Paul Bril

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Paul Bril
Wooded Ravine with Distant Harbor View
Pen and brown ink, some point of brush and brown, brown, gray and blue wash, with white opaque watercolor, over black chalk, on paper.
7 1/4 x 10 13/16 inches (183 x 275 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
III, 144

Inscribed on verso of mount, in an eighteenth-century(?) hand, in faint graphite, "No 9 paul bril 36 frs".

Presumably Everhard Jabach (possibly a trace of his paraph at lower center edge; Lugt 2959-60); possibly Cabinet du Roi (i.e., Louis XIV, according to engraving by Caylus); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

One of the most influential Northern artists working in Rome in the late sixteenth century, Bril is credited with founding the Italianate landscape tradition perfected in the next century by Claude Lorrain. This sheet is one of only about one hundred drawings by the artist, mostly finished landscapes, that have survived. The composition may have served as the model for a painting, now lost but recorded in a photograph.


Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, III, 144.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 23, no. 42.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 31, p. 68-69.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 42, repr. [Kathleen Stuart]


Watermark: none visible through lining, which is an old print.

Associated names: 

Jabach, Everhard, 1618-1695, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

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