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A One-year-old Boy with a Sheep

attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (Alkmaar c.1606 – Alkmaar 1678) or attributed to Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620 – Dordrecht 1691)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1639 (bears date)

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

991 x 787 mm (39 x 31 in)

Place of origin

Holland

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Collection

Polesden Lacey, Surrey (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Polesden Lacey, Surrey, London and South East, National Trust

NT 1246484

Caption

A partially-legible inscription on this Dutch portrait identifies the date of the picture and the age of the child, but not the sitter. All children of this age wore skirts although this figure is identified as a boy by the gold medal attached to his waist. The placid sheep and wild flowers, which grow almost as tall as the boy himself, allude to the Arcadian realm of simplicity and innocence with which wealthy patrons were often keen to associate with their offspring. The worn paint surface makes identifying the artist difficult, although it has been attributed to Cesar van Everdigngen and the young Aelbert Cuyp, who both produced comparable works.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, A One-year-old Boy with a Sheep, attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (Alkmaar c.1606 – Alkmaar 1678) or attributed to Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620 – Dordrecht 1691), inscribed, bottom left, "Oude i Jaer/1639" and indistinctly inscribed or signed "(?)J G cuyp fe". A full-length portrait of a young child, standing in a landscape, his left hand resting on the head of a sheep at his side, a branch held in his other hand, which the sheep is eating. The child is wearing a yellow coat and long skirt, white collar and cuffs, feathered bonnet and yellow coral chain hanging from his right shoulder with a medallion suspended on his left side.

Provenance

John, 2nd and last Marquess of Breadalbane (1796-1862), Taymouth Castle, Perthshire; thence by descent to his sister Lady Elizabeth Pringle (1794 - 1878); her daughters, Hon. Mrs Baillie Hamilton (d. 1911) and then Lady Harvey (d.1913); bequeathed by the latter to, the great-nephew by marriage of Sir Robert Bateson Harvey, Major the Hon. Thomas George Breadalbane Morgan-Grenville-Gavin (1891 - 1965), Langton, Duns, near Berwick; his sale, Christie's, 6.7.1917, lot 49 as signed and dated 1639 by Aelbert Cuyp; bought by Agnew in conjunction with M. Knoedler and Co., by whom offered unsuccessfully for sale in New York'; sold for £2,500 in 1920 to Mrs Greville by Agnew; Date of acquisition not recorded, but originally at 16 Charles Street, Mayfair, Mrs Greville's London home, and bequeathed by Margaret McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville (1863-1942) with Polesden Lacey, to the National Trust, in memory of her father, William McEwan (1827-1913) in 1942. This item found on the probate inventory record for Charles Street chattels at Polesden Lacey, found in the Dining Room, page 67.

Credit line

Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

oude i Jaer / 1639 / indistinct traces of signature (bottom left)

Makers and roles

attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (Alkmaar c.1606 – Alkmaar 1678) or attributed to Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620 – Dordrecht 1691), artist attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (Alkmaar c.1606 – Alkmaar 1678), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620 – Dordrecht 1691), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp (Dordrecht 1594 – Dordrecht 1651), artist

References

Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections (exh cat) (Christopher Wright) City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, October 1989 - January 1990., 51

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