Landscape with a shepherd seated on the ground, playing a flageolet; his dog nearby, sheep in a field below and a church amid trees in the distance Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, on buff paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1910,0212.156

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 16
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.A.3

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Formerly attributed to Jan Lievens (biographical details | all objects)
Drawn by Jan Andrea Lievens (biographical details | all objects)
1665 (perhaps circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)
British (all objects)

Landscape with a seated shepherd playing the flageolet; his dog nearby, sheep in a field below and a church amid trees in the distance. Perhaps c.1665

Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, top centre, in pen and brown ink: ‘3gúl : 8s / oúde Jan Lievens[z?]’; and lower left, in pen and red ink (but apparently not a Goll number): ‘No354’.

Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 295 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23mm apart)

Generally good, if a little faded (the drawing may have been dampened); a small repair, top left.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Andrea Lievens, cat. no.3:
For the problems posed in attributing landscape drawings to Jan Lievens and his son, Jan Andrea Lievens, see the biography of the latter.
Although traditionally given to the elder Lievens (see under Inscriptions), the drawing compares so especially closely with those by his son, Jan Andries Lievens, that it is here classed with his work.[1] The foliage immediately to the right of the shepherd, and the split tree-trunk, seem inseparable in style from the passage on the left of the 'Landscape with the Holy Family and St John the Baptist', signed by the younger Lievens, in this collection (see cat. no.1; 1836,0811.343). The delineation of the two tallest trees in the centre also has its counterpart in the younger Lievens' drawing, in the branches of the largest tree, as does the screen of foliage beyond, especially near the church, the configuration of which (somewhat in the manner of Hendrick Goudt) resembles the trees in the distance behind the Virgin's head in the signed drawing.
Pastoral compositions of this kind were inspired by Venetian paintings of the sixteenth century. Some vanitas symbolism may have been intended by the juxtaposition of the earthly existence in the foreground and the broken fence and dead trunk on the right, with the distant church tower beyond. The latter motif is repeated in a drawing in Melbourne, perhaps also by the younger Lievens, which again depicts a pastoral musician with sheep in an enclosure.[2]

[1] As first suggested by Christopher White (notes in British Museum files).
[2] Schneider 297, now in the National Gallery of Victoria, inv.355/4, Gernsheim photograph no.66098, from the Oppenheimer collection.

Hofstede de Groot, 1896[I], p.319; London, 1915, p.87, no.16, repr. pl.LV (Jan Lievens); Schneider, 1932, no.Z.300.

herder (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by George Salting (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection George Guy Greville, 4th Earl of Warwick (L.2600) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Louis Metayer; his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley and Roos, 16 etc. December, 1799, Kunstboek T, no.22 ('Een boomrijk Landschap, waarin een herder op de fluit speelende by eenige schapen, fiks met de pen geärceerd; door J. Lievens'), bt Roos, f.3, with T21 (a drawing by Aelbert Cuyp); Earl of Warwick (L.2600); his sale, Christie's, 20 May, 1896, lot 219, bt Colnaghi, £9-10s-0d; George Salting, by whom bequeathed to the British Museum, 1910.

Exhibition History
London, 1910, p.5.

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