(b. ca. 1618, Utrecht, d. 1652, Utrecht)

Italian Landscape with Draughtsman

c. 1650
Oil on canvas, 187 x 240 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Jan Both was one of the best known of the Dutch painters living in Italy for varying length of time in the 17th century (the so-called Italianates). They painted landscapes without depicting a specific topography and almost all their works are imaginary compositions. Both's painting - although includes a draughtsman - is no exception. It shows a waterfall and a small gorge overgrown with bushes and trees close to a country road with a bridge which has just been crossed by a travelling party consisting of a carriage drawn by two horses led by grooms. By the side of the road are three groups of two figures each, all wearing rather rustic garbs.Judging by their poses and the sheet of paper held by one of them they are artists surveying the countryside. Opening up on the right is a broad view of the Roman campagna. Both painted the scene with remarkably light, bright colours, and exploited the effect of the sunlight to the full.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.