Lisse, Dirck

(The Hague 1607 - 1669 The Hague)

Nymphs bathing

Oil on panel
42 x 70 cm
Signed

Price on request
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Nymphs bathing
<p>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<span style="font-family: " times="" new="" font-size:="">Sale, Vienna (Dorotheum), 24 March 2018, lot 284</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family: " times="" new="" font-size:="">Diana, the goddess of the Hunt, is seated with her back to the viewer on her white chemise and a red drapery. She is surrounded by her retinue of nymphs. The harvest of hours of hunting is lying near her, along with hunting gear. More nymphs bath on the other side of the brook. It is a sunny day and the sky is azure blue.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;mso-pagination:none"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">Van der Lisse&rsquo;s entire oeuvre betrays a debt to Cornelis van Poelenburch (1594-1667) and his stamp is also clearly visible in our work. We even see a quotation from Poelenburch&rsquo;s works, such as the figure of Diana.<a style="mso-endnote-id:edn1" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_edn1" name="_ednref1" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[i]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></a> Van der Lisse generally took his cue from his master&rsquo;s early style.<a style="mso-endnote-id:edn2" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_edn2" name="_ednref2" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[ii]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></a> And he emulated his former teacher by adding a higher degree of sophistication to the staffage figures. The present work is a good example of the type of refined cabinet-sized pictures Van der Lisse excelled in and that were so popular.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">Although the figures enlivening his landscapes are invariably quite small they don&rsquo;t take the backseat but are just as important as the setting. Just like his tutor, Van der Lisse had a strong preference for bucolic and mythological figures as well as protagonists from historic or literary tales. As is the case here, many of his scenes are composed on panels with a stretched panoramic format, enabling him to show varied scenery. <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">The theme of Diana bathing with her nymphs is without a doubt Van der Lisse&rsquo;s most favourite. Van der Lisse often depicted the story told among others by Ovid in his <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Metamorphoses</i> of the hunter Acteaon who accidentally discovered the naked Diana and her female companions as they were bathing on Mount Cithaeron. To punish him she transformed him into a stag and next he was pursued and killed by his fifty hounds. There is no Actaeon to be discerned in our painting but it does seem the artist is implicitly referring to this widely known and often-depicted tale by putting the viewer in the role of voyeur and making him an Actaeon. Numerous related scenes with sleeping nymphs also feature a satyr or shepherd secretly admiring them. The very act of peeping at female nudes is quite regularly a key element in such paintings by Van der Lisse. <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">On closer inspection it emerges that Van der Lisse is staging another story here. One of the nymphs on the opposite bank gets special attention from the others and she tries in vain to cover her belly with a piece of cloth. One nymph rushes across the stream towards Diana, as if she has an urgent message. The story as related, again, by Ovid of the nymph Callisto who was seduced by Jupiter in the guise of Diana, became pregnant and was expelled by the enraged Diana, since she only allowed virgins as her companions, was popular in art and was treated a number of times by Van der Lisse.<a style="mso-endnote-id:edn3" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_edn3" name="_ednref3" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[iii]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></a><span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">The moral lesson conveyed by the depiction of the stories of Actaeon and Callisto were the same, as Eric Jan Sluijter points out: &lsquo;They were examples of youths who succumbed to the temptations of the senses and consequently were ruined&rsquo;. Both Actaeon and Callisto fell in disgrace.<a style="mso-endnote-id:edn4" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_edn4" name="_ednref4" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[iv]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></a> The former because he allowed his eyes to see Diana naked, the latter because she foolishly allowed her Jupiter to deceive her.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">As no dated works by Van der Lisse have come down to us, his stylistic development cannot be sketched in detail. Possibly, as with his teacher Poelenburch, his style did not undergo marked changes. All this makes dating the present work arduous if not impossible. Given the finely balanced composition and the superb treatment of the nudes our painting will not be a juvenile work, but more likely mature production. Another clue in dating our painting is the distinct influence of Jan Both (1618-22-1652), who had returned to Utrecht around 1642. Reminiscent of Both for instance is the clump of trees closing off the scene at the left, especially the light playing on the tree trunks, the hazy atmosphere in the distance and the waterfalls. All this seems to plead in favour of a dating from the beginning of the 1640s onwards.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;mso-pagination:none"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">Dirck van der Lisse is arguably Cornelis van Poelenburch&rsquo;s most gifted pupil. He was born as the youngest son of Abraham Claesz van der Lisse.