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Pieter van Bloemen (Antwerp 1657-1720)

A military encampment with two cooking pots

black chalk, point of the brush and black and grey wash, pen and black ink framing lines
16.9 x 22.4 cm

Executed with the point of the brush over a faint black chalk study, this sheet is entirely characteristic of Pieter van Bloemen’s technique. Like many of his contemporaries, including his brothers Jan Frans and Norbert, Pieter van Bloemen journeyed to Rome between 1685-1693 during which time he produced many of his drawings. A remarkable album containing no fewer than 255 drawings from this period – an exceptional rarity – was sold at auction in 2005.[1] The drawings in that album give a fascinating insight into the working methods of the artist; Van Bloemen used the themes recorded in these drawings in his paintings, executed later in his studio. The present sheet might have been made for a similar purpose, it was undoubtedly drawn from life and possibly pasted in an album which the artist would have kept in his studio.

[1] Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 6 July 2005, lot 138.

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