Experts Attribute Six New Works to Dutch Master Hercules Segers

Some will go on display for the first time in 50 years.

Woodland Path, canvas on panel, 16.1 x 22.7 cm, ca. 1618-20. Private Collection. Image Courtesy: ArtDaily.
Woodland Path, canvas on panel, 16.1 x 22.7 cm, ca. 1618-20. Private Collection. Image Courtesy: ArtDaily.

Seventeenth-century painter and printmaker Hercules Segers has been known to have painted around twelve major works in his lifetime—until very recently, that is, when a research team of specialists from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam added six more to the list. Four of these new works, had been previously unknown.

A favorite of Rembrandt, who incidentally owned eight of his paintings, Segers’s work is often described as “printed paintings” in accordance with his unusual technique for the time.

Hercules Segers, Mountain Valley with Fenced Fields (1625-30) Kupferstich-Kabinett Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden. Photo Courtesy: Rijksmuseum.

Hercules Segers, Mountain Valley with Fenced Fields (1625-30). Kupferstich-Kabinett Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden. Courtesy: Rijksmuseum.

Art historians had agreed upon 10 or 12 paintings as belonging to the artist’s practice, but extensive research into the matter by a team of Rijksmuseum specialists who referred to the materials and techniques to conduct an exhaustive survey of the works, has found that to be otherwise. The paintings in question are: Woodland Path, canvas on panel (1618-20); Landscape with a Windmill, canvas (1620-25); Mountain Landscape, panel (1625-30); River Landscape with Figures, panel (1625-30); Panoramic Landscape with Two Towers, panel (1625-30); and Panoramic Landscape with a Town on a River, panel (1625-30).

“Very seldom can one add so many new paintings to such a small oeuvre…. that we can show so much unknown work by this most innovative artist of the Golden Age,” said Taco Dibbits, the General Director of the Rijksmuseum in a press release.

Hercules Segers, The Mossy Tree (1625-30) Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Photo Courtesy: Rijksmuseum.

Hercules Segers, The Mossy Tree (1625-30) Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Courtesy: Rijksmuseum.

A major retrospective of Segers’s work is to open on October 7 at the Rijksmuseum, the most comprehensive one of his work yet, with one hundred and ten prints by the artists, as well as the “new” paintings, which otherwise sit in private collections. The exhibition will then travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York next year.

Works such as Woodland Path, Panoramic Landscape with a Town on a River and Panoramic Landscape with Two Towers, all of which are in private collections, have never been seen before by the public. For instance, Mountain Landscape, from Hovingham Hall in England, was last shown almost fifty years ago. The exhibition will run until January 8, 2017.


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