POELENBURGH, Cornelis van
(b. ca. 1594, Utrecht, d. 1667, Utrecht)
Amaryllis Giving Myrtill the Pricec. 1635
Oil on canvas, 115 x 146 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
In the 1620s and 1630s, Dutch aristocrats furthered a new vogue for particular kinds of history and portrait painting, of 'pastoral' scenes involving the loves of shepherds and shepherdesses in lush, idealized landscapes. In 1635, four painters made a series of pastoral paintings for the Stadhouder's court, chronicling the popular story of Amarillis and Mirtillo, based on the pastoral play Il Pastor Fido (The Faithful Shepherd) by the Italian poet Giovan Battista Guarini (1538-1612). The series included paintings by Dirk van der Lisse and Cornelis Saftleven.