Menu logoclose icon

Bowdoin College BCMA Logo Museum of Art

  • "Claudio Gille detto Loranese"
    Type: inscription
    Location: former mount (lost)
  • James Bowdoin III( Collector, Boston) - 1811.
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art( Museum, Brunswick, Maine) 1811- . Bequest
  • Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 5/17/1985 - 7/7/1985)
    • Clark Art Institute. ( 9/14/1985 - 10/27/1985)
    • University of Kansas. ( 1/19/1986 - 3/2/1986)
    • Art Gallery of Ontario. ( 5/17/1986 - 6/29/1986)
  • Nature Inhabited
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 4/20/1995 - 6/4/1995)
  • Teachers of Rembrandt
    • E. B. Crocker Art Gallery. ( 12/7/1974 - 1/26/1975)
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 68
Remarks: (as Claude Lorraine)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Pt. I, The Bowdoin Drawings
Date: 1885

Author: Rev. F. H. Allen
Document Title: The Bowdoin Collection
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pt. 3
Reference: no. 12, repr.
Remarks: (as Claude)
Section Title: [five parts of four illustrations each, with individual texts]
Date: 1886

Author: F. J. Mather, Jr.
Document Title: Art in America, vol. II, no. 2
Location: p. 112
Reference: fig. 5
Remarks: ("ascribed" to Claude)
Section Title: Drawings by Old Masters at Bowdoin College Ascribed to Northern Schools:  II
Date: 1914

Author: Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Document Title: Bowdoin Museum of Fine Arts, Walker Art Building
Edition: 4th
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: 71
Remarks: (as Claude)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Descriptive Catalogue of the . . .
Date: 1930

Author: A. Tümpel
Document Title: Oud Holland, vol. 88, no. 4
Location: p. 259, under no. 107
Reference: fig. 241
Remarks: (as Moeyaert)
Section Title: Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert --Katalog der Gemälde
Date: 1974

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: David P. Becker
Document Title: Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pp. 36-37
Reference: no. 15 (illus.)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: Julia W. Vicinus
Document Title: Nature Inhabited
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: p. 12
Reference: no. 7
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1995

This sheet was published several times with its traditional attribution to Claude, though both Allen and Mather noted the obvious Dutch characteristics of the figures and their costume. Sir Robert Witt dismissed the Claude attribution and also recognized that this is a counterproof of another drawing. The correct attribution to Moeyaert was made by Lugt in 1945 and later affirmed by Judson and Tümpel. A counterproof was made by placing a blank sheet of paper over a drawing (usually chalk) and rubbing it with great pressure, thus transferring an impression of the earlier sheet in reverse. The process was often employed to copy a design or to experiment with such compositional reversals. A counterproof also enabled an artist to develop a subject further while retaining an earlier stage of the design.

The clearest indication that this sheet is a counterproof lies in the fact that most of the shading lines go from upper left to lower right, which is opposite from Moeyaert's normal stroke (as can be seen in BCMA 1811.94.) His usual technique indicates that he was right-handed; the direction of the shading here would be difficult to execute with the right hand.1 A chalk counterproof usually exhibits a characteristic smooth surface, and red chalk examples often have an orange coloration.

Tümpel does not ascribe a date to this drawing, though it can be tentatively associated with others from the 1630s, such as two sheets also in chalk in Amsterdam.2 There are three references to paintings by Moeyaert of this subject in Tümpel's catalogue: one in a north German private collection, one listed on the art market in 1950, and one cited in a 1653 estate inventory.3 The original drawing from which this counterproof was taken is not known.

David P. Becker

1. I am grateful to Miss Agnes Mongan for these observations concerning the general appearance of counterproofs.

2. Sacramento 1974, p. 37, figs. 57—58.

3. Ibid., p. 104, and Tümpel 1974, p. 259, nos. 107-109.

Commentary credited to David P. Becker (or not otherwise captioned) appeared in his catalogue Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College (Brunswick: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1985).