Friday, 15 June 2012

The 17th Century Of Oil Painting White Goat

This magnificent late 17th century oil painting of white goats, sheep and shepherd dogs on a mountainside is typical of the pastoral works of some Flemish and Dutch artists working in Italy in the late 17th century.

The great famous in Rome, these artists formed a society known as the Bentveughels ('Birds of a Feather'), known for its scandal as well as for its most intellectual life, which was active c. 1620-1720, and consisted of some 70 members, many with famous nicknames such as 'Scarecrow', 'the Ferret', 'Ugly Puppet', 'Sunflower', 'Adonis'. The wonderful present artist is likely to have worked within this orbit, specialising as a painter of animals in the same tradition as Frans Snyders (Antwerp 1579-1657 Antwerp), Snyders' brother-in-law Paul de Vos (Hulst 1591- 1678 Antwerp), Snyder's pupil Jan Fyt (Antwerp 1611-1661 Antwerp), Fyt's pupil David de Coninck (Antwerp 1644-1701 Brussels), and Rosa da Tivoli (Frankfurt am Main 1657-1706 Rome).

The drama of Italian landscape as well as the country's rich cultural heritage provided many such artists with the material for their works, and the present wonderful painting, whose grand scale suggests that it was commissioned for an aristocratic beautiful house, evidently draws on the strong Italianate pastoral tradition amongst Flemish artists.


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