Dulwich Picture Gallery I


Jan Both DPG208, DPG10

DPG208 – A Mountain Path

c. 1645–50; canvas, 70.8 x 111.4 cm
Signed, centre left: JBoth . f (JB in monogram)


?Prince Rupert; Desenfans 1802, ii, pp. 99–101, Jan Both, No. 121: A Landscape, With Cattle and Figures, by Andrew Both;1 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 18, no. 167 (‘Closet in Upper Room: West / no. 1, Landscape with several figures: rocks, & water. – C[anvas] Both’; 3'3" x 4'6").

Cat. 1817, p. 7, no. 92 (‘SECOND ROOM – South Side; A Landscape, with Cattle and Figures; Both’); Haydon 1817, p. 378, no. 92;2 Cat. 1820, p. 7, no. 92 (Both); Patmore 1824b, pp. 36–7, no. 125;3 Cat. 1830, p. 4, no. 36 (Jan and Andries Both); Smith 1829–42, vi (1835), p. 214, no. 116 (Jan and Andries Both);4 Jameson 1842, ii, pp. 448–9, no. 36;5 Waagen 1854, ii, p. 344, no. 36;6 Denning 1858, no. 36 (Jan and Andries Both); Denning 1859, no. 36;7 Sparkes 1876, p. 15, no. 36 (Both); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 16, no. 36 (Jan Both; probably an early work);8 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 56, no. 208; Cook 1914, p. 131; Cook 1926, p. 123; HdG, ix, 1926, p. 487, no. 235; Cat. 1953, p. 12; Burke 1976, p. 220, no. 64, fig. 59 (between 1645 and 1650);9 Murray 1980a, pp. 30–31; Murray 1980b, p. 8; Wilson 1988, p. 33, under no. 19; Beresford 1998, p. 45; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 39; RKD, no. 225936: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225936 (June 2, 2017).

Warsaw 1992, pp. 56–7, no. 2 (C. Brown); Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 42–3, no. 7 (I. A. C. Dejardin).

Very fine, even-weave linen canvas. Glue-lined onto open-weave coarser canvas; the original tacking edges are not present. There is considerable weave interference from the lining canvas. The green areas have discoloured, becoming blanched and bluer most likely due to the fading of a fugitive yellow pigment. Overall, the paint is in very good condition, with only a few small retouchings. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–3, ?cleaned, Dr Hell; 1984, surface cleaned and retouched, NMM by S. Sanderson.

1) Jan Both, A Mountain Path, black chalk and brush in grey, 256 x 382 mm. Printroom, Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden, Welcker collection, PK-T-AW-1159 [1].10
2) Jan Both, Southern Landscape, canvas, 149 x 209 cm. SMK, Copenhagen, KMSsp430 [2].11
3) Jan Both, Italian Landscape, signed J Both (JB in monogram), canvas, 146.7 x 206 cm. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 56 [3].12

This is a Southern landscape seen in the evening sun, with mountains in the distance. The trees and rocks are the most important elements in the composition; the figures play a minor role.

It seems likely that this picture was painted after Both’s return to Utrecht from Rome in 1642, and, on the basis of its rich green and blue hues, Burke has dated it between 1645 and 1650, noting a work with similar colouring in Copenhagen (Related works, no. 2) [2]. Several paintings have a similar composition; that in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, is very comparable, with the group of trees in the middle, and an extensive Italianate landscape behind it (Related works, no. 3) [3]; only the group of people and animals is moved from the left to the middle of the picture.13

Wooded scenes such as this, bathed in golden light and dominated by twisting tree trunks and silhouetted leaves, were Both’s most important contribution to the development of Dutch landscape painting, and much imitated by his contemporaries and the third generation of Dutch Italianate painters. Unlike works from his Roman period, however, DPG208 does not use a diagonal composition in order to create depth. Although still maintaining a gently sloping horizon, Both relies on the traditional Flemish landscape tradition of varying tone and colour, and using the curving path and brook to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture, features that are mimicked by the twisting forms of the trees. Interestingly, all these forms lean towards the groups of figures on the road.

