Herman van Swanevelt (1603 – 1655) was born in Woerden (central Netherlands) to a family of thriving artisans whose ancestors included the famous painter Lucas van Leyden. The identity of Swanevelt’s teacher remains a mystery. One hypothesis suggests that he was a pupil of Willem Buytewech. He painted his first signed and dated works in 1623 in Paris. In 1629 he moved to Rome, where he painted many landscapes, and introduced a new type of idyllic ideal landscape with sunlit ‘contrejours’ reflecting the times of day. He appears to be one of the first to paint landscapes without biblical and mythological subjects.
The genre of the “Italianate landscape”, created and developed by Paul Bril and Cornelis van Poelenburch from 1600 onward, entered its classical phase in the 1630s with the advent of Swanevelt and his friends and contemporaries Pieter van Laer and Claude Lorrain. Swanevelt’s paintings became very popular and the Barberini family, Pope Urban VIII and the Vatican offered him commissions, one in the monastery of Monte Cassino. Along with Lorrain and others, he also painted landscapes for Philip IV of Spain’s new Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid.
In 1641 he returned to Paris. He became a member of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1651. He assisted in the decoration of the Hôtel Lambert and made numerous drawings and etchings. His patrons in France were Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIV. Swanevelt lived in Rue du Temple when he died.
During the beginning of the 1630s his development runs parallel to Claude’s, and in some ways even anticipates it. During the thirties Swanevelt refined his idyllic landscape style. He was an important link between the first generation of Dutch italianate painters such as Cornelis van Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenbergh, and those of the second generation who imitated his monumental compositions and his treatment of southern sunlight. In the last decade of his life when Swanevelt made a few trips to Woerden, he also painted Dutch scenery, but with the typical southern atmosphere.
Herman van Swanevelt (1603-1655) - Angora Goats c1640etching - plate 8.4 x 10.9 cm, paper 8.6 x 11.3 cmUnframed - Price : £110First published by Charles Audran (also known as Karl Audran). He is documented as living with Swanevelt in Rome in 1632-4. Condition:...