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Landscape with a Nymph and a Satyr

Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem1647?

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

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With convincing naturalism, a cow turns its head to survey a group of figures resting above a crevice on a hillside. The satyr sleeps with his head on the lap of a nymph, and a young child playfully tugs at her arm. Cows and sheep rest around the family, completing the image of peaceful tranquility in this arcadian landscape. On the right side of the painting, trees grow at different angles on a rocky hillside sloping diagonally down toward a crevice or dry creek bed. In the far distance, hazy mountains give way to a light-blue sky with grayish-white clouds.

Nicolaes Berchem was fond of depicting idylls in imaginary Italian settings. The foliage and hilly landscape identify the location as typical of northern Italy, not Holland. Here he used a vertical format and suggested movement through the diagonals of the hillside and leaning trees. Framed by the large open expanse on the left, the standing cow, rather than the family group in the foreground, captures the viewer's attention.

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  • Title: Landscape with a Nymph and a Satyr
  • Creator: Nicolaes Berchem
  • Date: 1647?
  • Physical Dimensions: 68.6 x 58.4 cm (27 x 23 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Signed and dated at right edge: "Berchem 164[7?]"
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 71.PB.33
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S113
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Classification: Paintings

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