Attributed to Gillis Claesz de Hondecoeter (Belgian, 1575-1638) Travelers in Mountainous Terrain
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Attributed to Gillis Claesz de Hondecoeter (Belgian, 1575-1638)
Travelers in Mountainous Terrain
Unsigned, stamped "R.C. VOSE..." on the reverse, label from the
Fogg Art Museum affixed to the frame.
Oil on panel, 15 7/8 x 25 1/4 in. (40.3 x 64.0 cm), in a signed Carrig-Rohane frame.
Condition: Cradle to panel, repaired/retouched horizontal split to panel plus additional scattered retouch, subtle surface grime, craquelure.
Provenance: Descended within the families of William Walters (1819-1894) and George Harold Edgell (1887-1954). Walter Williams established a grain trading company in Baltimore, and invested heavily and successfully in railroads and banking. During the American Civil War, he moved to Paris. Here he was immersed in the world of art patronage, and collected both fine and decorative arts. His son Henry (1848-1931), was also a collector, and his collecting interests were even broader than those of his father. The two collections were merged in the creation of Baltimore's Walters Art Museum.
Henry Walters' granddaughter, Jean (Jennie) Walters Delano (1889-1953), married George Harold Edgell in 1914. Edgell was an architectural historian and a professor of fine arts at Harvard University. In 1934 he became a curator of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and assumed the directorship the following year. He was still the director at the time of his death in 1954.
N.B. Gillis Claesz fe Hondecoeter most likely received his artistic training from his father, Niclaes Jansz de Hondecoeter. Continuing the family tradition, he was the father of artist Gysbert-Gillisz Hondecoeter and the grandfather of Melchoir de Hondecoeter. In 1610, Gillis Hondecoeter moved to Amsterdam where he was appointed head of the Guild of Saint Luke. Influenced by the paintings of Gillis van Coninxloo and Roelant Savery, Hondecoeter's landscape compositions, blending aspects of realism and fantasy, convey a strong sense of depth and distance through their atmospheric light.
The repaired split is approximately one-third of the way up from the bottom of the composition. There is retouch all along it, as well as other dashes and strokes of retouch (probably from more than one restoration). The craquelure is fine, and appears to be stable.