Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Wouwerman was the leading Dutch painter of horses during the 17th century. This painting was probably executed relatively early in the artist’s career. At the center is a white horse in the company of a family of humble means. Despite the simplicity of the scene, contrasts of color and motion are at play between the dark horse pulling a carriage up a hillside and the white horse waiting for more sticks to be loaded onto its back. Wouwerman arranged the hillside, horses, and figures to form a diagonal composition, employing a low vantage point to open up more than half of the canvas to the sky and its soft, silvery clouds. These formal and tonal characteristics enhance the emotional and evocative tenor of the painting.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2016.243
People
Philips Wouwerman, Dutch (Haarlem, Netherlands 1619 - 1668 Haarlem, Netherlands)
Title
Landscape with Wood Gatherers
Other Titles
Former Title: La famille de bûcherons
Former Title: Landscape with Woodcutters
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1647-1648
Culture
Dutch
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/356431
Location
Level 2, Room 2300, European Art, 17th–19th century, Seventeenth–Century Dutch and Flemish Art
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on panel
Dimensions
35 × 39.3 cm (13 3/4 × 15 1/2 in.)
framed: 55 × 59.5 cm (21 5/8 × 23 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: recto, lower center: signature
  • label: verso, lower left, typed: Figures on a Mountain by / P. Woverman (1614-1668), signed / Canvas 15 1/2" X 13 3/4" From [Cromerton] / Court, Gloucester.
  • inscription: verso, lower left, black stencil: 219XH
  • label: verso, middle, serrated edges with green printed text: 9815
  • label: verso, upper right, handwritten text: PAINTED BY PHILIP WOUVERMANS / (signed) / PURCHASED AT THE SALE AT / COMERTON COURT GLOUCESTERSHIRE
  • seal: verso, upper right, red wax: [illegible shield]
  • inscription: verso, bottom of frame: 8538
Provenance
Comerton Court, Gloucestershire. Probably by descent; to Sir Harold Augustus Wernher (1893-1973), London, sold [through his sale, Christie, Manson, and Woods, Ltd., London, June 27, 1975, lot 73]. [Samuel Nystad Oude Kunst B. V., The Hague, 1976]. [Ader, Picard, Tajan, Paris, April 14, 1988, lot 80]. [Johnny Van Haeften, Ltd., London], sold; to Peter and Anne Brooke, Boston, 1988, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2016
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Peter and Anne Brooke
Accession Year
2016
Object Number
2016.243
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

Important Pictures by Old Masters, auct. cat., Christie, Manson and Woods, Ltd. (London, June 27, 1975), p. 69, lot 73, repr.

Exceptionnel Ensemble de Tableaux Anciens, auct. cat., Ader, Picard, Tajan (Paris, April 14, 1988), p. 111, lot 80, repr.

Birgit Schumacher, Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668): The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, Davaco Publishers (Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 2006), p. 417, cat. B56

Birgit Schumacher, Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668): The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, Davaco Publishers (Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 2006), plate 565

Exhibition History

32Q: 2400 French/Italian/Spanish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/14/2017 - 01/10/2018

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/17/2018 - 01/01/2050

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