Herman SAFTLEVEN THE YOUNGER
An Italianate Wooded Landscape at Sunset with Travellers
Oil on canvas, 114.3x125.7cm
Signed in monogram and dated ‘HS 1646’ (lower right, on the tree stump)
Born and raised in Rotterdam, Saftleven moved to Utrecht in 1632, where he worked in a variety of different styles, creating barn interiors with still lifes in the manner of his brother Cornelis, and landscapes that resemble the works of Abraham Bloemaert and Jan van Goyen. Jan Both, who had returned to Utrecht in 1641, seems to have had the greatest influence on Saftleven, which lead him to adopt Both’s richly detailed style, his carefully graded compositional formula and his unforgettable use of golden southern light.
The master’s works are represented in major public collections, including the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA; the Museum of Art History, Vienna, Austria; the Louvre Museum, Paris, France; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; the National Gallery, London, United Kingdom; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland; the Museum Bredius, The Hague, Holland.
This italianate landscape “An Italianate Wooded Landscape at Sunset with Travellers” was long assumed to be the work of Jan Both, by virtue of its striking stylistic affinities to this elder artist. It is only a after it left the collection formed by Sir Francis Cook (1817-1901) at Doughty House, Richmond, circa 1950, and some time after being exhibited as Both in 1953, it is presumed to have been cleaned and the Saftleven signature revealed. The picture has been painted with remarkable sense of artistic freedom and verve. However, Both’s in uence is considered to have been short-lived; there is only one other strictly comparable work by Saftleven, also painted in 1646. Later Saftleven worked at developing the style of depicting the panoramic landscapes of the river Rhine which he is best known for and which he remained true to for the rest of his career.
Private collection of Sir Francis Cook (1817 – 1901) and his heirs until ca. 1950, Doughty House, Richmond, England,
Private collection, Spain, (1953-2015),
Collection of Art-Life Projekt, Tallinn,
Private collection, Switzerland
Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond (Belonging to Sir Frederick Cook, Bart., Visconde de Monserrate), London, 1907, p. 26, no. 163, as Jan Both, and as hanging in the Long Gallery
Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond (Belonging to Sir Frederick Cook, Bart., Visconde de Monserrate), London, 1914, p. 26, no. 163, as Jan Both, and again as hanging in the Long Gallery
J.O. Kronig, A Catalogue of Paintings at Doughty House, Richmond and Elsewhere in the collection of Sir Frederick Cook Bt., II: Dutch and Flemish Schools, London, 1914, as Jan Both, and again as hanging in the Long Gallery;
C. Hofstede de Groot, Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis etc., IX, Esslingen, 1926, as Jan Both M.W. Brockwell, Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey in the Col- lection of Sir Herbert Cook, Bart., London, 1932, as Jan Both, and again as hanging in the Long Gallery J. Nieuwstraten, ‘De ontwikkeling van Herman Sa leven Kunst tot 1650’, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, 1965, pp. 102-3, no. 28
Barcelona, Sala Parés, Pintores amencos y holandeses, siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII, November 1953, as Jan Both.