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A Dutch Italianate, Adriaen Van de Velde represents a point of artistic crosscommunication across borders, fusing agricultural landscapes in Holland with mythological Arcadian scenes in Italian settings. He died at the early age of 35, and yet he produced a great number of masterpieces that earned him tremendous posthumous fame in the 18th and 19th centuries, when he was one of the most sought-after names among collectors in Germany, France and England. Compared to Mozart's chamber music by the renowned art historian Wolfgang Stechow (1896-1974), Van de Velde's works are delicate and carefully composed and demonstrate his mastery of lighting effects as well as the human figure. His father Willem van de Velde the Elder and brother of the Younger were both marine painters, who in the winter of 1672-73 moved from Leiden to England to work in the service of King Charles II. Adriaen, by contrast, almost certainly never travelled outside his native country and chose to paint landscapes rather than seascapes. His meadows, Italianate views, beaches, dunes, forests, winter scenes and portraits in landscape settings and are among the very best that the Dutch Golden Age has produced. Moreover, the artist's drawings are widely considered to be a high point in 17th-century Dutch draughtsmanship. Yet despite his fame in previous centuries and the exquisite quality of his work, there has never been an exhibition devoted to the artist. As well as bringing together 60 of his finest works, the publication will reunite the paintings with their preparatory studies in seductive red chalk or pen and ink for the first time, making it possible to follow very precisely the various phases in the artist's creative process - perhaps more so than is possible for any other Dutch artist of the period. The publication will therefore offer not only a survey of the artist's oeuvre but also a rare glimpse of a seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painter at work, from conception to completion.
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The foremost landscape painter of his generation ... excellent catalogue. -- Mark Hedges Country Life Magazine

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