Van der Neer’s preoccupation with light effects in nature led him to paint dozens of nocturnal views. In this case the warm light of a forge and a bonfire set off the cool glow and reflections of the moon.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): AV DN [monogram]
[Léon Gauchez, Paris]; William T. Blodgett, Paris (from 1870; sold half share to Johnston); William T. Blodgett, Paris, and John Taylor Johnston, New York (1870–71; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Hudson-Fulton Celebration," September–November 1909, no. 67.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 21.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Painter's Light," October 5–November 10, 1971, no. 24.
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.
F[ritz von]. Harck. "Berichte und Mittheilungen aus Sammlungen und Museen, über staatliche Kunstpflege und Restaurationen, neue Funde: Aus amerikanischen Galerien." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 11 (1888), p. 76, as a good, signed example.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1909, vol. 1, p. 68, no. 67, ill. opp. p. 68.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 7, London, 1923, p. 385, no. 244, as "Moonlit Landscape with a Smithy".
Bryson Burroughs. Landscape Paintings. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1934, p. 16, no. 21.
John Walsh Jr. The Painter's Light. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1971, p. 11, no. 24, dates it about 1660.
Katharine Baetjer. "Buying Pictures for New York: The Founding Purchase of 1871." Metropolitan Museum Journal 39 (2004), pp. 197, 220, 245, appendix 1A no. 156, ill.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 506–8, no. 129, colorpl. 129, dates it to the early or mid-1650s.