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Title The Departure of a Hawking Party
Collection English Heritage (Wellington Museum, Apsley House)
Artist Wouverman, Philips (Dutch painter, 1619-1668)
Date Earliest probably about 1665
Date Latest probably about 1665
Signed yes
Description A companion to WM 1617, this is a particularly fine example of the hunting scenes with mansions, ruins and fountains which Wouwerman produced from about 1650. A very similar composition, for example, was in the collection of Baroness Bentinck (Hofstede de Groot 1908–27, II, no. 533; Sotheby's, 28 Nov. 1975, lot 73). They are characterised by their cool, grey tonality, and in both of them Wouwerman has used his device of placing a white horse in the foreground as a focal point of the composition.

A painter, mainly of landscapes with battles, camps or hunts, Wouverman was born in Haarlem and lived there throughout his life. He was influenced by Pieter van Laer (‘Bamboccio', 1592/5–1642), one of the leading Dutch painters of figure subjects in Rome. Wouwerman was extraordinarily prolific; nearly 600 paintings are accepted as autograph.

Current Accession Number WM 1650–1948
Inscription front lr 'P.H. [monogram] W'
Subject landscape; figure; animal (horse); buildings and gardens
Measurements 76.2 x 106.0 cm
Material oil on canvas
Notes Wouverman is not known to have visited Italy, and the Mediterranean aspect of these scenes is probably derived from the work of Pieter van Laer, who was also a native of Haarlem. Wouwerman's compositions of this kind were enormously popular in the eighteenth century, and exercised a considerable influence on French Rococo painting. According to Schumacher (2006), this is a late work, painted about 1665. A copy was with Goudstikker, Amsterdam, before 1940. For Wouverman see B. Schumacher, Philips Wouwermans (1619–1668): The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, 2 vols., Doornspijk, 2006.
Rights Owner Copyright English Heritage
Author C.M. Kauffmann, revised by Susan Jenkins



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