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Artist Designing After Nature

Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet

European Art

On View:
Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet here painted two figures on a low rise overlooking a panoramic view of a hill village and the surrounding flatlands. One, an artist, perches on a portable stool with a sketchbook on his knees, while his companion attends to their horses and steals a look at the scene as it develops on paper. The viewer is drawn into the space of the painting through two devices—the engaging eye of the brown horse and the empty patch of terrain in the right foreground.

The composition offers a glimpse of the working process of a seventeenth-century landscape painter, who might make outdoor sketches that would later serve as studies for larger, finished compositions executed in the studio.

MEDIUM Oil on cradled panel
  • Place Made: Netherlands
  • DATES after 1651
    DIMENSIONS 11 × 17 7/8 in. (27.9 × 45.4 cm) frame: 16 3/4 × 23 1/2 × 3 1/4 in. (42.5 × 59.7 × 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "AC"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Horace O. Havemeyer
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet (Dutch, 1642–1722). Artist Designing After Nature, after 1651. Oil on cradled panel, 11 × 17 7/8 in. (27.9 × 45.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Horace O. Havemeyer, 56.191 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.191_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 56.191_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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