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After Jan Both
Dutch, 1618 - 1652

Roman Ruins with Card Players
Dutch Painting
Oil on canvas
25 5/8 in. x 32 1/8 in. (65.09 cm x 81.6 cm)

Bequest of Albert S. Schwab,  62.29

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About the Object

As an independent subject of painting, landscape first emerged in Europe during the 1600s. Its development reflects changes in the views commonly held at that time on the universe and man’s relation to it. As landscape painting developed, the Dutch were quick to acquire a taste for Italian settings and motifs. In this painting, Both uses Italian motifs, such as ruins, as pictorial elements; he then combines them with the typical genre scene of a group of men playing cards.  

Also called The Ruins of the Temple of Saturn, this painting is a version of the original Jan Both painting of the same subject that is owned by the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany. It was probably painted by either Jan Both or his brother, Andries.

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Born in Utrecht, Both subsequently traveled to Rome, where he remained from 1635 until 1641, when he returned to Holland.  He was among the leading “bamboccianti,” as the Dutch painters were called who assimilated their native genre tradition with the classical landscape tradition they discovered in Italy.  This popular composition, an autograph version of which survives in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, shows low-life types amusing themselves near the formidable ruins of the Temple of Saturn.

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