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Abraham Bloemaert (Gorinchem 1566-1651 Utrecht)

A ruined farmhouse with resting peasants

black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, indented for transfer, graphite framing lines, watermark coat of arms with letters LM
18 x 22.7 cm

Anonymous sale; Christie's, Amsterdam, 30 November 1987, lot 9;
A.M. ‘Ton’ van den Broek (1932-1995).

J. Bolten, 'Abraham Bloemaert. The Drawings', Leiden/Oegstgeest 2007, vol. I, p. 430 under no. 1458, p. 456, no. 1553, p. 478 under no. 1625; vol. II, p. 465, fig. 1553.

Drawn with fine and delicate penwork, this characteristic sheet showing a ruined farmhouse surrounded by dunes was used by Abraham Bloemaert’s son, Frederick, as the model for an engraving (fig. 1). [1] The print forms part of a series of 11 landscape etchings, for which Frederik used drawings by Abraham from different periods; Roethlisberger has dated the first two drawings to 1606 and the others between 1630-1647 and he furthermore suggests that the engravings were produced after 1635. [2] The series is exceptionally rare and has not been recorded in Hollstein, nor in any other of the main print sources. That Frederick used the present drawing directly to transfer it to the copperplate is confirmed by the fact that it was indented and by the graphite framing lines which exactly match those of the print. [3] Another, earlier, drawing by Abraham shows the same building [4]; Bolten dates that drawing to 1595-1605 while he dates the present drawing to 1615-1625.

[1] M.G. Roethlisberger, 'Abraham Bloemaert and his sons. Paintings and prints', Ghent, 1993, vol. I, no. 574, vol. II, fig. 764.
[2] M.G. Roethlisberger, 'op. cit.', p. 352.
[3] Bolten, 'op. cit.', p. 456.
[4] ibid., vol. I, no. 1458, vol. II, fig. 1458.

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