The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 22, 2024

Landscape with Saint John the Baptist

Landscape with Saint John the Baptist

c. 1540
(Flemish, 1510–1572)
Framed: 43.2 x 54.9 x 6.4 cm (17 x 21 5/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 30.5 x 42.3 cm (12 x 16 5/8 in.)

Description

This picture is an example of the so-called world landscape, a term coined by art historians to characterize a type of Northern landscape painting with a vast panorama and a narrative religious subject in the foreground. This type of landscape, popularized by the Flemish painter Joachim Patinir (about 1485-1524), was fashionable throughout the 16th century. Bles placed the group of exotically dressed figures on a piece of land overlooking a great panorama of mountains, coast, and sea. The view of the harbor city is purely imaginative, and the fanciful cliffs and mountain peaks that crowd the distance seem to disappear into a light mist. This manner of creating depth in the landscape, called the atmospheric or aerial perspective, was an invention of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Bles was acclaimed in Italy as the Master of the Owl (il Civetta), after the bird he often put into his works. In this scene, the owl is situated on the rock in the lower-right foreground.
  • Private collection, Cumberland, England;
    [Herbert Bier, London], sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1967.
  • Gibson, Walter S. "Henri met de Bles: Landscape with St. John the Baptist Preaching." The Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art LV, no. 3 (March 1968): 78-87. Reproduced: p. 78, fig. 1; Detail: fig. 3 - 6
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969. Reproduced: p. 104 archive.org
    Stechow, Wolfgang. Pieter Bruegel, the Elder. London, United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson, 1970. Reproduced: p. 114, fig. 73
    Friedländer, Max J. Early Netherlandish Painting: Supplements. Leiden, Netherlands: A.W. Sitjhoff, 1976. Reproduced: p. 120, vol. 13, no. 110
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 121 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, Part 3: European Paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1982. Mentioned: 7-9; Reproduced: p. 8
    Bauman, Guy, and Walter A. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, Belgium: Fonds Mercator, 1992. Reproduced: p. 317, plate 113
    Benesz, Hanna. Die flämische Landschaft 1520-1700: eine Ausstellung der Kulturstiftung Ruhr Essen und des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien. Lingen, Germany: Luca, 2003. Reproduced: p. 60-61, no. 8
    Büttner, Nils, and Russell Stockman. Landscape Painting: A History. New York, NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 2006. Reproduced: p. 105, fig. 45
    Silver, Larry, and Pieter Bruegel. Pieter Bruegel. New York, NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 2011. Reproduced: p. 271, fig. 228
    Weemans, Michel. Herri Met de Bles: les ruses du paysage au temps de Bruegel et d'Érasme. Paris, France: Hazan, 2013. Reproduced: p. 21, fig. 10; Mentioned: p. 126-132
  • Flemish Landscapes, 1520-1700. Kulturstiftung Ruhr Essen, Germany (August 23-November 30, 2003); Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Wien, Austria (organizer) (December 21, 2003-April 12, 2004).
    Landscape in Detail. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH: (September 10-November 3, 1996).
    Visions of Landscape: East and West. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 17-March 21, 1982).
    Dutch Art and Life in the Seventeenth Century. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (July 10-September 2, 1973).
    Year in Review: 1967. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 29-December 31, 1967).
  • {{cite web|title=Landscape with Saint John the Baptist|url=false|author=Herri met de Bles|year=c. 1540|access-date=22 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1967.20