Hendrik Frans van Lint
Antwerp 1684 – 1763 Rome
A Pair of Landscapes with Figures on Horseback
oil on copper
6 ⅜ x 7 ⅝ inches each
16 x 19.2 cm
Hendrik Frans van Lint was born in Antwerp, but in the last years of the 17th century emigrated to to Rome where he remained for the rest of his life. While there, he joined the Bambocciani group of Northern European genre painters. As was customary, he was awarded a nickname, which in his case was ‘Studio’ because of his meticulous technique.
Van Lint’s precise style is akin to that of the Dutch expatriate topographical painter Gaspard van Wittel (1653-1736), whose views of Venice, Rome and Naples anticipated Canaletto’s and remain in high demand. However, he also admired the classical ideal landscapes of Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), whose paintings he sometimes closely imitated. Van Lint, in effect, provided the ideal souvenir for the Grand Tourist – a spectrum of accurate, semi-topographical or imaginary Arcadian views according to taste – but not only so; many of his landscapes entered prominent Italian collections, such as the Doria Pamphilj in Rome and Palazzo Bianco in Genoa.
The site of the present work has not been identified and may indeed be imaginary. It evokes a typical country estate in the Roman Campagna, which inserted pockets of order into an otherwise wild and desolate area. In the distance is the type of country mansion to which Roman families would retire to avoid the summer heat. The avenue of trees enhances the environs of the house and directs attention towards it. In the foreground is a gentrified hunting group, similar to those in the huntings scenes of the Dutch artist Philips Wouwerman in the previous century. To the left is a small farmhouse with tower, just like those in the landscapes of Claude Lorrain and sometimes imitated by English 18th century architects at home. ❖
Private collection, Rome
Caserta, Reggia di Caserta, Da Artemisia a Hackert. La collezione di un antiquario, 16 September 2019 – 16 January 2020
Marcella di Martino, Da Artemisia a Hackert. La collezione di un antiquario, Reggia di Caserta, Caserta, 2019, exh. cat., pp. 167-168, no. 77.