Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape

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Jan Frans Soolmaker (Flanders 1635‑1685)

Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape

oil on relined canvas
canvas size 56 x 53 cm
frame included

Compare with the signed painting by Soolmaker sold at Sotheby’s London, 7 July 1999, lot 453.

Provenance:
The collection of Swedish Prince Fredrik Adolf (1750-1803);
The collection of Pär Ulmgren (1767-1846), no. 32;
The collection of Gösta Stenman (1888-1947), inv. no. 885;
Engineer and politician Gustaf Henry Hansson (1894‑1976), probably acquired from the above;
Thence by descent until 2021

Essay:
This painting depicts a pastoral scene that is attributed to the artist Jan Frans Soolmaker, an artist known for his Italianate landscapes and scenes that often feature equestrian and Arcadian elements. The painting is not signed but is attributed to Soolmaker, relating it to a known signed work by the artist that was sold at Sotheby’s London in 1999.

The scene is suffused with the warm glow of a setting or rising sun, casting a soft light that is characteristic of Soolmaker’s landscapes. It shows a shepherd guiding a group of cattle across a shallow stream, with the animals taking center stage in the composition. The animals are rendered with careful attention to their forms and the play of light on their bodies, which is a hallmark of Soolmaker's work. The landscape is composed of a rocky terrain with trees and shrubbery, creating a sense of depth and natural beauty that invites the viewer to explore the scene further.

The background suggests a vast, open landscape with distant mountains, which adds to the Italianate feel of the painting. The sky is dramatic, with clouds catching the light of the sun, contributing to the overall serene yet dynamic atmosphere of the work.

The provenance of the painting is notable, having been in the possession of significant historical figures such as Swedish Prince Fredrik Adolf, and later The collection of Pär Ulmgren, The collection of Gösta Stenman, and Engineer and politician Gustaf Henry Hansson.

Potential buyers have the option of choosing between a newly made gold frame or an older brown frame, which allows for personalization in how the work is presented.

Soolmaker’s work is often compared to that of Dutch painter Nicolaes Berchem, whose style he emulated. Soolmaker's landscapes reflect a similar sensitivity to light and composition, making his works sought after for their beauty and historical significance. Despite the smaller body of work left by Soolmaker, due to his short career, his paintings are valued for their craftsmanship and the legacy of the artist’s brief but impactful contribution to the Dutch Italianate landscape genre.

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Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape
Jan Frans Soolmaker - Shepherd with Sheep, Cows and a Goat in a Landscape