Dutch old master painting of animals in a landscape by Savery
Frame: Height 55cm, width 71cm, depth 5cm
Panel: Height 38cm, width 54cm, depth 1.5cm
This painting is a particularly important example of the artist’s work. Roelandt Savery, who flourished during the early decades of the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century, is renowned today for his idiosyncratic landscapes. The present painting portrays a broad collection of animals nestled into a river valley. The light is uncertain: it could be night, or day, lit by the Moon or the Sun. The uncertainty of the light matches the uncertain, disquieting feeling of the work overall. In the left middle ground is a small scene of St Hubert’s conversion, as the Saint sees a vision of a speaking crucifix between a deer’s antlers.
Savery was one of the most important artists of his day, spending an extended period in the court of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague. There, Savery was exposed to Rudolph’s vast collection of exotic animals, and he also travelled in the Bavarian and Austrian countysides. The present painting presents something of both experiences: a landscape that is in no way Dutch, and a variety of animals that could only be found in a zoo.
The oil on oak panel painting is signed and dated lower right ‘ROELANDT / SAVERFE / 1627’. It is contained within a carved wooden frame.