Two Ruins. (Huys te Kleef near Haarlem)
A. P. van den Briel (Lugt 407a)
Van der Kellen and Hollstein 37/probably II (of III); Haverkamp Begemann vG 23/probably II (of III)
Watermark: foolscap (fragment)
One of only three landscapes with ruins from Buytewech’s famous series >Verscheyden Lantschapjes< in an excellent, delicately toned impression of superb atmospheric charm. With the artist’s monogram and the number “3”.
Rare, like all the artist’s landscapes, that characteristically connects his alive observation of nature with his own sense for the ornamental value of the line.
With ca. 1.5 cm margins. Impeccable and pristine.
Buytewech’s vision of the ruins of the Huys te Kleef is simpler and more dramatic than Visscher’s animated view in the “Pleasant Places” series. The horizon line is low, on the viewer’s eye level, and we enter directly into a continuously flowing landscape space that extends to the distant dunes. The dramatic silhouetting of the ruins against the sky, with its subtle suggestion of a sunset atmosphere, is intensified by the low horizon line. Buytewech has chosen to see the ruins from another angle than Visscher, emphasizing their desolation by isolating them and reducing the living human presence to a single, small anonymous figure at the lower left, a peasant with his burden trudging homeward. This figure is so well integrated into the fabric of the landscape as to be almost invisible on first viewing. One of the most quietly radical aspects of Buytewech’s series is that landscapes are either totally devoid of human figures or, more frequently, populated by only a single figure so unified with the landscape as to seem part of it. (C. S. Ackley)