Dulwich Picture Gallery I


Abraham van Calraet DPG181, DPG296

DPG181 – Fishing on the Ice

c. 1660–1722; oak panel, 39.1 x 51.2 cm

?;1 ?M. Du Charteaux; his sale, Paris, Pierre Remy and Joseph-Alexandre Lebrun 2 May 1791 (Lugt 4722), lot 63 (‘ALBERT CUYP. Un tableau du beau faire de ce maître, et riche de composition: le devant présente une rivière, sur laquelle des patineurs sont occupés à rompre la glace, tandis que des pêcheurs s’apprêtent à jeter des filets; plus loin sont des chevaux attelés à des traineaux; diverses figures sont proche[s] d’un moulin: le fond est terminé par des masses d'arbres et l’indict [sic] d’un village. – Hauteur, 14 pouces 6 lignes; largeur, 19 pouces. B[ois] (ALBERT CUYP. A picture in that artist's fine manner, and with a rich composition: the foreground presents a river, on which skaters are busy breaking the ice, while fishermen are preparing to throw nets; further away there are horses harnessed to sleds; several figures are close to a mill: the background is completed by masses of trees and the indication [?] of a village; French dimensions; panel); bt ‘Larieux’ for 329 livres;2 ?Insurance 1804, no. 78 (‘Cuyp – A Landscape with Fishermen’ 100 gns); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811 ; Britton 1813, p. 9, no. 65 (‘Library Pictures by Cuyp / no. 2, Windmill, figures on the Ice – P[anel]. Do [i.e. Cuyp]’; 2'4" x 2'9").

Cat. 1817, p. 4, no. 28 (‘FIRST ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with a Windmill and Figures; Cuyp’); Haydon 1817, p. 372, no. 28; Cat. 1820, p. 4, no. 28 (Cuyp); Cat. 1830, p. 8, no. 145 (Cuyp); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 466, no. 145;3 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 145; Sparkes 1876, p. 47, no. 145;4 Richter & Sparkes 1880, pp. 44–5, no. 145 (Cuyp);5 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 48, no. 181; HdG, ii, 1908, p. 207, no. 734 (Cuyp; Engl. edn 1909, p. 218); Cook 1914, p. 116, no. 181; Hofstede de Groot 1926, p. 483 (Calraet); Cook 1926, p. 109, no. 181 (Cuyp); Cat. 1953, p. 13 (Calraet); Paintings 1954, pp. 4, [59]; Murray 1980a, p. 38 (Van Calraet); Murray 1980b, p. 10; Chong 1992, Calr 241; Chong 1993, pp. 403, under no. 156 (Cuyp), 525, Calr 65 (as ‘Doubtful attribution to Abraham van Calraet’); Beresford 1998, pp. 58–9 (Calraet); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 50–51 (Calraet); RKD, no. 287288: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/287288 (April 21, 2018).

London/Leeds 1947–53, no. 7 (A. Blunt; Cuyp).

Panel has a very slight convex warp. There are hemp or string fibers glued to the reverse, and the back carries the inscription ‘111’ in ink. There is very light wear in some of the brown areas. Overall this painting is in very good condition. Previous recorded treatment: 1874, surface dirt removed; prior to 1989, retouched (no record, but ‘well matched’ retouchings were noted in the 1989 Getty survey record).

1) Abraham van Calraet, Scene on the Ice outside Dordrecht, c. 1665, monogrammed AC, panel, 33.5 x 57.5 cm. Chong Calr 7. NG, London, NG3024.6
2) Aelbert Cuyp, Fishing under the Ice near Dordrecht, signed at left on sledge, panel, 57 x 115 cm. Chong 156. Marquess of Tavistock and Trustees of the Bedford Estate, Woburn Abbey [1].7
3) Replica: Phillips, London, 14 Feb. 1989, lot 9 (photo Witt).

