Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Woodland Road

Artist:
Meyndert Hobbema (Dutch, Amsterdam 1638–1709 Amsterdam)
Date:
ca. 1670
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
37 1/4 x 51 in. (94.6 x 129.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950
Accession Number:
50.145.22
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 638
In many of the artist’s earlier works (like the one in Gallery 634), pathways and picturesque passages invite the eye to wander. Here the effect is different: a deep foreground and the graceful massing of foliage and clouds encourage viewing from a distance. Hobbema’s technique has evolved accordingly, as seen especially in the painterly screen of trees with its various colors and textures.
Dating this painting of about 1670 requires close consideration of its style. In many earlier works by Hobbema, the diversity of pathways and buildings invites the eye to wander. The effect in this picture is rather different. The breadth and depth of the foreground keep the viewer at a certain distance, from which the main impressions are made by the graceful massing of trees and the delicate variety of leaves. The tighter and generally more naturalistic description of trees in Hobbema's landscapes of about 1665 (such as the Entrance to a Village, MMA 14.40.614) is here nearly abandoned in favor of a painterly screen of foliage notable for its many different textures and colors. While Hobbema's descriptive qualities have diminished, his pictorial interests have become more sophisticated. This is true for many Dutch landscapists of the period—the painting looks back to Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29–1682) and forward to Frederick de Moucheron (1633–1686)—but few other painters so successfully modified their style according to fashion as Hobbema does here.

A panel (24 x 33 in.) formerly in the Yerkes collection employs a very similar composition in reverse. The painting may be by Hobbema, but it is almost certainly later than the present work.

[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
Inscription: Signed (lower right): m. Hobbema
Edward Coxe, London (until 1807; his sale, London, April 25, 1807, no. 64, for £588 to Baron Feversham); Charles Duncombe, later 1st Baron Feversham, Duncombe Park, Yorkshire (1807–d. 1841); William Duncombe, 2nd Baron Feversham, Duncombe Park (1841–d. 1867); William Ernest Duncombe, 3rd Baron Feversham, later 1st Earl of Feversham, Duncombe Park (1867–d. 1915); his grandson, Charles William Reginald Duncombe, 2nd Earl of Feversham, Duncombe Park (1915–d. 1916); Charles William Slingsby Duncombe, 3rd Earl of Feversham, Duncombe Park (1916–30; sale, Christie's, London, July 18, 1930, no. 89, for £16,800 to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York, 1930; sold to Harkness]; Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, New York (1930–his d. 1940); Mrs. Edward S. (Mary Stillman) Harkness, New York (1940–d. 1950)
London. British Institution. June 1840, no. 20 (as "A Forest Scene," lent by Lord Feversham).

London. British Institution. 1856, no. 47 (as "Hobbima's [sic] Village," lent by Lord Feversham).

York. location unknown. 1879, no catalogue? [see Broulhiet 1938].

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Exhibition of Dutch Art 1450–1900," January 4–March 9, 1929, no. 179 (as "Landscape with a Broad Road and a Sportsman," lent by the Earl of Feversham).

Manchester. City Art Gallery. "Dutch Old Masters," March 27–May 4, 1929, no. 19 (as "Landscape with a Broad Road and a Sportsman," lent by the Earl of Feversham).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 24 (as "Landscape," lent by Edward S. Harkness).

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 49).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 284.

Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 26.

Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 26.

Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 13, 1992–April 11, 1993, no. 21.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013, no. 90.

Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 90.

John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 6, London, 1835, p. 121, no. 21, as sold from the collection of Edward Coxe for 560 gns.

John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 9, Supplement. London, 1842, p. 728, no. 26, as in the collection of Lord Feversham.

[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain. London, 1857, p. 492, as in Lord Feversham's dining room at Duncombe Park.

Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 4, London, 1912, p. 394, no. 119, p. 419, no. 196, as "Landscape with a Broad Road and a Sportsman," in the collection of the Earl of Feversham; lists it as having sold at the 1807 Coxe sale for £588.

Georges Broulhiet. Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709). Paris, 1938, p. 394, no. 129, ill. p. 166, as directly inspired by a painting by Ruisdael (no. 128, ill. p. 166).

Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 3, ill. p. 35.

Wolfgang Stechow. Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century. London, 1966, p. 79.

Introduction by Kenneth Clark in Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 262, no. 284, ill.

Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 349–50, fig. 627 (color), dates it before 1668.

Deborah Krohn et al. in From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1992, p. 307, no. 21, ill. (color) [catalogue section unpaginated].

Gülru Çakmak in Katherine Rothkopf. Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. London, 2006, p. 148, fig. 1 (color).

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 342, 344–46, no. 81, colorpl. 81, dates it about 1670.

Walter Liedtke in Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, pp. 245–46, no. 90, ill. [Chinese ed., Hefei Shi, 2013, pp. 198–99, no. 90, ill. (color)].

Peter Barnet and Wendy A. Stein in Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, p. 148, ill. pp. 36, 149 (color).



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