Jan Both
Mountain Path, c. 1645-1650
canvas, oil paint 70,8 x 111,4 cm
lower right : JBoth.f
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG208

Jan Both
A Mountain Path, c. 1645-1652
paper, black chalk, grey wash 256 x 382 mm
Leiden, Prentenkabinet van de Universiteit (Leiden), inv./cat.nr. PK-T-AW-1159

Jan Both
Italianate landscape
canvas, oil paint 149 x 209 cm
lower right : JBoth f. (JB in ligature)
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark

Jan Both
Italianate landscape with shepherds, Monte Soratte beyond
canvas, oil paint 146,7 x 206 cm
Cambridge (England), Fitzwilliam Museum, inv./cat.nr. 56

After Jan Both
DPG10Italian Landscape with an Ox-Cart

c. 1650; canvas, 49.1 x 40.8 cm

Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 18, no. 176 (‘Closet in Upper Room: West / no. 10, Landscape with waggon, horses, ass & dog – C[anvas] Both’; 2'4" x 2").
Cat. 1817, p. 11, no. 187 (‘CENTRE ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, Sunset; Both’); Haydon 1817, p. 389, no. 187 (‘Both. A Landscape, Sun-set’); Cat. 1820, p. 11, no 187 (‘Landscape Sunset’); Patmore 1824a, pp. 174–7, no. 184;14 Patmore 1824b, pp. 58–9, no. 184 or 192;15 Cat. 1830, p. 10, no. 199 (Both); Smith 1829–42, vi (1835), pp. 213–14, no. 114 (Jan and Andries Both; ‘Worth 80 gs.’); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 475, no. 199;16 Denning 1858, no. 199 (Both; pair with no. 205 [DPG15]); Denning 1859, no. 199 (Jan and Andries Both; pair with 205); Sparkes 1876, pp. 15–16, no. 199 (Jan and Andries Both);17 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 17, no. 199 (Jan Both); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 3, no. 10 (J. and A. Both); Cook 1914, p. 9, no. 10 (Jan Both); HdG, ix, 1926, pp. 461–2, no. 131 (see also HdG135 = Smith suppl. 11, and HdG 135a, auction Paris, 30 Nov. 1841); Cook 1926, pp. 8–9, no. 10 (Jan Both); Hoogewerff 1933, pp. 35–6; Cat. 1953, p. 11; Burke 1976, p. 219, no. 61 (later copy, possibly by Both’s own hand); Murray 1980a, p. 30; Murray 1980b, p. 8; Plomp 1997, p. 97, under no. 77 (Related works, no. 2) [5]; Beresford 1998, p. 46 (attributed to Both); Turner 2006, i, pp. 43–4, under no. 39 and n. 6 (Related works, no. 3) [6];18 Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 40–41 (after Both); RKD no. 284650: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284650 (June 12, 2017).

Medium Italian-type plain-weave linen canvas. Glue-lined onto fine plain-weave canvas; none of the original tacking margins remain. Stretcher-bar marks are clearly visible on the front of the painting. The paint surface is heavily cupped and a little worn. There is notable craquelure in the dark foreground and some blanching of green passages on the road and foreground. Previous recorded treatment: 1866, ‘revived’, varnished and frame regilded; 1911, cleaned, Holder; 1952–3, cleaned and restored, Dr Hell.

