Nicolaes Anthoni Flinck, Dutch, 1646 - 1723
William Cavendish, second duke of Devonshire, English, 1673 - 1729, by descent to the current duke
July 3, 1984
Christie's (London), lot 58
Art Market New York
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Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599 - 1641)
Pen and brown ink and watercolor
18.9 × 36.4 cm (7 7/16 × 14 5/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Amidst the soft, feathery trees in this English landscape, a subtly rendered house at the right suggests a human presence. Though this country view seems spontaneous, the scene is thoughtfully arranged around the prominent central tree. Anthony van Dyck's rich and translucent colors and the freshness of his watercolor and pen accents lend an almost impressionistic tone to the drawing.
Van Dyck regularly sketched from life during relaxed interludes, all the while successfully creating coherent, unified compositions. This watercolor probably records a momentary impression created while at leisure, but it may also have served as a study for the background of a painting. While in England, van Dyck developed a pastoral style that often presented portrait sitters in a landscape.