Calraet produced several scenes of figures on the ice, the best known of which is the Scene on the Ice outside Dordrecht in the National Gallery (Related works no. 1), which is dated by the gallery c. 1665. Most, however, depict pleasurable outings rather than manual labour, as here. People at work are rare in Dutch and Flemish 17th-century paintings.8 The Dulwich picture seems loosely based on a comparable composition by Cuyp in the collection of the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, as Mrs Jameson already observed in 1842 (Related works, no. 2) [1]. A replica by Calraet was formerly on the London art market (Related works no. 3).

Abraham van Calraet
Fishing on the ice, c. 1660-1722
panel (oak), oil paint 39,1 x 51,2 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG181

Aelbert Cuyp
Fishing under the Ice near Dordrecht
panel, oil paint 57 x 117,5 cm
left : A. Cuyp
Woburn Abbey, private collection Woburn Abbey Collection

DPG296 – A Riding School in the Open Air

c. 1660–1722; oak panel, 39 x 51.6 cm
Monogrammed, bottom left: AC

?J. van der Linden van Slingelandt sale, Dordrecht, 22 Aug. 1785 (Lugt 3936), lot 88, bt Roos for 470 fl; 9 ?sale Amsterdam, 11 July 1798 (Lugt 5789), lot 24, bt Gruyter (along with lot 23 [HdG594b]); ?1804 Insurance 1804, either no. 102 (‘Cuyp – Horses and Figures’), £100, or 103 (‘Ditto [Cuyp] – Ditto [Horses and Figures]’), £80; 10 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 34, no. 362 (‘[Closet to S: Drawing Room] contd. / no. 15, Landscape, Horses & figures – P[anel] Cuyp’; 2' x 2'5").

Cat. 1817, p. 4, no. 33 (‘FIRST ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with Hunters, &c.; Cuyp’); Haydon 1817, p. 373, no. 33 (Cuyp); Cat. 1820, p. 4, no. 33; Cat. 1830, p. 3, no. 13; ?Smith 1829–42, v (1834), p. 295, no. 28 (Cuyp in the Slingelandt collection in 1785);11 Jameson 1842, ii, p. 445, no. 13 (Cuyp);12 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 13 (Cuyp);13 Sparkes 1876, p. 45, no. 13 (Cuyp); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 48, no. 13 (School of Cuyp);14 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 81, no. 296 (Cuyp); HdG, ii, 1908, p. 170, no. 605 (Cuyp; Engl. edn 1909, p. 180); Cook 1914, p. 183, no. 296 (Cuyp); Mellaart as cited by Bredius 1919, p. 120 (tentative identification as Calraet);15 Cook 1926, p. 171, no. 296 (Cuyp); Cat. 1953, p. 13 (Calraet); Reiss 1975, p. 212 (school of Cuyp); Murray 1980a, pp. 38–9 (the first to note the initials; Calraet); Murray 1980b, p. 10; Chong 1992, Calr 242; Chong 1993, p. 525, Calr 66 (as ‘Doubtful attribution to Abraham van Calraet’); Beresford 1998, pp. 58–9 (Calraet); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 51; RKD, no. 225939: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225939 (Dec. 10, 2017).

Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 48–9, no. 10 (I. A. C. Dejardin; Calraet).

The panel and paint layers are in good condition. The sky displayed drying cracks which have been subsequently retouched. The vermilion and lake in the rider’s coat are worn and slightly discoloured. Parts of the landscape and foliage have suffered from discolouration. This is thought to have been caused by light damage, as an area along the right-hand edge, which had been protected by the frame rebate, remains darker and more saturated. In 1934 it was advised that the frame should be destroyed because of woodworm infestation. Previous recorded treatment: 2000, frame treated for insect infestation; 2003–4, cleaned and restored, N. Ryder.

While Calraet is generally thought of as a follower of Cuyp, the lively forms of the horses are strongly reminiscent of Wouwerman, although the style of their depiction is much more ‘finished’. A comparison with Cuyp is instructive: while Calraet’s treatment of the landscape is perfectly accomplished, it lacks the complex lighting effects of his mentor. As no secure chronology of Calraet’s work has been established it is difficult to date DPG296.

