Description & Technical information

Frederik de Moucheron’s A Hawking Party at the Foot of an Ornamental Staircase, with a Mountainous Landscape beyond presents the preparations for a hunt, amidst a splendid, classical landscape. The figures, painted by Moucheron’s frequent collaborator Adriaen van de Velde, are set in the shadow of an imposing ornamental staircase. Flanking the staircase are two pedestals, crowned by a monumental urn and a sculpture of Apollo playing the lyre. This sculpture appears elsewhere in de Moucheron’s work, for example the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Rocky Landscape with a Statue, a Broken Column and Figures.¹

The present work is typical of Moucheron’s work, and particularly comparable to the Louvre’s Setting off for the Hunt, which also depicts a hunting party at the foot of an ornamental staircase. Additionally, Mr Bart Cornelis has compared the execution of van de Velde’s figures to his A Hawking Party, in the Royal Collection, painted just a year before.

Moucheron’s paintings show the influence of the second generation of Dutch Italianate artists, particularly Jan Both and Jan Asselijn, the latter with whom he trained in Amsterdam before settling in France for a few years. However, there is no concrete evidence that he himself made the customary trip to Italy.² The present work, with its tall trees and feathery leafage, shows the particular influence of Both.

After his sojourn in France, Moucheron spent the majority of his career in Amsterdam, where he enjoyed a highly successful career. In addition to van de Velde, he frequently collaborated with artists including Johannes Lingelbach, Nicolaes Berchem and Dirck Helmbreker. His son Isaac de Moucheron, who was apprenticed to him, also went on to specialise in Italianate views, and as Nina Wedde has said, ‘Their repective artistic oeuvres certainly show the existence of a close relationship’.

We are grateful to Mr. Bart Cornelis for confirming that the figures in this picture were painted by van de Velde.

¹ Inv. no. 480-1882.
² Wedde, N., Isaac de Moucheron (1667-1744): his Life and Works with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Drawings, Watercolours, Paintings, and Etchings, vol. 1, (Peter Lang, 1996), p. 25.

Date:  1667
Period:  1600-1750, 17th century
Origin:  Germany
Medium: Oil on canvas
Signature: Signed and dated 'Moucheron f 1667' (lower right).

Dimensions: 86.3 x 72.7 cm (34 x 28⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: with Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London;
purchased in 1961 by Sir James Hunter-Blair, 7th Baronet (1889-1985), Blairquhan Castle, Scotland, for £600;
by descent to Sir Edward Hunter-Blair, 8th Baronet (1920-2006).
Literature: Francis Russell, 'Confidence and Taste: The Blairquhan Collection' in Country Life, 14 August 1986, p.502;
Nina Wedde, Isaac de Moucheron (1667-1744): his Life and Works with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Drawings, Watercolours, Paintings, and Etchings,vol. 1, (Peter Lang, 1996), p.30.
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints