Jacob Savery (c. 1565-1603)
View of a City with a Bridge, 1585
Gouache on Parchment - 12 x 22 cm
Photo : Broelmuseum
31/5/12 - Acquisitions - Courtrai, Broelmuseum - The Broelmuseum recently acquired a small landscape by the miniaturist painter and draughtsman Jacob Savery, born in Courtrai, Belgium . This charming View of a City with a Bridge which joins a later work by the artist already at the same museum, was purchased from the P. De Boer Gallery in Amsterdam. Previously, it had been auctioned at Christie’s New York for $21,250 (including charges) on 26 January 2011. When comparing the auction photograph with the one provided by the Broelmuseum it appears that the painting has been restored.
Dating from 1585 and no doubt produced during the artist’s stay in Haarlem, it is similar to two other views which Savery painted at the same period : Landscape with the Story of Jephte’s Daughter at the Rijksmuseum and City near the Bay at the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. These three landscapes reveal the same background in bluish gray and the motif of a city on the shore of a body of water. In the foreground on the right, we see a man, a woman and a child which seem to indicate that this landscape, just like the one in the Rijksmuseum is in fact a scene from the Bible, perhaps Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael.
There are very few known paintings by Jacob Savery but there is an obvious influence here by Hans Bol under whom he studied in Antwerp and who produced many gouache miniatures between 1567 and 1592 representing minutely detailed landscapes and city views in green and blue tones. Later, Savery would be more marked by Bruegel. A brother of Roelandt Savery, Jacob Savery I, was active in Haarlem around 1587, when he became a member of the painter’s guild in that city then moved to Amsterdam in 1591 where he died in 1603.
The Broelmuseum has also acquired two engravings after drawings by Jacob Savery. The first is a large landscape with Saint John the Baptist, the second one represents David and Jonathan.