Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Winter scene outside a town
A watercolour landscape of a village scene in winter with a castle and other thatched buildings on the right and groups of figures engaged in various activities.
Gerrit van Battem specialised in imaginary landscapes executed in watercolour and bodycolour, intended to be framed and hung; the present composition was one of his favourites, and several other versions are known. It was purchased by Pieter Yver at the Van Broyel sale, one of a pair of gouaches by Van Battem that fetched the large sum of 132 guilders. It was described as ‘A rare and pleasant landscape of Winter, with a view of a town with a castle, with very many figures, not inferior to the preceding, in watercolour and of the same size [height 11, width 16 inches].’ The other gouache of the pair, of a river landscape with travellers, also remains in the Royal Collection. Together with three further watercolours by the artist, and thirty by other Dutch and Flemish artists, these hung in Buckingham Palace until 1950, presumably since their acquisition in the eighteenth century.
Signed at lower left Battem
Catalogue entry adapted from George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste, London, 2004