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Title Landscape with Peasants Regaling hemselves in a Wood
Collection Victoria and Albert Museum
Artist Herrlein, Johann Andreas (German painter, 17201796)
Date Earliest about 1770
Date Latest about 1779
Signed yes

A companion piece to 568-1870, the composition depicts a group of peasants dining at a clearing in a wood, while they are entertained by one of their number playing a 'hurdy gurdy'. At the left, a boy with a net and a rod approaches, holding up a fish which he has just caught. At the right, a man lights his pipe with an ember from the cooking fire. The building with a tower in the distant background on the left is the castle of Bieberstein, near Fulda.

Born in Münnerstadt, in 1746 Herrlein entered the workshop of the Fulda court painter Emanuel Wohlhaubter, whose daughter he married in 1747, and succeeded him as court painter in 1756. The chamber of mirrors in the Palace at Fulda is decorated with 44 of his paintings (1757). Following the death of the Prince Bishop of Fulda Adalbert von Walderdorff in 1759 and the French siege of the city, he broadened his circle of patrons, and from 1782 he painted numerous works for the art market in Frankfurt, especially genre scenes in the manner of seventeenth century Netherlandish painters such as David Teniers the younger and Adriaen Brouwer.

Current Accession Number 567-1870
Inscription front ll 'J A H Pinx 17(?7)5' [JAH in monogram]
Subject landscape; figure; animal (dog); everyday life
Measurements 27 x 37 cm
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by John Parsons 1870.
Publications List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington Museum, acquired during the Year 1870, Science and Art Department of the Committee of Council on Education, London 1871, p. 52 as 'Signed J.A.H. French. 18th century'; Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 146, cat. no. 172.

The building with a tower in the distant background was idnetifgied as the castle of Bieberstein, near Fulda by Frans Kramer (written communication, 14 June 1967).

John Meeson Parsons (1798-1870), art collector, was born in Newport, Shropshire. He later settled in London, and became a member of the stock exchange. His interest in railways led to his election as an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1839, and he was director or chairman of two railway companies between 1843 and 1848. Much of his time however was spent collecting pictures and works of art. In his will he offered his collection of mostly German and Dutch schools to the National Gallery (which selected only three works) and to the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington, later the Victoria and Albert Museum. The South Kensington Museum acquired ninety-two oil paintings and forty-seven watercolours. A number of engravings were also left to the British Museum.

Rights Owner © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Author Ana Debenedetti



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