Jan van der Meer II - inv. 1040
This painting can be included in the Dutch tradition of Italian-style landscapes, of which Nicolaes Berchem (Haarlem, 1620 – Amsterdam, 1683) was one of the most important exponents. This type of landscape is characterised by the breadth of the view, its golden light and the Arcadian atmosphere conferred by the calm presence of shepherds and their herds.
After his apprenticeship under his father, Jan van der Meer II then became a pupil of Berchem. Compared to the wider breadth of the master’s landscapes, Van der Meer concentrated on depicting the animals – cows, goats, sheep – following a specialist trend that had numerous interpreters, especially in Haarlem and Amsterdam.
The horizontal approach, the cows in the foreground, the tree creating a backdrop and the shepherdess seated in the background on the left all follow a customary scheme in the works of this artist.