caption

attributed to Gaspard Dughet, Classical Landscape

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)

Details

Country House
Mells Manor
Title(s)
Classical Landscape
Date
c.1560–60
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 72 cm, Overall width: 90 cm
Artist
attributed to Gaspard Dughet (1615-1675)
Catalogue Number
MM37

Description

Gaspard Dughet was born in Rome in 1615 to a French father and Italian mother and lived and worked in that city almost all his life. He is also known as Gaspard Poussin, after his brother-in-law Nicolas Poussin, to whom he was apprenticed from 1631 to 1635 and with whom his works are often confused. Dughet was almost exclusively a painter of landscapes, variously influenced by Poussin, Claude and Domenichino. While his oeuvre encompasses views of the countryside around Rome, classical Bolognese landscapes and a series of more dramatic, stormy scenes, these are essentially variations on a common theme. Dughet was popular among British collectors and Britain holds the greatest quantity of his works outside Rome. His picturesque motifs and realism influenced the landscapes of many eighteenth-century painters including Wootton, Gainsborough and Constable. 

Many attributions to Dughet are uncertain, making it difficult to securely identify autograph works. Anthony Blunt, who visited Mells in 1948, believed this painting to be by ‘an Italian who has learned as much from Domenichino as from Poussin himself . . . Roman and about 1650–1660’.1 He did not, however, identify Dughet as the possible artist. Nevertheless, this work is entirely typical of Dughet: the receding horizontal composition, the disposition of rocky outcrop and trees, and the distant view of a hilltop village. In particular, the reclining figures by the lake and the contrapposto of the foreground woman with a basket of flowers are found in several other works by Dughet, including Roman Landscape with Figures (exhibited Liverpool, 1960, private collection) and Landscape with a Hilltop Town (formerly collection of the Earl and Countess of Swinton, present location unknown). While it is possible, and not unlikely, that this is an autograph work by Dughet, the attribution must remain tentative.

by Amy Lim

Footnotes

  1. Anthony Blunt quoted by Daphne Pollen to Katharine Asquith, 5 April 1948, Mells Manor Archive.

    1

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