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Painting Title Evening Landscape with Cattle and Peasants Dancing to the Sound of a Pipe
Collection Manchester City Galleries
Artist Potter, Paulus (Dutch painter, 1625-1654)
Date 1649 (dated)
Signed Yes
Description Potter's interest in observing animal behaviour led him to paint small-scale landscapes that focused on farm animals as a subject, rather than as incidentals in the landscape. Here peasants are seen in harmony with their livestock and the land as they dance to the sound of a pipe. Potter imbues his scene with the glow of a Mediterranean sun and the distant mountains evoke the landscape of Italy. Potter did not travel much further than The Hague or Amsterdam, so he probably drew inspiration from Dutch Italianate painters such as Johannes Lingelbach.
Current Accession Number 1979.493
Inscription front cl (on hut, above opening) 'paulus. potter/1649.'
Subject landscape; animal (cattle, donkey, sheep)
Measurements 37.5 x 50.3 cm
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Mr and Mrs E. Assheton Bennett 1979
Provenance Anon sale (;Block)], The Hague, 25 (or 26;) February 1744, lot 4, bought by Willem Lormier, Dfl. 180; Willem Lormier, The Hague, 1752; sold by Lormier to Count Lijnden, 9 March 1758; Helsleuter (van Eyl Sluyter;) and others sale, Paris, 25 January 1802, lot 134; William Smith; Lapeyrière sale, Paris, 19-29 April 1825, lot 139; Pellapra, Paris; by descent to Prince de Chimay; sale, Christie's, London, 25 April 1903, lot 64, as Peasants Dancing to the Sound of a Pipe, bought by Lawrie & Co., 2835; Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, London; John Walter sale, Sotheby's, 10 June 1942, no. 50, bought by Heldman, 950; Assheton-Bennett by 1952.
Principal Exhibitions Dutch Pictures 1450-1750, Royal Academy, London, 1952-3, no. 362; The Assheton Bennett Collection, Royal Academy, London, 1965, no. 39; The Assheton Bennett Collection, City Art Gallery, Manchester, 1965, no. 55; Dutch Landscape Painting, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1983, no. 29 [;or 25].
Publications Smith, J., A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish and French painters, London, 1829-42, vol. 5, no. 49; Westrheene, T. van, Paulus Potter. Sa vie et ses oeuvres, The Hague, 1867, no. 63, p. 163; Hofstede de Groot, C., A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, 1907-27, vol. 4, no. 119; Gerson, H., 'Dutch Landscape', Burlington Magazine, 1953, vol. 95, issue 599, ill. no. 22, facing p. 51; Grossmann, F.G., Catalogue of Paintings and Drawings from the Assheton Bennett Collection, Manchester, 1965, no. 55, p. 18, ill. pl. XII; Ingamells, J., The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Pictures: vol. 4, Dutch and Flemish, p. 264; Concise Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, Manchester City Art Gallery, 1980, p. 84; Walsh, A. et al, Paulus Potter Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, Zwolle, 1994, p. 170, ill. fig. 1; Altes, E. K., 'The Eighteenth-Century Gentleman Dealer Willem Lormier and the International Dispersal of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Paintings' in Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art, 2000-2001, Vol. 28, No. 4, p. 267, note 60, p. 268, ill. fig. 18, p. 284, and no. 57, pp. 310-11, as Cattle near a sheep-byre; Public Catalogue Foundation, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership: Greater Manchester Vol. 1, London, 2013, p. 200.

The gallery's stencil 'M/c. C.A.G./1979.493' and label 'Paulus Potter/Evening Landscape/1979.493' are on the backboard. Recorded, but not visible in 2015: a small white label with blue border inscribed 'John Walker Esq/N[;].17.'; a label of Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, 160 New Bond St, W.; a label of the RA Winter Exhibition 1952-53; a remnant of another label at top, on panel; 3 red wax seals, one partly legible, showing a device/monogram, possibly 'AV' or 'VA'.

Edgar Assheton Bennett (1873-1964) was born in Manchester, but spent most of his life in London, where he had a successful career as a stockbroker. He and his wife, Effie, began to collect Dutch and Flemish paintings in the 1920s, mainly of a scale suitable to hang in their apartment. The collection reflected the taste of both, and exemplified their knowledge and appreciation of a broad range of Dutch artists and subjects, but also included fine Italian, French and English paintings. It was renowned during their lifetime, attracting many loan requests. In 1952, they decided to leave it to Manchester Art Gallery after their deaths. They stipulated that, if the gallery were to decline it, it should go to another regional museum, since they felt that such art was poorly represented outside the capital and might be more valued elsewhere. Funds were also bequeathed for the upkeep of the collection, which includes fine English domestic silver. It is regarded as one of the most important and valuable bequests given to a museum in the 20th century and remains one of the most comprehensive of its kind outside London

Rights Owner Manchester City Galleries
Author Dr Marion Richards



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