Overview

Adam Pynacker’s atmospheric, idyllic landscapes have a strongly Italianate character, but no documentary evidence exists to prove that he did indeed spend time in Italy. Pynacker’s compositions are quite imaginative, and his landscapes rarely adhere to the classical principles of composition favored by other Italianizing Dutch landscape painters. Apart from individual landscapes, Pynacker also executed a few series of large landscapes that wealthy merchants commissioned to decorate their stately town houses and country estates.

The characteristic features of Pynacker’s style, particularly his use of light to accent figures and foliage as well as the lively rhythms of branches, trees, and shrubbery, are very much evident in this calm work. Small patches of red and the highlights of the white shirts and collars draw our attention to the people, yet the large, twisted tree trunk equally piques our interest. This very early work reflects a Dutch landscape more than an Italianate one.

Inscription

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Marks and Labels

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Provenance

(Galerie van Diemen, Berlin); sold 1925 to Carl Boschwitz, New York; [1] by inheritance 1977 to his daughters, Dr. Ruth B. Benedict [1913-1993], Washington, D.C., and Bertha B. Leubsdorf, New York; gift 1979 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1994
A Golden Harvest: Paintings by Adam Pynacker, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown; John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, 1994, no. 2, repro.
2002
Extended loan for use by Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 2002-2005.

Bibliography

1985
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. Washington, 1985: 321, repro.
1988
Harwood, Laurie B. Adam Pynacker (c. 1620-1673). Doornspijk, 1988: no. 9.
1994
Harwood, Laurie B. A Golden Harvest: Paintings by Adam Pynacker. Exh. cat. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown; John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. Williamstown, 1994: 40-41, no. 2, repro.
1995
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1995: 201-202, color repro. 203.

Conservation Notes

The support, a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric, has been lined with the right, left, and top tacking margins trimmed and the bottom tacking margin turned out and incorporated into the picture plane. A hard, brittle layer of sizing is discernible below the thin, tan ground layer. Paint is applied as fluid pastes and stippling in the foliage.

The condition of the painting is only moderately good. The greens in the landscape, moreover, have darkened over time. Discrete inpainting covers scattered small losses, and later repaint is found along the bottom edge. In 1978 the painting was lined and discolored varnish and inpainting were removed.

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