Jacob Grimmer, ‘Summer’, Christie's Old Masters

Jacob Grimmer specialized in sets of paintings depicting the Twelve Months of the Year or the Four Seasons, made in both circular and rectangular formats. This painting of Summer would probably once have belonged to a set of the Four Seasons. The delightful depiction of peasants harvesting, stacking, transporting and storing their grain reflects Grimmer's sympathy for the rhythms of the Flemish countryside, a subject that he was among the first to explore. Although an exact contemporary of Pieter Bruegel I, Grimmer possessed a much sunnier view of peasant life than did his fellow painter. He seems, in fact, to have been a cheerful fellow, celebrated as a poet and author of comic writing, and a member of 'De Violieren', the rhetorician's society of Antwerp.

In his landscape paintings, such as this one, Grimmer used serene, simple compositions arranged in broad blocks of strong color. Here, the delicately gradated yellows of the ripe wheat and the dusty road in the foreground are contrasted with the delicious cool greens of the central avenue of trees. Touches of red in the peasants' clothing give sparkle to a picture which Reine de Bertier de Sauvigny describes as a très joli tableau, très vivant (op. cit., p.112). Barking dogs, clucking hens and birds wheeling in a cloud-flecked sky add to the atmosphere of an idyllic summer day.

R. de Bertier de Sauvigny, Jacob et Abel Grimmer, Brussels, 1990, pp.112-113, no.18, pl.56.

with Galerie Müllenmeister, Solingen, Germany.

Private collection, Recklinghausen, Germany.

Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 8 December 1972, lot 30, as Abel Grimmer.

with Brod Gallery, London.

Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 19 July 1974, lot 274, as Abel Grimmer.

with Alan Jacobs Gallery, London, 1979.

Private collection, United Kingdom.

with Richard Green, London, 1999.

Private collection, United Kingdom.

About Jacob Grimmer

Flemish, 1525/1526 - before 1590, Antwerp, Belgium, based in Antwerp, Belgium

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