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The forest of Soignies

Jacques d' Arthois (1613 - 1686)

The forest of Soignies
17. Jahrhundert
Picture size 106.50 x 163.50 cm
Framesize 120.00 x 179.00 x 6.50 cm
Currently not in the exhibition
Flemish Baroque
© Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Illustration Fotostudio Ulrich Ghezzi, Oberalm

Rapid brush-strokes and the typical Flemish blend of brown, green and blue is particularly evident in d’Arthois’ Landscape with Shepherd. In the foreground left, a shepherd sits on a brown hill under a huge tree, the foliage dabbed on with a specially-bound natural-hair brush. In this idyllic scene, the shepherd is leaning against the tree, playing a pipe, while his sheep on the hilltop guide the eye into the river landscape beyond. Framed by trees, distant fields and meadows lie between river and mountain range, in countless shades of green merging into blue in golden sunlight. The landscape is animated by isolated architectural elements such as churches and a moated castle with a smoking chimney. The Forest of Soignies, from the collection of Lord Belper of Knowsley Hall in Derbyshire, is of biographical interest. In the latter half of the 17th century, d’Arthois was considered the leading exponent of the Brussels school of landscape painting. One of his houses stood in this region, near Brussels; here he made preliminary sketches for his landscapes, in which artists such as David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690) and Caspar de Crayer (1584– 1669) painted the staffage figures.
Structure and colouration of both paintings are similar. Yellow and brown shades in the foliage indicate the relentless progress of the seasons. In the smaller Landscape with Shepherd (Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Inv.-no. 443), the orange clouds contribute greatly to the golden ambience of early autumn. Warm sunlight dominates the scene, while the large-scale Forest of Soignies (Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Inv.-no. 493) shows a variety of mood. More delicate orange, intense blue and greenish-blue in the foliage make for a cooler atmosphere.

DUCKE Astrid: Arthois Jacques d', Landscape with shepherd, Forest of Soignies, in: DUCKE Astrid, HABERSATTER Thomas, OEHRING Erika: Masterworks. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg 2015, p. 66

More artworks by Jacques d' Arthois

Landscape with shepherd

Landscape with shepherd

Jacques d' Arthois

Inv. no. 443