Pocket guide to Roman Emperors, £6.99
Height: 157.000 mm
Width: 225.000 mm
Prints and Drawings
Paul Bril, Trees at the Edge of a Pool, a pen and ink drawing
Rome, Italy, AD 1609
Landscape with subtle influences from one of the pioneers of landscape painting, Claude Lorrain
This drawing, characteristic of Bril's
hand, is drawn in pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash. A
flat expanse of landscape is broken up by groups of trees. In the
foreground, a clump of trees is reflected in water. Pools of light
and dark break up the depth and lead the eye gently into the
Bril (1554-1626) signed the drawing at lower left: 'Pa. Bril 1609 In Romae' which implies that he intended it as a separate work of art, rather than as a study for a painting or print. Certainly, the high degree of finish suggests that it is complete in itself. Furthermore, the balanced structure of this scene suggests that it was composed in the studio, rather than drawn from life.
Bril left the Netherlands around 1574 and settled in Rome. He was influential in bringing a northern naturalism to Italian landscape painting. Also living in Rome at this time was the French artist, Claude Lorrain who closely studied Bril's work. Here the trees which both frame the scene and suggest the depth anticipate Claude's poetic landscapes.
M. Royalton-Kisch, H. Chapman and S. Coppel, Old Master drawings from the M, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)