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Laurent de La Hyre

Landscape with Swineherd


Laurent de La Hyre
Paris 1606 – Paris 1656


Landscape with Swineherd




Oil on canvas


60.4 x 77.5 cm


Purchase, gift of Murray G. Ballantyne and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1972.4


Western Art

La Hyre’s landscapes can be dated between the mid-1640s and mid-1650s. They are the French equivalent of the views of the Roman campagna that the famous landscape painter Claude Lorrain was creating at the time. Their magic lies in the balance of classicism and a more Northern naturalism. While the sculpture and the ruins of a temple (probably inspired by the Roman temple at Tivoli in Italy) in this painting allude to antiquity, the vast panorama in all its atmospheric splendour evokes the Seine Valley, with a chateau and town in the distance. La Hyre's interest in the science of perspective is reflected in both the panorama and the foreshortened horse. The work's appeal is fundamentally visual.

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