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Jan Both

Southern Landscape with Travellers


Jan Both
Utrecht about 1615 – Utrecht 1652


Southern Landscape with Travellers


About 1645-1650


Oil on canvas


50.6 x 66 cm


Purchase, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association Fund, the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Foundation, an anonymous donor, Horsley and Annie Townsend, Harold Lawson, Marjorie Caverhill, Harry W. Thorpe, David R. Morrice and Mona Prentice Bequests, and Harry A. Norton Fund, inv. 1988.5


Western Art

The depiction of the Italian campagna was a major artistic theme for foreign artists living in or visiting Rome. Jan Both quickly established a reputation as a landscapist. An accomplished painter, printmaker and draftsman, he specialized in Italianate landscapes and remarkably atmospheric, golden-toned pastoral scenes. His commercial success reflects a Dutch taste for local topography, with its associated nationalist appreciation for Netherlandish vistas, and for exotic themes such as Italian, sun-drenched vistas. This painting depicts a number of peasants moving leisurely along a route. The artist skilfully creates a “zig-zag” composition complemented by shifts of light and dark, giving the sense of a deep panorama. Claude’s landscape settings and rendering of atmospheric light evidently had an impact on him.

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