Exhibitions/ Art Object

Barnyard Scene

Artist:
Anthonie van Borssom (Dutch, Amsterdam 1630/31–1677 Amsterdam)
Date:
ca. 1650–55
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 x 27 in. (50.8 x 68.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
32.100.12
Not on view
The first convincing argument for the attribution of this work to Van Borssom was made by Niemeijer in 1962, and the attribution was adopted by the Museum in 1990. In his approximately two dozen known paintings and in his numerous drawings, Van Borssom proves to have been an eclectic artist whose ideas came from a considerable variety of Dutch painters and draftsmen. A number of paintings by him are plainly dependent upon cattle pictures by Paulus Potter (1625–1654), and his manner of painting has been confused with that of Albert Klomp (ca. 1618–?1688).

The painting acquired a Paulus Potter signature between its sale in 1872 as a work by Klomp and its sale from the Kums collection in 1898. The artist was listed as unknown in the 1910 catalogue of the Yerkes collection, but no reservations about Potter's authorship were expressed by Hofstede de Groot in 1912 or in the Duveen sale of 1915. The signature came off when the painting was cleaned in August 1932. Between 1940 and 1990, the work was attributed to Klomp.

The country house in the background occurs in slightly different form in two drawings by Van Borssom, one of which is signed. The unsigned drawing (Museum Fodor, Amsterdam) shows a formal garden next to the house, while the signed and stronger drawing (Morgan Library, New York) includes the more plausible setting of a fenced-in yard and trees. The subject of the signed drawing has been described since the eighteenth century as a view in the village of Soest, near Utrecht, but Broos and Luykx (1981) have shown that the house is almost certainly the jachtslot (hunting castle, or small country house) Toutenberg in the village of Maartensdijk, near Utrecht. Parts of the house survived until the late eighteenth century. This drawing and other signed sheets strongly support an attribution of the MMA work to Van Borssom. Comparisons with a few signed paintings of similar subjects leave no doubt. This scene is probably an early work, dating from about 1650–55.

[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz, Vienna; Baron de Hochschild, London (until 1858; his estate sale, Christie's, London, March 1–6, 1858, no. 1442, as by Potter, for £53.11.0 to Rippe); duc de Persigny, ?Paris (until 1872; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 4, 1872, no. 12, as "Paysage et animaux," by Klomp, for Fr 750 to ?Tourguéneff); Édouard Kums, Antwerp (until d. 1891; cat., 1891, no. 130, as "La Sortie de l'étable," by Potter; his estate, 1891–98; his estate sale, Hôtel Kums, Antwerp, May 17–18, 1898, no. 124, as "Pâturage près d'une ferme," by Potter [with the signature of the artist], for Bfr 26,000); Charles T. Yerkes, Chicago and New York (until d. 1905; his estate, 1905–10; his estate sale, American Art Association, New York, April 5–8, 1910, no. 100, as "Landscape," artist unknown); [Duveen, New York, until 1915; their sale, American Art Association, New York, April 29, 1915, no. 8, as "Landscape with Cattle," by Paul Potter, for $3,300]; Michael Friedsam, New York (until d. 1931)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 25 (as by Paul Potter).

New York. American Federation of the Arts. "Little Masters in 17th Century Holland and Flanders (circulating exhibition)," 1954–57, no catalogue.

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.

Mlle A. Kums. Catalogue de la collection de tableaux anciens et modernes et des objets d'arts et antiquités. Antwerp, 1891, p. 21, no. 130, as "La Sortie de l'étable," by Paul Potter.

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, pp. 627–28, no. 91, as "Cows in a Meadow: A Cow Being Milked," by Paulus Potter; suggests that the tower recalls that of the castle of Binkhorst near The Hague; describes it as a "good picture of the late period".

Guy Pène du Bois. "Famous American Collections: The Collection of Mr. Michael Friedsam." Arts and Decoration 7 (June 1917), p. 402, ill. p. 401 (hanging on wall), as by Potter.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 17, as by Potter.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), p. 49, no. 86, as by Potter.

"Friedsam Bequest to be Exhibited Next November." Art News 30 (January 2, 1932), p. 13, as "a good picture of the late period of Paul Potter".

J. W. Niemeijer. "Varia Topografica." Oud-Holland 77 (1962), p. 63, fig. 3, attributes it to Anthonie van Borssum and states that it depicts a country house in Soest near Utrecht, basing his argument on two drawings of the same house (one of these drawings is signed and is now in the Morgan Library, New York; the other is in the Amsterdams Historisch Museum).

Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann and Anne-Marie S. Logan in Rembrandt After Three Hundred Years. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. [Chicago], 1969, p. 185, under no. 159, mention it in connection with Borssum's drawing of the same house (Amsterdams Historisch Museum).

E. Bénézit. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. new ed. Paris, 1976, vol. 8, p. 450, lists price fetched at 1898 Kums sale as Fr 26,000.

Werner Sumowski. Drawings of the Rembrandt School. Ed. Walter L. Strauss. Vol. 2, New York, 1979, p. 730, under no. 343, mentions it in connection with the drawing of the same house by Borssum (as in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam).

Ben Broos. Oude tekeningen in het bezit van de Gemeentemusea van Amsterdam waaronder de collectie Fodor. Vol. 3, Rembrandt en tekenaars uit zijn omgeving. Amsterdam, 1981, p. 109, under no. 28, identifies the building not as a country house in Soest, near Utrecht [see Ref. Niemeijer 1962], but as a different country house, Toutenburg, in Maartensdijk, also near Utrecht.

40 Niederländische Zeichnungen: Landschaften und Bildstudien. Exh. cat., C. G. Boerner. Düsseldorf, 1982, p. 38, under no. 28, follows Broos' [see Ref. 1981] identification of the site.

Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 1, J. A. Backer–A. van Dijck. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], p. 429, no. 200, ill. p. 445.

Felice Stampfle in Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981–1983. Ed. Charles Ryskamp. New York, 1984, pp. 224–25.

Wolfgang Schulz. Aert van der Neer. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 2002, p. 43, as "Landscape with castle Soest"; cites it as an example of Borssum imitating other artists.

Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 38, 45, 68, fig. 48 (Friedsam house photograph).

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 84–86, no. 20, colorpl. 20, dates it about 1650–55.



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