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paulus van liender
(1731 Utrecht – 1797 Haarlem)

A Summer Woodland Landscape with Staffage Figures. Brush drawing in grey and black over a preliminary drawing in graphite; borderline in pen and black ink. 29.3 x 36.8 cm. Verso signed and dated: “Paul van Liender fec. 1787”.

This engaging, atmospherically dense landscape dates from van Lienders’ late period. Executed almost entirely as a purely brush drawing, it stands out for its precise and vigorous technical treatment. Van Lienders’ finely nuanced brush technique creates a varied and striking chiaroscuro, evoking a delightful, idyllic mood in the light-flooded landscape. Typical of the artist’s work is the design of the decoratively curved tree trunks and the velvety soft, luxuriant foliage – stylistic features that have their origins in earlier models, especially those of 17th century Dutch Italianate artists such as Jan Hackaert and Adam Pijn­acker. Two drawings showing similar mannerisms are in the Kupferstichkabinett of the Hamburger Kunsthalle (A. Steffes, Niederländische Zeichnungen 1450-1850, Kupferstichkabinett der Hamburger Kunsthalle, Cologne-Weimar-Vienna 2011, Vol. I, p. 348, Nos. 598–99; illustrated volume, p. 230).

Paulus van Liender was taught by Jacob and Cornelis Pronk in Amsterdam. From 1774 until his death he was active in Haarlem, where he had set up in business as a wood merchant. In his early years van Liender distinguished himself as a topographical draughtsman in the tradition of Jan de Beijer, but earned greater recognition for his later purely landscape drawings.