Title: Landscape with Trees
Pen and ink wash over pencil on laid paper
Dimensions: Image/Sheet: 15 7/8 × 11 1/2 inches (40.3 × 29.2 cm)
Overall/Frame: 24 × 19 3/8 × 1 inches (61 × 49.2 × 2.5 cm)
Gift of the Wunsch Foundation, Inc.
This ambitious, carefully composed drawing is an unusually finished example of Adam Pynacker's vision of landscape as a highly decorative, perfect ornament. He seems to have spent three years in Italy, from 1645 to 1648, before returning to live in Delft and, finally, Amsterdam, and that southern sojourn was crucial to his stylistic development. He was a member of a generation of Dutch artists, many born around 1620, who visited Italy and were deeply influenced by its unique mixture of ancient monuments and contemporary peasants, mountainous countryside, and warm golden light. Pynacker uses one of his favorite compositional devices here; the lively, twisting trees in the foreground form a rectangle that echoes the shape of the sheet as a whole. Interestingly, the artist repeated this composition in another drawing, of the same size, in the Courtauld Institute, in London. In the London work, which is signed, the freshness and variety of light and shadow are gone; various details, like the woman on the right, are deleted; and the whole scene has less of the spontaneity and almost rococo decorativeness that characterize Pynacker at his best. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.