The hill and the castle in the background suggest a location in the eastern Netherlands or Germany, although they are probably not topographically accurate.

Abraham van Calraet
Riding school in the open air, c. 1660-1722
panel (oak), oil paint 39 x 51,6 cm
lower left : AC
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG296


1 GPID (27 Sept., 2012): ‘Calraet’ gives nothing; ‘Abraham van Kalraet’ only two still lifes in the 18th century and then after 1810; ‘Cuyp’ and ‘ice’ only hits after 1815; for ‘Cuyp’ and ‘glace’ the only picture that comes near is probably too large (22 pouces 6 lignes x 38 pouces = c. 61 x 102 cm), even when we take into account that the dimensions include the frame; it is lot 43 of sale 27 March 1786, Paris (Lugt 4009), with Paillet as expert.

2 Letter from Burton Fredericksen to DPG, 29 Dec. 2002 (DPG181 file): the picture is first documented as part of the Du Charteaux sale in Paris in 1791.

3 ‘The composition, besides being much smaller, and as a painting very inferior, is altogether different from the famous picture in the Duke of Bedford’s Collection.’

4 ‘A similar picture, but larger, is in the Duke of Bedford’s collection.’

5 ‘Winter scenes by A. Cuijp are very rare. We miss here the impression of cold air by which the objects ought to appear in sharp outlines. A similar picture, but larger, is in the Duke of Bedford’s collection.’

6 https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/abraham-van-calraet-scene-on-the-ice-outside-dordrecht (Dec. 10, 2017)

7 RKD, no. 287322: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/287322 (April 21, 2018); Chong says that Cuyp’s group of fishermen appears in reverse in DPG181: Chong 1993, p. 403, under no. 156 (Cuyp; HdG733, 739b). Indeed there are some similarities in the figures.

8 Kettering 2008, pp. 2, 14 (note 5), who refers to Gibson 2000, pp. 134, 157–8. See also Kettering 2007 about men at work. In general many idle peasants appear in Dutch (and Flemish) landscapes, concerned with nothing but chatting: ‘Indeed, these idlers, loungers, whatever we choose to call them, singly and in groups, constitute one of the most pervasive motifs in Dutch landscape scenes’: Gibson 2000, p. 133. See also Bakker 2012, Schama 1987, and Bergvelt 1978.

9 The scene here as described in Smith 1829–42, v (1834), p. 295 (Albert Cuyp), no. 28, is similar to but slightly different from DPG296: ‘Exercising of Horses. The subject is introduced in the foreground of a landscape, and consists of a number of gentlemen with attendants, trying and examining the forms and paces of horses. Among them may be noticed a gentleman on a white horse, another on a black one, and a third who has dismounted from his steed, and is holding it by the reins [instead, DPG296 shows two other gentlemen on grey horses]. A little retired from these is a boy playing with a dog [in front of them in DPG296], and more towards the middle of the view is a man riding a horse round a ring [to the left in DPG296]. Painted in the finished manner of Wouwermans. 1 ft. 8 in. by 2 ft. – P[anel]. Collection of M. Vander L. V. Slingelandt, 1785, 470 flo. 42l.’

10 See DPG53, notes 10 and 19 above.

11 See note 9 above.

12 ‘A picture highly finished, and very like Wouvermans. It appears to be the same picture formerly in the collection of M. Van Slingelandt. See Smith’s Catalogue, No. 28.’

13 Denning 1858 seems to have had doubts about this picture, as he first wrote ‘(after)’ Cuyp, but then deleted that; in Denning 1859 it is probably a genuine Cuyp. Denning 1859, no. 13: ‘This is probably a genuine picture, and in his first style, which is more highly finished than his subsequent manners. This is not, however, the picture in Smith’s Catalogue Raisonné No: 28 as Mrs. Jameson suggests.’ However most subsequent authors agree with Mrs Jameson.

14 ‘Also an early picture, strong in colour, and well preserved.’

15 See DPG71, note 25 above.

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