A Road through a Wood

Nicolaes Pieterszoon BerchemProbably late 1640s

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery

This painting is large by Berchem’s standards. Nevertheless, the young artist has controlled the space with a series of brilliant diagonals upwards to the sky, and brought light and air into play through the pure blue stripe of distant hills visible through the trees.

Cattle, a conversing milkmaid and other figures in the foreground make up a typically sleepy scene. This moment is transformed by two huntsmen galloping out of the frame to the right, one of whom has just fired his rifle.

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  • Title: A Road through a Wood
  • Date: Probably late 1640s
  • Physical Dimensions: w894 x h1191 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Murray suggests ?London, Christie's, John Bligh Darnley, 4th Earl of Darnley sale, ?8 May 1802, lot 21 (‘An upright Landscape with Cattle and Figures'). Bt Bourgeois, £67.4; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811 HOWEVER the full description is 'An upright landscape with figures, a beautiful little picture' and the size given in manuscript on the copy cited by the GPI is '10h 8 P' ie. 10 x 8. Therefore this purchase cannot be DPG122.
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Noel Desenfans and/or Sir Francis Bourgeois: 1804 Insurance List, no. 87; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Artist: Berchem, Nicolaes Pietersz
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)