1) Prime version: Jan Both, Italian Landscape with an Ox-cart, panel, 38.5 x 32.5 cm. Galleria Nazionale (Palazzo Corsini), Rome, 113 [4].19
2) After no. 1, Italian Landscape with an Ox-cart, graphite, point of the brush in grey and brown, bluish grey and brown washes, heightened with white, 328 x 291 mm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, P54 [5].20
3) Ascribed to Jan Both, Wayfarer on a Winding Road in an Italianate Landscape, pen and brown ink, grey wash, over faint traces of black chalk, 195 x 186 mm. The Morgan Library, New York, III, 191 [6].21
4) Copy: Ralph Cockburn after DPG10, A Landscape: Evening, c. 1816–20, aquatint, 229 x 178 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 27), DPG [7].22

The scene takes place at sunset in an Italian landscape of valleys and mountains painted in warm ochres. The image is typical of Both not only in that it depicts a rural idyll populated by peasantry but that (as with his contemporaries in Rome, Claude and Swanevelt) it is arranged on diagonal lines to give depth, and unified by a glowing golden light.

Burke suggests that DPG10 is a later copy, possibly by Both himself, of his original in Rome (Related works, no. 1) [4]. As is usual with Both, the absence of dated works makes it uncertain whether the composition was painted in Italy or, more probably, in the decade after his return to the Netherlands. Hoogewerff thought that a drawing of the composition in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, was autograph, but Burke is correct in identifying that as a later copy, with some changes (Related works, no. 2) [5].

after Jan Both
Italian landscape with an ox-cart, c. 1650
canvas, oil paint 49,1 x 40,8 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG10

Jan Both
Shepherd with an oxcart in an Italianate landscape, c. 1638-1642
panel, oil paint 38,5 x 32,5 cm
Rome, Galleria Nazionale, inv./cat.nr. 113

after Jan Both
Italianate landscape with an ox cart, 17th century
paper, graphite, brush in brown and grey, blue, brown and grey wash, heightened in white 328 x 291 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. P 54

attributed to Jan Both
Wayfarer on a Winding Road in an Italianate Landscape
paper, pen in brown and grey ink, grey wash, black chalk 195 x 186 mm
New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum, inv./cat.nr. III, 191

Ralph Cockburn after Jan Both
Landscape: evening, 1816-1820
paper, aquatint 229 x 178 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery


1 p. 101: ‘This picture represents a mountainous country, intersected by roads; on the right, runs a river which loses itself at a distance; the scene is clothed with beautiful trees of an exquisite foliage, and finely detached from a warm serene sky, while the distant landscape exhibits the mountains enveloped in the light vapour which a fine summer’s day produces. Cattle and figures well disposed, contribute in no small degree, to the enchanting effect of the whole, which is heightened by a water-fall in the fore-ground, losing itself among the bushes. Both stands too high amongst the first landscape painters, to need useless encomium; we shall only observe that the present picture is superior to most others in execution and glowing colouring. – It was formerly in the collection of Prince Rupert. On Canvas.’

2 ‘BOTH. Landscape, with Cattle and Figures.’

3 ‘Both. This is a delightful specimen of one of the most charming of the Flemish [sic] landscape-painters, but one who evidently saw nature with an Italian eye, and could not persuade himself to depict her otherwise than in a veil of southern sunshine. In fact he seemed to look at all things through an imaginary haze of golden light, which, while it in no degree distorted their individual forms and characters, gave them a hue which is scarcely to be met out of his pictures. It is like looking at objects through a coloured glass. The specimen before us is sweet and rich in its general effect, and highly elegant and graceful in all its details; neither of which, however, can be properly seen and appreciated, unless the spectator adopts the plan I have before suggested, of looking at them from different points of distance, and thus permitting them to take that relative arrangement with respect to each other, without which the scene cannot be viewed at all as a scene, but merely as so many separate objects, having no connexion with and dependence on one another.’

4 ‘The general effect is that of a fine evening […] Worth 400 gs.’

5 ‘The effect is sunny and warm, without any exaggeration of tint; and the whole picture is as delicate and finished in execution as it is full of animation and variety in subject.’

6 ‘A rocky landscape with some travellers passing a ford. A rich, carefully executed picture, of great clearness, in the evening light.’

7 ‘This picture has always excited great admiration.’ This seems to contradict what Denning said about DPG15: ‘The specimens of these masters in this Gallery are not first rate.’

