The Dulwich Picture Gallery will host the first ever exhibition devoted to Dutch painter Adriaen van de Velde (1636-1672), one of the finest landscape artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Through collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam over 60 paintings and exquisite preparatory drawings will be brought to London.
A Dutch Italianate, Adriaen van de Velde, represents a point of artistic cross-communication fusing agricultural landscapes in Holland with mythological Arcadian landscapes in Italian settings. Compared by the renowned art historian Wolfgang Stechow (1896-1974) to Mozart’s chamber music, Van de Velde’s paintings are delicate, carefully composed and demonstrate his mastery of lighting effects as well as the human figure. During his prolific, but tragically short life he produced a great number of masterpieces that earned him posthumous fame.
For much of his short life (he died when he was just thirty-five) he was regarded as one of the greatest artists of the seventeenth century. During his lifetime he was known as an outstanding painter of people and animals. His posthumous fame endured until the mid-twentieth century. Today, the public is barely aware of his name, and the Rijksmuseum and the Dulwich Picture Gallery have decided to rectify this situation.
Son of the famous marine painter Willem van de Velde the Elder and brother of the equally famous Willem van de Velde the Younger, child prodigy Adriaen became a landscape painter and a phenomenal draughtsman. His figure and animal studies, usually drawn in red chalk, are regarded as sublime examples of the genre. His drawings reveal that he made meticulous preparations for his popular painted landscapes. Other artists also regularly asked him to paint figures in their landscapes and townscapes.
As well as bringing together 60 works, this exhibition will reunite these paintings with preparatory studies in red chalk or ink for the first time. They come from private collections and from museums including the Louvre, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Kassel, the Mauritshuis and the British Museum. This will offer a rare glimpse of a seventeenth century Dutch landscape painter at work, from conception to completion.
The entrance ticket will also give admittance to the ‘Dou in Harmony’ exhibition.