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A Fortified Town on a Rocky Outcrop



Follower of Joos De Momper The Younger (1564-1635)
A Fortified Town on a Rocky Outcrop
oil on panel
AGLC 275 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

This panel shows several people near a walled town on a mountain top, with armed men in the foreground. In the background on the left there is a view towards a distant horizon, which is coloured in blue. Notwithstanding its small dimensions and a seemingly fragmentary image, the panel is not a fragment of a once larger composition. All four sides of the oak board on the reverse show that the panel is bevelled, generally an indication that the original dimensions of a painting on wood have been preserved. Bevelling of oak panels along all four sides to a thickness of a few millimetres at the edges was standard practice in the Netherlands during the 17th century. It allowed the panel to be fitted into the shallow rabbet of a frame. When panels are reduced in size, some or all of the bevelling disappears, although this is not always the case, as nowadays the backs of many panels have been planed smooth in order to apply cradles.1 The work in the A. G. Leventis Collection was said to have been painted in the manner of Pieter Bout (1658-1719) and Adriaen Frans Boudewijns (1644-1711), two Flemish artists from the period of around 1700 who frequently worked together in the production of landscapes and panoramic views. However, the view towards a blue horizon on the left indicates that this work was created much earlier, under the influence of the work of Joos de Momper. He primarily painted landscapes, for which he was well-regarded during his lifetime. He painted panoramic landscapes, viewed from a high vantage point and employing a more or less fixed colour scheme, with tones of brown dominating the foreground, shades of green for the middle and blue as the main colour for the background. The view in blue on the left allows us to place the maker of this panel in this tradition

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About the artist

De Momper was an important Antwerp landscape painter. In particular, he painted panoramic landscapes, viewed from a high vantage point, and the influence of Peter Brueghel the Elder is evident in his works.

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