"AN ITALIANATE LANDSCAPE" BY ADRIAEN JANSZ OCKER (DUTCH, 1621/22 - AFTER 1669)
In oil on canvas, signed lower right "A Ocker" (partially illegible)
Item # C104038
An exquisite sweeping landscape of the Italian countryside with bright blue skies in a gentle gradation towards a golden hue brought on by the nearly setting sun. Fishermen are busy at work in the river while a gentleman on horseback converses with a traveler while long shadows are cast from his mount. The intricacy of detail is immediate in the complex figure arrangements, the minutia of foliage throughout the scene and in the texture of the architecture.
The work is signed lower right "A. Ocker" and is framed in an ebonized frame with giltwood inner molding.
- A.J. Schneiders, The Hague, by 1923
- Private collection by descent from the above
- Christies, London, Sale 18877, Lot 229, achieved 6875 GBP (approx. 1.3381 conversion at time of sale, approximately $ 9199 USD)
- Acquired from the above for a Virginia collection
Lot notes from the Christies sale:
- Very little is known about Adriaen Jansz Ocker, an Amsterdam painter, other than the bare details of his life. He owned quarter of a house on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, was married in 1656 and had a sojourn in London in 1668 (see A. Bredius, 'Archiefsprokkelingen: De schilder Adriaen Ockers', Oud-Holland, 58 (1931), pp. 185-6). Together with contemporaries such as Johannes Lingelbach, Jan Asselijn, Nicolaes Berchem and Jan Both, he executed works in the fashionable Italianate style. Though works by Ocker are rare, seldom appearing on the market, the present painting can be seen as characteristic of his oeuvre, with their delicate approach to light and use of clair obscure. Signed paintings by the artist were previously in the collections of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein and Count Czernin in Oldenburg, though these were once erroneously attributed to Adam Pynacker. It is highly plausible that more paintings by Ocker have survived under different attributions. His pictures are stylistically close to those of Isaac and Frederik de Moucheron for instance, but also difficult to distinguish from artists such as Nicolaes Pimont.
Measurements: 25 3/8" H x 29 3/8" W [canvas]; 30 3/4" H x 35 1/4" W x 2 5/8" D [frame]
(notes predominantly from the Christies sale and confirmed by our gallery) The canvas has been subject to a stiff reline; it is held under tension and remains stable. The painting presents well in natural light. There is a small area of retouching beneath the central fishermen. There is some evidence of retouching to the sky. A fine pattern of craquelure is present. Examination under UV light confirms the aforemention retouching. To the sky there are seven main spots of retouching, the largest of which measures 6.5 cm. in diameter, to the centre right. A cloudy varnish precludes further examination. The paint is stable. The detailing in the landscape and the gentle gradation of the light remain fully appreciable.
(Furhter notes) Under UV examination in-house (images available upon request), further retouching to the lower right corner, in addition to the aforementioned retouching in the sky are pin-prick touchups throughout the sky, a vertical line of touchup to the craquelure in the sky central, two spots of retouch beneath the bridge, retouch to the back haunches of the white horse, and a few scattered retouches in the lower half of the painting mostly obscured by a green flare of more recently varnish; extreme edges of the painting with some retouching where the frame might rub.