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Mountain Landscape with Hut and Vegetables
Swanevelt, Herman van
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Swanevelt, Herman van

Woerden (Netherlands), 1603 - Paris (France), 1655

See author's file

Mountain Landscape with Hut and Vegetables

1634 - 1639. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The painting entered the Museum`s holdings as a work of the school of Jan Both, but it is listed as an original by the painter in the 1843 catalogue. In 1973 Valdivieso identifies it as one of the landscapes recorded in the Buen Retiro inventory of 1701 and proposes it be ascribed to Herman van Swanevelt. This attribution is backed by Luna (1984), Barghahn (1986) and Steland (2001 and forthcoming), the latter of whom points out its stylistic similarity to various drawings signed by the painter in 1636, especially Landscape with Orchard and Saint Fiacre of Meaux at Prayer, which Steland attributes to Van Swanevelt. In her opinion, it is a reverse reproduction of the composition and elements of the present landscape, with minor changes.

As in the two previous landscapes, here too the composition is enclosed on either side and it stretches into the distance in the centre. However, the trees and the cabin which frame the composition on the right form a mass that is even more open than in Landscape with Carthusian (Saint Bruno)? (P2064), resulting in a more sweeping overall effect and a more naturalistic transition from foreground to background.

The pictorial treatment of the leaves and trunks of the trees on the right is characteristic of Van Swanevelt. The handling of the rocks is likewise very similar to that of the rock face in Landscape with Saint Benedict of Nursia (P2065). However, the pictorial treatment of the three small trees in the midground is different. These were added afterwards to unify the foreground and background. The same device is found in three of the Buen Retiro landscapes attributed here to Jan Both: Landscape with Carmelites (P2058), Landscape with Fisherman Family at Dusk (P2141) and Mountain Pass (P5443). The type and handling of the trees coincide in all of them.

But what is more, the X-ray image shows that the mountains in the background are noticeably outlined in light in a very similar way to Jan Both`s vertical landscapes. All this suggests his possible collaboration in this landscape. The earliest documentary reference to Both`s presence in Rome relates to his joining the Accademia di San Luca in 1638. His involvement in the present landscape would confirm his arrival to the city at an earlier date.

All authors agree that the figure of a hermit is missing from the painting. It has been speculated that the empty space in front of the rocks on the left may have been set aside for a court painter to include a local hermit whose iconography would not have been well known in Italy.

Barghahn (1986) suggests it could be Saint Isidore, the patron saint of Madrid, to whom one of the hermitages built in the grounds of the Buen Retiro was dedicated. However, it is also possible that no figure was intended and that the painting was designed simply as a landscape, since Van Swanevelt`s landscapes of about 1634-35 in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj -which are compositionally and stylistically very similar to those of the Buen Retiro- also include a canvas without figures.

As for the array of vegetables in the foreground, Luna believes it to have been executed by the artist who painted the flowers in Landscape with Carthusian (Saint Bruno)? (P2064). Capitelli ascribes it to the maker of the aforementioned drawing, which Steland attributes to Van Swanevelt. However, the X-ray image does not reveal the involvement of another painter. Indeed, the foreground of Noli me tangere features a group of cabbages very similar to those represented here (Text drawn from Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 329).


Technical data

Inventory number
Swanevelt, Herman van
Mountain Landscape with Hut and Vegetables
1634 - 1639
Height: 161 cm; Width: 234 cm
Paisajes para el Palacio del Buen Retiro
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701, [no. 158]; Buen Retiro, 1794, no. 631).

Bibliography +

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 177.

Inventarios reales: testamentaria del Rey Carlos II : 1701-1, II, Museo del PradoPatronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 289/ nº158.

Claudio de Lorena y el ideal clásico de paisaje en el siglo, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas, Madrid, 1984, pp. 192, nº68.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York, 1986, pp. 195,203.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº1475.

Galera, Esther, Herman van Swanevelt y la pintura de paisaje en la Colección Real española del siglo XVII, Goya: Revista de Arte, 280, 2001, pp. 21-29.

Steland, Anne Charlotte, Studien zu Herman van Swanevelt; Zeichunungen zu Fresken und Gemälden, Oud Holland, 2001/ 2002, pp. 19-56.

Capitelli, Giovanna, Los paisajes para el Palacio del Buen Retiro, En: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 256/ lám.84.

Jansen, Guido M.C., 'Herman van Swanevelt: zijn geschildere oeuvre' en Het zuiden tegemoet : de landschappen van Herman van Swaneve..., P.S. Items: Stadsmuseum Woerden, Woerden, 2007, pp. 33-47.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 212-214.

Steland, Anne Charlotte, Herman van Swanevelt (um 1603-1655): Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Michael Imhof, Petersberg, 2010, pp. 170-171.

Roma naturaleza e ideal: paisajes 1600-1650, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2011, pp. 73.

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. [158].
[158] Un Pais de dos Uaras y media de largo y siette quartas de alto Con Vna hermita y Uarias hortalizas Con marco dorado y tallado tasado en Settentta doblones ... 4.200

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1186.
1186.-(1457-N.)-País montañoso con grupos de árboles.-A la izquierda, en el primer término, hay una choza. / Alto 1,60; ancho 2,32.-L.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1457.
J. Both. / 1457. Pais montañoso con grupos de arboles. / En primer termino se ve a la izquierda una choza, y a la derecha por el suelo, verduras. / Alto 5 pies, 9 pulg; ancho 8 pies, 4 pulg.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 158.
158= Retiro= Otro de vna ermita y hortalizas igual alos antecedentes y del mismo autor lorenes.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 631.
{2994} Otra [pintura] de Claudio Lorenès. Un Pais con una Hermita, y rabanos en el suelo, de vara y tres quartas y media de alto y dos varas y tres quartas de ancho ... 5000

Inscriptions +

[Seis puntos de lacre rojo originalmente formando un rectángulo (de aprox,. 29x42 cm.) que podrían haber sujetado alguna etiqueta]
Wax seal. Back

158 [Sólo visible en la imagen radiográfica]
Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

Un Pais con Rabanos y ber-/zas en lienzo nº 196
Handwritten label. Stretcher

1 [¿457?] [Sólo visible en la imagen radiográfica] [Situado debajo del número 158]
Inscribed. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed. Stretcher

Inscribed in pen and ink. Stretcher

3 [Aparece dos veces]
Inscribed. Stretcher

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

5º grupo= (6 Cuadros)(Pais I
Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher

Inscribed with chalk. Back, left side

Nº 2057
Inscribed in pen and ink. Stretcher

Pais montañoso con grupo de / arboles/ pintor-Johannes Both/ s.XVII / 236 x 161
Inscribed with ballpoint. Stretcher

Inscribed with chalk. Back, right side

Inscribed. Stretcher

Exhibitions +

El palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro
06.07.2005 - 30.10.2005

Update date: 24-11-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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