VELDE, Adriaen van de
(b. 1636, Amsterdam, d. 1672, Amsterdam)

The Farm

Oil on canvas over panel, 63 x 78 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Adriaen van de Velde, who was more versatile than Philips Wouwerman, also painted small landscapes in which animals and figures play an important role. Bode rightly wrote of the 'Sunday atmosphere' (Sonntagsstimmung) of his pictures of the Dutch countryside, and of the precious holiday peace that spreads over his meadows, seen in the bright sparkle of sunny days softened by the haze of the nearby sea.

Adriaen was the younger brother of the well known marine painter Willem van de Velde the Younger; they probably were pupils of their father, the marine painter Willem van de Velde the Elder. Adriaen also is said to have studied with Wijnants at Haarlem, but the influence of Wouwerman and Potter is more evident in his early works. Houbraken reports that 'He zealously drew and painted cows, bulls, sheep and landscapes' and adds 'he daily carried his equipment out to the countryside - a practice he continued until the end of his life.' Although many of Adriaen's drawings survive, only a handful made on his excursions to the countryside have been identified; the finest, now at the Amsterdam Historical Museum, served as the basis for his magnificent Farm at Berlin.

Adriaen also made numerous drawings of clothed and nude models in his studio; many have been identified as preparatory studies for figures in his landscapes and subject pictures.