Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This serene landscape masterfully conveys the idle, leisurely mood of a warm spring day. A canopied rowboat, decorated with blooming foliage, is depicted carrying a boating party along a river. Tranquil waters seem to glisten in the sun, revealing soft reflections of trees and other greenery adorning the riverbank. Beyond adding a charming narrative detail to the scene, the small vessel is related to the festive boats that, in the 15th and 16th centuries, were often included in landscapes to indicate Spring (in series illustrating the four seasons) or May (in series illustrating the months of the year). An example of this can be seen in the background of Adriaen van de Venne’s Spring, also displayed in this gallery. While drawings by Vroom are rare today, his innovative compositions and a distinctively dense but delicate drawing technique make him inimitable among Dutch landscapists of his generation.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1.2018.308
People
Cornelis Vroom, Dutch (Haarlem(?), Netherlands 1590/92 - 1661 Haarlem, Netherlands)
Title
River Landscape
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
c. 1622-1623
Culture
Dutch
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/212628
Location
Level 3, Room 3600, University Research Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brown ink with touches of gray ink on beige antique laid paper, framing line in brown ink
Dimensions
18.1 x 24.2 cm (7 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Verso, lower left, brown ink: Vroom
  • inscription: Verso, lower left, brown ink, in the hand of William Esdaile: 1833 w63x
  • watermark: Fragment of Strasbourg lily, WR below
  • inscription: Recto, lower right, brown ink: CVROOM
  • collector's mark: Recto, lower right, handwritten in brown ink: WE. (Lugt 2617, mark of William Esdaile)
Provenance
[Christie's (New York), London, June 26, 1840, lot 620]. WIlliam Esdaile, London (Lugt 2617). [Sotheby's, London, November 22, 1974, lot 52]. Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1974
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Long Term Loan
Object Number
1.2018.308
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

George S. Keyes, Cornelis Vroom: Marine and Landscape Artist, Canaletto (Alphen aan den Rijn, 1975), vol. 1, p. 68; vol. 2, cat. no. D24. fig. 30

Curtis O. Baer, ed., Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, exh. cat., Vassar College Art Gallery (Poughkeepsie, NY, 1976), cat. no. 17, pp. 14 and 36-37, repr.

Pieter Biesboer, "[Review] Cornelis Vroom: Marine and Landscape Artist", Simiolus (1978 -1979), vol. 10, nos. 3-4, pp. 207-10, p. 209

"Forum: Cornelis Vroom Gentle Poet of Landscape", Drawing (1986), vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 78-9

Frederik J. Duparc, Landscape in Perspective: Drawings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries, exh. cat., The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, 1988), cat. no. 101, p. 228, repr., and repr. color p. 47, fig. 101

William W. Robinson, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., H. O. Zimman, Inc. (Lynn, MA, 1991), cat. no. 30, pp. 78-79, repr.

Daniel Gross, "Dutch Treats", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, September-October 1992), vol. 95, no. 1, pp. 41-45, repr. p. 44

William W. Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 13, repr.

Exhibition History

Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, 03/28/1976 - 05/07/1976

Landscape in Perspective: Drawings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/20/1988 - 04/03/1988; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 04/15/1988 - 05/29/1988

Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 02/23/1991 - 04/18/1991; Albertina Gallery, Vienna, 05/16/1991 - 06/30/1991; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 01/22/1992 - 04/22/1992; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/10/1992 - 12/06/1992

Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, British Museum, London, 06/13/2002 - 09/22/2002; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 10/10/2002 - 12/08/2002; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/22/2003 - 07/06/2003

The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590–1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/09/2017 - 01/14/2018

Crossroads: Drawing the Dutch Landscape, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2022 - 08/14/2022

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu