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Title A Village Scene
Collection English Heritage (Wellington Museum, Apsley House)
Artist Victors, Jan (Dutch painter, 1619-after 1676)
Date 1654 (dated)
Signed yes
Description The man tending his horse on the right is balanced on the left by a group of figures including courting couples and two fish pedlars, one of whom is extracting eels from an eel basket suspended in water. A native of Amsterdam, Victors was probably a pupil of Rembrandt before 1640. He painted mainly religious pictures under Rembrandt's influence until the 1650s, when he increasingly produced peasant genre scenes in a more individual style. In 1673 he became a medical orderly and lay preacher on ships owned by the Dutch East India Company, and died in the East Indies.
Current Accession Number WM 1512–1948
Inscription front cr (on wooden trough) 'Jan Victors Ft / 1654'
Subject landscape; figure; animal (horse); everyday life
Measurements 73.7 x 94.0 cm
Material oil on canvas
Notes There are several similar scenes by Jan Victors: the closest was in the Max Wassermann collection (sold Palais Galliéra, Paris, 26 Nov. 1967, lot 41, repr., 78 x 92 cm); others are in the Kunstmuseum, Basle (dated 1652); Gemäldesammlung der Universität, Göttingen; and the Národni Galerie, Prague (Sumowski 1989, under no. 1795; Miller 1985, nos. A137, A132, A141 and A142 respectively). Individual figures also reappear in his work: the man on the right is identical with the standing figure in the Rijksmuseum Greengrocer (no. SK-A-2345, Rijksmuseum, All the paintings, 1975, p. 579), which is also dated 1654. Victors's large-figured scenes of village life have similarities to the work of Jan Miense Molenaer (c. 1610–1668), who was active in Amsterdam c. 1636–48 (e.g., Tavern of the Crescent Moon, c. 1637–40, Szépm´u´vészeti Múzeum, Budapest; or Peasants near a Tavern, c. 1633–34, Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem). For Victors see D. Miller, Jan Victors (1619–76), PhD diss., University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1985.
Rights Owner Copyright English Heritage
Author C.M. Kauffmann, revised by Susan Jenkins



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