Flemish school, ca. 1600

A forest landscape

Establishing the authorship of the present drawing, which can be dated to around 1600, has proved impossible as of yet. As its size would suggest, it is most probably a loose sheet from a sketchbook, swiftly drawn as a memento or a quick exercise. According to Stefaan Hautekeete, curator of drawings at the Belgian Royal Library, it is thematically and stylistically related to drawings by the Flemish draughtsman Hans Bol from the 1580’s, though the somewhat looser and freer hand seen here would suggest a slightly later date of creation. Many artists from the circle of Bol, such as Hendrick Gysmans, Frans Boels, Jacob Savery of Jacob Grimmer, come to mind as possible authors. Even Roelant Savery has been suggested as the creator, as his “Rocky Bohemian Landscape” (dated 1603) kept in Bruges shows some similarities to the present work. However, as the drawn oeuvre of all these artists has not yet been studied in depth, narrowing the attribution down further is difficult.

Artist: Flemish school, ca. 1600
Medium: pen and brown ink on laid paper
Dimensions: 87 x 145 mm