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    Pen & ink with wash and black chalk on laid paper

    39 x 33.8 cm



    Private collection, France





    This sheet can be closely compared to A Rocky Landscape, attributed to Jan Both, Metropolitan Museum, New York (acc. no. 1971.34, see second image), as well as the following examples in institutional collections among others: Landscape with a tree..., Städel Museum, Frankfurt (inv. no. 3807); A Rocky Landscape, attributed to Jan Both, Metropolitan Museum, New York (acc. no. 1971.34); and Mountain Landscape with a Road, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (acc. no. RP-T-1961-67(V)). 




    Jan Both was born the son of a glass painter in Utrecht, where his father paid for both Jan and his brother Andries to be tutored at the Guild in the city, with Jan likely enrolled between 1634-1637 (during which time his older brother was working in the studio of Abraham Bloemaert). It is possible that Jan was a student of Cornelis van Poelenburch's in his early career, with the older artist perhaps an influence on Jan's style and decision to travel to Italy. Both Andries and Jan are mentioned together in Rome for the first time in June of 1638, when they attended a local artists' meeting, and the brothers lived together in 11639-1641, during which time it appears that they influenced each other's styles noticeably, to judge from the extant examples by both hands. One of Jan's first major commissions came in 1642, whern Cardinal Antonio Barberini paid him 60 scudi for two paintings. 


    In that same year, Jan was to make an ultimately tragic trip to Venice with his older brother. Andries drowned in one of the canals there, near San Giovanni in Bragola, on the night of 23rd March 1642, and such was the effect on his brother that he returned to the Netherlands at some point in the aftermath, being registered in Utrecht in 1644, and each year between 1648-50. In spite of such a comparatively short period spent in Italy, Jan's paintings and drawings are inextricably connected with the region. He was in Rome at a time of a flourishing of the art of landscape painting, and both knew and worked alongside such luminaries as Gaspard Dughet, Herman van Swanevelt, Jan Asserlijn and even Poussin and Claude. 


    Jan's drawings and paintings appear to have been immensely popular with collectors, and it is probable that he maintained a large studio once re-established in his hometown, with many copies in museum collections and resurfacing on the market to this day. Among his known imitators and followers were Willem de Heusch (1625-1692) and Jan Hackert (1628 - after 1658), with whose hands drawings such as the present work are often confused. Hendrik Verschuring (1627-1690) also studied under Jan for six years before making his own journey to Rome. 




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