A forest scene, with palings and cottages amongst trees; two men at l foreground, one seated, the other playing a flageolet while leaning against a tree Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, on Oriental paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Full: FrontFull: Front

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1847,0326.13

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1685x
Hind 1915-31 23
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.15

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Jan Lievens (biographical details | all objects)
1660-1670 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)
British (all objects)

A homestead in a forest, with a flute-player; two men at left foreground, one seated, the other playing a flageolet while leaning against a tree. c.1660-70

Pen and brown ink with brown wash on oriental paper; framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark (oriental paper).

Inscription Content: Inscribed lower left, in pen and brown ink, by Ploos van Amstel: ‘Jan Lievens f / geb. Leiden 1606 / hoog 8¾ dm / br 14 ¾ d / f22’.

Height: 224 millimetres (no chain lines)
Width: 370 millimetres

Good, though slightly faded and some penwork seems to have 'run', perhaps because of damp; minor creasing and a few stains.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.15:

For the problems posed in attributing landscape drawings to Jan Lievens and his son, Jan Andrea Lievens, see the biography of the latter.
The three trees in the centre and parts of the architecture behind reappear with variations in a slighter sketch by Lievens now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.[1] Another, arguably superior version of the present work, also on oriental paper and bearing the monogram 'IL', is in the Abrams collection in Boston,[2] and this was probably the model both for the British Museum drawing and for an inferior copy which is also in the Pierpont Morgan Library.[3]
As has previously been noted,[4] the present drawing could well be the work of the younger Lievens. If so he must have based himself on the drawing in the Abrams collection, which may, however, be his own work rather than his father's.

[1] Inv.III, 186A, Sumowski 1686x.
[2] 223 x 370mm (see Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-3, no.59, repr.)
[3] Inv.III, 186C (Schneider, 1932, no.Z.363).
[4] By Hind in London, 1915, p.83.

London, 1915, p.88,no.23, repr. pl.LVI; Schneider, 1932, no.Z.301; Turin, 1974, p.50, under no.68 (c.1650-60; compares drawing in Turin of 'Farm Buildings by a Pond', inv.16456); Sumowski, 1980[I], p.371 (studio composition; related drawings in Pierpont Morgan Library [see Comment above]); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1685x, repr. (as in 1980); Plomp, 2004, p.100 (as Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-3); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, p.100, under no.37; Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, no.126, repr.

landscape (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased through De Vries, Brondgeest & Roos (Amsterdam, 22.iii.1847) (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased through W & G Smith (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased from Baron Jan Gijsbert Verstolk van Soelen (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
C. Ploos van Amstel (L.3002-3);* Jan Gijsbert, Baron Verstolk van Soelen; his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Brondgeest and Roos, 22 March, 1847, lot 307, bt Smith, f.30; purchased from Messrs Smith, 1847. * See verso inscription. His sale of 1800 included three pen drawings said to be of the ‘Haagsche Bosch’ (The Hague Woods), two in portfolio N, no.38 (sold for f.40) and a third in the following lot, portfolio N, no.39 (sold for f.38).

Exhibition History
1895, London, no.400;
1956, London, p.29, no.3;
2002/3, London-Paris-Cambridge, under no.59 (exhibited ex. catalogue in London only; copy after Abrams drawing, perhaps by Jan Andrea Lievens)
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Washington, NG of Art, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)
2009 Feb-Apr, Milwaukee Art Museum, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)

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