Nicolaes Berchem the Elder, Dutch, 1620/1621 - 1683
Title: A Deer Hunt
Medium: Black chalk on paper
Dimensions:
24.1 × 38.7 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 2022
Object Number: NGI.2022.45
DescriptionFull of energy, the composition focuses our attention on the stag who jumps in terror, while hunters on horseback close in. Other members of the hunt stand by with guns and other weapons while excited dogs are ready to leap into the fray. The mark-making is confident and gives the impression that the artist was familiar with his subject matter. The sense of movement and light achieved in this complex scene marks Berchem out as a brilliant draughtsman. The drawing is one of a number of hunting scenes, two of which are in the British Museum’s collection.
ProvenanceRalph Willett (1719-1795) (according to an inscription on the verso); possibly the artist Arnoldus Stevens; sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., Amsterdam, 7 December 1795, Kunstboek A, lot 71 ('Een Italiaansch Bergagtig Landschap, gestoffeert met Jagers; vlug met zwart kryt geteekent door N. Berchem'; sold for 1 guilder together with lot 72); possibly Willem [?] T. Groen;sale, Amsterdam, Gartman, 2 November 1813, Kunstboek KB [?], lot 29 ('Een boomryk Landschap, met een Hertenjagt, met zwart Kryt, door N. Berghem'); Thomas Dimsdale (1758-1823), London (L.2426); probably with Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), London; Peregrine Francis Adelbert Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow (1899-1978), Belton House, Lincolnshire; sale, London, Sotheby's, 14 July 1926, part of lot 79 ('Stag Hunt. Black chalk. And another'; probably bought by Parsons).
with Parsons, London, from whom purchased by I.Q. van Regteren Altena (1899-1980) in October 1926 for 100 guilders (Inventory book: '219. t. C.P. Berchem hertenjacht'); his sale, London, Christie's, 10 July 2014, lot 57;
Sotheby’s London, 6 July 2022, lot 30.
Exhibition HistoryRotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Paris, Fondation Custodia, and Brussels, Bibliothèque Albert 1er, Le Cabinet d’un Amateur: Dessins flamands et hollandais des XVIe et XVIIe siècles d’une collection privée d’Amsterdam, 1976-77, no. 12, pl. 74 (catalogue by J. Giltaij).
Inscriptionlower right (in pencil): .V.

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