Abraham Jansz Begeyn (1637-1697)

Artist Name Abraham Jansz Begeyn (1637-1697)
Title Golden Age Sheep and Goat in a Landscape
Description Abraham Begeyn, Dutch Golden Age painter and Prussian court painter painted this wonderful 17th century Old Master oil painting. Painted circa 1690 and signed lower right, the subject matter is sheep and a goat under a tree in the foreground, amongst beautiful flora and fauna. Through the trees one can see some classical ruins to the left and to the right some buildings with a shepherd and his flock in front of the buildings and mountains beyond. Above is a beautiful sky tinged with pink, suggestive of dawn. There is tremendous detail in the flora and fauna and also the sheep's woolly coat. Begeyn particularly favoured painting this sort of scene with the elements of landscape, ruins or buildings and animals and was a master at it and highly prized in the Netherlands. This is an excellent example of Begeyn's work and is good condition given its age as a 17th century Old Master oil painting. 

Signed lower right.  
Provenance Collection of Mr P. Vienna (label on the reverse)
Sale, Sotheby's, London, 18 October 1995, lot 70.
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 21 x 24 inches
Frame Housed in a gilt swept frame, 31 inches by 28 inches framed and in good condition.
Condition Good condition.
Biography Abraham Begeyn (c. 1637 Leiden - 11 June 1697 Berlin), was a Dutch Golden Age painter. Begeyn was born in Leiden. Though perhaps known mostly for his Italianate landscapes and cattle in the manner of Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem, Begyn was a highly skilled painter active in many genres, who travelled widely. According to the RKD, Begeyn's earliest known work is from 1653, though he was first accepted into the Guild of St. Luke in Leiden in 1655. He stopped paying dues in 1667, because he set off for a trip to Italy. He is registered in Rome and Naples from 1659–1660. In the rampjaar or disaster year, of 1672, he is registered in Amsterdam, and after that he lived in London, where he painted at Ham House, Surrey, together with Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633–1707) and Dirck van Bergen (1645–1690). In 1681 he was in the Hague where two years later he became a member of the painters' confraternity 'Pictura'. He moved to Berlin in 1688, where he became Prussian court painter. There his works were greatly prized, and, according to Houbraken, he was principal painter to Frederick III, the elector of Brandenburg, afterwards king of Prussia. He died of a heart attack when Augustinus Terwesten came to visit his studio, accompanied by two other painters. It is highly possible that he felt put under great pressure by Terwesten to perform, since Terwesten had also become court painter in Berlin and had also started an academy there, which opened in 1697. Begeyn died in Berlin. In many collections in the Netherlands, the pictures of Begeyn are placed amongst those of the most admired masters. His pencilling is light and free, and his colouring very agreeable. Many of his works are landscapes like Peasants with Cattle by a Ruin, with views of rivers, ruins, and pieces of architecture, enriched with figures and a variety of animals. He is also known for his still life paintings of flowers and hunting paraphernalia.
Price £8750
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