JAN ASSELIJN (Dutch, c. 1610-1652)
    Battle Scene, 1635
    Oil on canvas
    26 x 35 inches (66.0 x 88.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: Jan Aslein 1635

    The Estate of Dr. George Nettles, Harrison, Arkansas.

    Although best known for his light-suffused, Arcadian landscapes in the manner of Claude Lorraine, Jan Asselijn, a premiere second-generation "Dutch Italianate," began and ended his career in his native Holland. He was born in Dieppe around 1610 and at an early age studied battle painting in Amsterdam with Jan Martszen the Younger. A move to Rome in 1635 introduced Asselijn to a new pastoral vocabulary: classical ruins, shepherds and animals, and harbors and rolling countryside. During his seven years here, he maintained his Dutch heritage through his nickname, "Krabbetje" ("little crab," after his deformed right hand) and through his affiliation with a circle of Northern European artists, the Bentvueghels. Asselijn then lived in Lyons and Paris for two years before returning to Amsterdam around 1647, where he began coupling Dutch subjects with Italianate light. Rembrandt van Rijn considered Asselijn a friend and colleague and etched his portrait in 1648.

    Battle Scene from 1635 exemplifies Asselijn's oeuvre pre-Italy, when, under the tutelage of Jan Martszen the Younger, he was experimenting with figures and animals in motion and panoramic landscapes. 1635 marked the final stages of the Eighty Years War (1568-1648), Holland's successful rupture from Spanish control, resulting in the establishment of an independent republic. As in his other paintings of this war, Asselijn here utilizes a lone tree as a repoussoir device, focusing attention on a foreground tangle of soldiers in various physical and emotional states - whether brandishing weapons, falling from horses, or languishing on the ground. A backdrop of turbulent clouds underscores the human drama with which Asselijn was so clearly fascinated.

    Condition Report*:

    Figural portion of lower third of canvas in very good condition; light frame abrasion along upper and right edges; overall craquelure, commensurate with age; sky region heavily cleaned; scattered minor in-painting throughout tree and sky of upper left quadrant; canvas relined and heavily varnished (masking varnish).

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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