Thursday, September 12, 2013

Object of the Day: Landscape with a Waterfall, early 19th C.

Oil Painting
After Pynacker
The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Dutch Italianates, a group of “Netherlandish” artists, were known for their monumental landscape paintings which demonstrated an intimate knowledge of Italy. The group thrived from the 1650s onward. Adam Pynacker (1615-1673) was a major force within the group and his works of misty waterfalls combined the ideals of Italian landscape paintings with the themes favored by Seventeenth Century Dutch painters.

This wooded landscape with a waterfall and atmospheric hills, at first glance, gives the impression of being the work of Pynacker, but closer inspection reveals a lack of Pynacker’s usual attention to detail, light and shadow. Still an attractive painting, this landscape is devoid of the atmospheric touches which were the hallmarks of Pynacker’s hand. Probably dating to the early Nineteenth Century, this painting is clearly the work of an artist who was trying to master the style of the Dutch Italianates. While it falls short, and wants a certain depth, the ambitious composition is an interesting study in its own right.

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