulwich Gallery. (Pair) Worth 400 gs.’ See DPG157, in note 60 below: Smith no. 17 is DPG166, but his no. 18 is not DPG157.
6 ‘A brilliant and beautiful little picture’.
7 ‘Some country people […] are assembled round an elegant fountain. The bright light of the sun at noonday is here expressed with extraordinary skill. The colouring is equally deep and clear, the execution of wonderful precision and elegance […] The distance and sky of this gem are unhappily much injured.’
8 ‘A masterpiece, full daylight and glowing with colour. It bears the traditional name of “Le Midi.”’
9 ‘This picture is traditionally known as “Le Midi,” and renders the brightness of noon-day sun with great skill. It is one of the best of Berchem’s Campagna scenes. It was sold in Paris in 1768 for £160.’
10 Only known from the print by Jan or Johannes [de] Visscher: see Schuckman 1992b, p. 72, no. 104.
11 RKD, no. 22353: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/22353 (June 28, 2017); drawing for a title page to a series of four. Plomp 1997, p. 68, no. 40; Biesboer & Pijl 2006, pp. 134–5, no. 3: in this later drawing Berchem repeated the motifs of DPG166, the fountain and the shepherd; Stefes 2006b, p. 149, no. T59.
12 This is the first print of the series: see Schuckman 1992b, pp. 48–9, nos 58–61.
13 RKD, no. 22166: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/22166 (June 28, 2017); Plomp 1997, p. 65, no. 35; Plomp disagrees with Sick (1930, p. 62, no. 216, pl. 19), who considers this drawing to be a preliminary study for DPG166. Plomp suggests that she confuses this with the other Teyler drawing (Related works, no. 1a , see note 11 above).
16 Ševčík, Bartilla & Seifertová 2012, p. 49, under no. 29 (S. Bartilla).
18 RKD, no. 3700: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/3700 (June 28, 2017); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.5987 (June 28, 2017); Pollmer 2004, p. 138, no. 10; Van Gent 2008, p. 201, Amsterdam Museum, SA7453.
19 RKD no. 16996: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/16996 (June 28, 2017); the fountain is different from the one in DPG166 (while DPG166 has a man’s head in the upper centre, Asselijn’s drawing has a lion’s head lower down, from which the water runs).
21 RKD, no. 285217: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/285217 (Oct. 17. 2017); see also https://www.teylersmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/kunst/tvb-g-5236-middag-de-vier-dagdelen (July 3, 2017); Atwater 1989, ii, pp. 497–8, no. 73, 1780; Hollstein 1949, p. 280, no. 385 (Noon).
22 RKD, no. 285218: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/285218 (Oct. 17, 2017); https://www.teylersmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/kunst/tvb-g-5237-avond-de-vier-dagdelen (July 3, 2017); Atwater 1989, ii, p. 498, no. 74; Hollstein 1949, p. 280, no. 384 (Evening).
24 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1926-0331-651 (June 28, 2020); first published in Hall 1846–7, i, with text on pp. 69–72.
25 Schaar 1958, p. 20.
26 DPG166: 2' x 2'2"; DPG157: 2'4" x 2".
27 Letter from Anne Leclair to DPG, 27 April 2004 (DPG166 file). On Voyer d’Argenson see Leclair 2002.
28 According to HdG380 and Murray 1980a, based on Terwesten 1770, p. 174, no. 40: ‘Een Stuk met een drift Beesten, door het water gaande, met Schaapen, Geit en Hond: voorts een Vrouwtje op een Ezel, en by haar een Man die met haar praat, nevens een Vrouw met een Kintje op haar rug, door Nicolaas Berghem, op paneel, hoog 13¼, breet 17½ duimen. 300 - 0.’ (A piece with a group of animals, going through the water, with sheep, goat and dog; also a woman on a donkey, and beside her a man talking with her, and a woman with a child on her back, by Nicolaes Berchem, on panel [Dutch dimensions]. ƒ300.)
29 As is also said on the GPID website: see above under DPG166, note 30. The description of the other picture does not match DPG157.
30 Britton 1813, p. 23, states that no. 19 in the room (DPG166) is this painting's companion, but as we have seen the dimensions are different: see note 54 above.
31 ‘Berghem. Landscape with Cattle.’
32 Although Smith says his no. 18 is the painting in Dulwich (DPG157), he is probably describing the Dequevauvillier print (see DPG166, Related works, no. 3a) : ‘The Companion represents cattle and figures, grouped in the fore-ground of a landscape; among them are a woman, lifting her coats to ford a stream, followed by a cow, and a herdsman on an ass; on her left are three cows, one of which is drinking; and on her right are a dog and two goats. A woman with linen on her head, and a sheep, are seen in the distance.’ See also note 33 above. Smith’s no. 17 is DPG166, but his no. 18 is not DPG157.
33 ‘The companion picture. […] The glowing red of evening gilds every object. Here, too, the distance is unfortunately much defaced by cleaning.’
34 ‘It is a view in Northern Italy or South Tyrol; a clear western light illumines the whole scene with a summer evening’s softness.’