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Title Studies of Cows' Heads
Alternative Title Study of Cows' Heads
Collection Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens, Barnsley
Artist Berchem, Nicolaes (Dutch painter, printmaker, and draftsman, 1620-1683)
Previously attributed to Cuyp, Aelbert (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1620-1691)
Date Earliest probably about 1650
Date Latest 1683
Description Berchem worked in Haarlem. He was the son of the still-life painter, Pieter Claesz with whom he first studied but he later adopted the surname of Berchem. Until the mid 1650s he signed Berghem. He subsequently studied with Jan van Goyen, Nicholas Moeyaert, Pieter de Grebber and Johannes Wils. A Dutch Italianate landscape painter, his work is close in style to that of Jan Both and Jan Asselyn. Although there is no documentary evidence, it is likely that he travelled to Italy between 1650-1653. He was one of the most prolific and best paid of the Italianate painters. These studies of animals are typical of Berchem's studies of this subject. Other examples include studies of goats.
Current Accession Number A1909
Subject animal (cow)
Measurements 23.9 x 29.1 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on paper (laid on canvas)
Acquisition Details Given by the National Art-Collections Fund 2002.
Provenance Bought from Messrs Rutley, London, by William Harvey of Barnsley, July 1863, £25 for 3 works; by descent to Henry Harvey, J. P. (1867-1879); by descent to William Harvey of Leeds by 1879-1917; given by William Harvey to National Loan Collection Trust, 19 June 1917; transferred to National Art-Collections Fund, 20 May 2002.
Principal Exhibitions Animals in Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1906-07, cat. no. 6, as Study of Cows' Heads by A. Cuyp; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1982-83; Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, Birmingham City Museums and Art Gallery, 1989-90.
Publications Animals in Art, London, 1907, cat. no. 6, p. 49, as Study of Cows' Heads by A. Cuyp; Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1919, 1920, 1928, 1930, 1937, cat. no. 5, ill. pp. 16-17, as by Berghem; Hofstede de Groot, Dr C., Catalogue raisonné of the Works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. 9, 1926, cat. no. 842, p. 271; Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1954, cat. no. 5, p. 3, as by Berghem; The William Harvey Collection of Dutch & Flemish Paintings, Cannon Hall Museum, 1975, cat. no. 6, p. 3; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds, 1982, p. 106; Wright, C., Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, Leeds, 1989, pp. 168, 274.
Notes

This painting was thought to be by Cuyp when it was purchased and was exhibited under this name in 1907. Johnny Van Haeften has confirmed the attribution to Berchem.

This painting is part of a collection formed by William Harvey of Barnsley (1811-1867). Harvey was a Quaker, whose family made its money in the linen industry. Most of the paintings were acquired between 1849 and 1866 through the dealer Thomas R. Rutley and his son Colonel J. L. Rutley. The company later traded as Messrs Rutley. The collection consists mainly of Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century paintings. On his death, the collection passed to Harvey's brother, Henry Harvey, J.P. (1814-1879). Nothing was added to the collection during this period and it was passed by descent to a nephew, William Harvey of Leeds. William Harvey of Leeds donated his collection to the National Loan Collection Trust in 1917. The purpose of the Trust was to lend pictures to regional galleries in England and the British Colonies. It was finally agreed to lend the collection on long term loan to Cannon Hall in Barnsley and in 2002 the collection was transferred to them on a permanent basis. The original invoice for this work survives at the NACF.

Rights Owner Cannon Hall Museum (Barnsley Metropolitan Council)
Author Dr Madeleine Korn
 

 

 

 

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