<a style="mso-endnote-id:edn5" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_edn5" name="_ednref5" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[v]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></a> In 1625 he had his testament drafted, possibly because he was planning to travel abroad. The following year, however, we find him in Utrecht, no doubt to train with Poelenburgh who had just returned from Italy. In 1635 a group of artists, Van der Lisse among them, received a prestigious commission from the court to paint a series of works to decorate a room of Amalia van Solms in Palace Honselaarsdijk. In the second half of the 1630s Van der Lisse divided his time between Utrecht and The Hague. In 1639 he married a noble woman, Anna Petronella van der Houve, Lady of Campen, Geersdijke and Wissekerke. In 1642 the family settled in Amsterdam. By 1644 Van der Lisse was back in The Hague and here registered with the Guild of Saint Luke. Two years after his first wife had died, Dirck married Maria Both. He was highly respected in artistic circles, fulfilling leading positions within the guild, and from 1659 repeatedly served as a burgomaster in The Hague. All this time, he continued to paint. He died a wealthy man owning a collection of about 100 paintings. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new=""><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">Notes<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <div style="mso-element:endnote-list"><!--[if !supportEndnotes]--><br clear="all" /> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <!--[endif]--> <div style="mso-element:endnote" id="edn1"> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><a style="mso-endnote-id:edn1" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_ednref1" name="_edn1" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[i]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"> A similar composition by Poelenburch of the same theme in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg shows Diana similarly seen on her back although the pose is not exactly the same, see: N. Sluijter-Seijffert, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Cornelis van Poelenburch 1594/5-1667: the paintings</i>, [Amsterdam] 2016, pp. 131, 331, no. 119, ill. <o:p></o:p></span></p> </div> <div style="mso-element:endnote" id="edn2"> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><a style="mso-endnote-id:edn2" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_ednref2" name="_edn2" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[ii]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"> Especially from works Poelenburch made when he had just returned from Italy, as remarked by Albert Blankert, see: A. Blankert, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Nederlandse 17e eeuwse italianiserende landschapschilders</i>, exh. cat. Utrecht (Centraal Museum) 1965, p. 108.<o:p></o:p></span></p> </div> <div style="mso-element:endnote" id="edn3"> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><a style="mso-endnote-id:edn3" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_ednref3" name="_edn3" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[iii]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"> A version by his own hand is even listed in Van der Lisse&rsquo;s own estate. </span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt">See: B. Broos, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Liefde, list &amp; lijden: historiestukken in het Mauritshuis</i>, The Hague 1993, p. 198.<o:p></o:p></span></p> </div> <div style="mso-element:endnote" id="edn4"> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><a style="mso-endnote-id:edn4" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_ednref4" name="_edn4" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[iv]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"> See: E.J. Sluijter, &lsquo;Depiction of Mythological Themes&rsquo;, in A. Blankert et al., <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Gods, saints and heroes: Dutch painting in the age of Rembrandt</i>, exh. cat. Washington (National Gallery of Art), Detroit (Detroit Institute of Art) and Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 1980, p. 58. </span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt">See also Sluijter&rsquo;s discussion of these two themes in: E.J. Sluijter, &lsquo;Over prestige, wedijver, erotiek en moraal: mythologie en naakt in de Hollandse schilderkunst van de 16de en 17de eeuw&rsquo;, in: P. Schoon &amp; S. Paarlberg (eds.), <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Griekse goden en helden in de tijd van Rubens en Rembrandt</i>, exh. cat. Athens (National Pinakothek), Dordrecht (Dordrechts Museum) 2000-01, pp. 45-49. <o:p></o:p></span></p> </div> <div style="mso-element:endnote" id="edn5"> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><a style="mso-endnote-id:edn5" href="https://bijlvanurk.sharepoint.com/sites/BijlvanUrk524/Gedeelde%20documenten/General/Schilderijen%20oud%20A%20-%20M/Lisse,%20Dirck%20van%20der/2018%20-%204%20-%2024/Lisse-Diana%20Discovering%20the%20Pregnancy%20of%20Callisto-BVU.docx#_ednref5" name="_edn5" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB"><span style="mso-special-character:footnote"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span class="MsoEndnoteReference"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:" times="" new="">[v]</span></span><!--[endif]--></span></span></span></a><span style="font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt"> For a detailed account of Van der Lisse&rsquo;s life and career, see: E. Buijsen (ed.), <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Haagse schilders in de Gouden Eeuw: Het Hoogsteder Lexikon van alle schilders werkzaam in Den Haag 1600-1700</i>, Zwolle 1998, pp. 194-199, 325.<o:p></o:p></span></p> </div> </div>

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