8 ‘This picture is of extraordinary power in its colouring; Jan Both appears here rather as a Dutch painter than as a follower of Claude le Lorrain. Probably an early work.’

9 ‘Datable between 1645–50. The rich green and blue hues indicate this date, and relate this picture to one of similar coloration in Copenhagen (Sp. 430; fig. 18 [Related works, no. 2]). A replica in miniature, is the drawing in Leiden (Welcker coll. 1159; fig. 141)’; fig. 141 is however missing from Burke 1976. See Related works, no. 1, Fig. According to Jef Schaeps, email to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 10 Sept. 2020 (DPG208 file), the dimensions of the drawing in the Welcker collection are 256 x 382 mm – indeed smaller than DPG208, but not really a miniature.

10 RKD, no. 298465: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/298465 (Sept. 8, 2020). In the exhibition catalogue of the Leiden printroom (Nederlanders te Rome, 1954, p. 5, no. 9, with provenance and exhibitions) the drawing is presented as Jan Both, as in the information with the photograph in the RKD. Schaeps & Van der Veen (2014, pp. 80–81) and Bisanz-Prakken (1993, no. 91, n. 7) also consider this drawing to be by Jan Both himself (many thanks to Jef Schaeps; emails to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 3 Sept. 2010 (DPG208 file)). Bisanz-Prakken discusses it as part of a small group of drawings by Jan Both which are very elaborate, related to a picture, but not preliminary drawings. Were they ricordi? Other authors see these drawings as repetitions of pictures, made by copyists: Dejardin (2008, p. 42, under no. 7 (DPG208)) considers that the Welcker drawing was made by an anonymous copyist after DPG208; in Jonker & Bergvelt (2016, p. 39) it features under DPG208 as a copy. Burke (1976) calls the Welcker drawing a ‘replica in miniature’, but it is not clear whether he means that Both had made the drawing himself. See also the preceding note.

11 RKD, no. 257366: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/257366 (June 4, 2017). See also https://www.smk.dk/en/explore-the-art/search-smk/#/detail/KMSsp430 (April 19, 2015); but the bad quality of the image here makes it impossible to compare the colours. Burke 1976, p. 193, no. 18; HdG, ix, 1926, p. 439, no. 60; cat. 1904, no. 55; Royal 1951, p. 35, no. 89.

12 RKD, no. 257752: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/257752 (June 4, 2017); see also http://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/1137 (April 18, 2015); Woudhuysen 1988, p. 33, no. 19; Burke 1976, p. 191, cat. 16, fig. 16.

13 The similarity to a painting in the Wallace Collection, Italian Coast Scene, suggested by Murray in a note in DPG208 file, is less clear; see Ingamells 1992, pp. 45–6, no. P 198.

14 See DPG8, note 5 above.

15 See DPG8, note 6 above.

16 ‘Painted with his usual delicacy of touch in his usual very red tone. (See Nat. Gal., No. 71.)’

17 ‘Over all is a delicate effect of hot weather’.

18 See note 21 below.

19 RKD, no. 257885: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/257885 (June 4, 2017); Burke 1976, p. 240, no. 99; HdG, ix, 1926, p. 462, no. 132. The inventory number according to HdG is 1303; there is no recent catalogue.

20 RKD, no. 22489: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/22489 (June 4, 2017); see also https://www.teylersmuseum.nl/en/collection/art/p-054-italiaans-landschap-met-ossenwagen (Jan 31, 2021); Plomp 1997, p. 97, no. 77. It should be noted that the drawing does not include the dog (that it was originally present is proved by traces of graphite), and features another animal in the distance beyond the ox pulling the cart; Burke 1976, p. 240, no. 99, fig. 86.

21 RKD, no. 297382: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297382 (April 5, 2020); Turner 2006, i, pp. 43–4, no. 39. Turner compares DPG10 with this drawing, but the staffage, and the scale, are completely different. Moreover the drawing has a tree in the middle, which is absent in DPG10.

22 RKD, no. 284647: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284647 (June 12, 2017).

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