Landscape with Sheep and a Château
late 18th century (painted)
Height: 54.8 cm estimate, Width: 69.4 cm estimate, Height: 833 mm frame, Width: 990 mm frame, Depth: 90 mm frame
Oil Painting, 'Landscape with Sheep and a Château', style of Philips Koninck, late 18th century
A bird's-eye view of a flat landscape in the Netherlands, dominated by hills in the foreground with a château in the mid-distance. At the centre, traveller on a horse is chatting with a shepherd looking after his sheep on a road that leads toward the horizon.
Philips Koninck (1619-1688) was apprenticed to his older brother Jacob I in Rotterdam, probably in the late 1630s. He then returned to Amsterdam where he lived until his death. He was greatly influenced by Rembrandt and may have been one of his pupils. As the owner of a boat service and an inn, he was financially independent and could thus afford to concentrate on his favourite subject matter: landscape painting. Koninck stopped painting after 1676. This painting was not accepted as an authentic work by Philips Koninck in Horst Gerson's extensive monograph (1936). However it entered the V&A collection as ascribed to Philips Koninck as the picture bears many similarities with Koninck's style: the artist specialised indeed in flat landscapes of the Dutch countryside seen from a raised point of view under an enormous sky with a road or river winding towards the horizon. The use of a restricted palette of earthy colours with a diffuse blue tonality is also consistent with Koninck's manner. However he hardly used trees as a repoussoir feature and when he did, he never used them to frame his composition. For instance, in An Extensive Wooded Landscape,(1670s; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), the trees on the far left help to improve the perspective but are depicted from a relatively distant viewpoint. In this respect, whoever painted this picture was also influenced by other manners and different compositional ideas such as by Esaias van de Velde in The Highway Robbery,Detroit Institute of Art. Following the tradition of most of Dutch 17th century landscapes, this view is most likely a reconstruction based on outdoor sketches and memory.
Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce, 1869 South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks. The Dyce and Forster Collections. With Engravings and Facsimiles. Published for the Committee of Council on Education by Chapman and Hall, Limited, 193, Piccadilly, London. 1880. Chapter I. Biographical Sketch of Mr. Dyce. pp.1-12, including 'Portrait of Mr. Dyce' illustrated opposite p.1. Science and Art Department of the Committee of Council on Education, South Kensington Museum.A Catalogue of the Paintings, Miniatures, Drawings... Bequeathed by The Reverend Alexander Dyce. London, 1874. A 'Note' on page v comments, 'This catalogue refers to the Art portion of the Collection bequeathed to the South Kensington Museum by the Reverend Alexander Dyce, the well-known Shakespearian scholar, who died May 15, 1869'. The Catalogue. Paintings, Miniatures, &c. by Samuel Redgrave notes of the 'Oil Paintings', 'The strength of Mr. Dyce's valuable bequest to Department of Science and Art does not lie in [this] portion ... which is in its nature of a very miscellaneous character. The collection was made apparently as objects offered themselves, and without any special design.' Dyce's main interest was in literary subjects, and this is reflected in many of the paintings he bequeathed to the V&A. Historical significance: This painting was acquired as 'ascribed to Koninck' but was not accepted as authentic in Horst Gerson's extensive monograph (1936), and has been attributed to the same hand as a Dune Landscape in the Johnson collection, Philadlphia Museum of Art. It bears many similarities with Koninck's flat landscapes, seen from a raised viewpoint and under an imposing sky, with a road or river winding towards the horizon. The restricted palette of earthy colours with a diffuse blue tonality is also consistent with his manner. However, he rarely used trees as a repoussoir feature and when he did, he never used them to frame his composition. It is probably an exercise in his style of late 18th or 19th century date.
Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce
Location: In Storage