pen and brown ink, brown wash, traces of black chalk on paper
Bequest of the Honorable James Bowdoin III
This large landscape from James Bowdoin III’s collection reflects the artist’s firsthand experience of the Roman Campagna, but might very well have been created after his return to the Netherlands. Upon concluding his training in the studios of Jan Micker, Claes Moeyaert, and Abraham Bloemaert, Weenix traveled to Rome and joined a group of Dutch expatriate artists. The “Bentveughels,” or “Birds of a Feather,” were attracted to the landscapes around Rome and excelled in depicting its golden light. The work of another member, Nicholas Berchem, is exhibited nearby. Weenix’s drawing carefully articulates the foreground, where the banks of a cascading creek extend towards the viewer. A ruin further back is delineated with minimal effort and a view into the background is barely suggested with thin lines. While the landscape is barren, its richly nuanced and carefully lit rock formations continue to engage the viewer.