This impressive Belgian landscape painting has a framed width of nearly 6 feet and a height of 4 1/2 feet. It depicts a magnificent scene of a shepherd among his flock. The painting is surrounded by an elaborate giltwood frame adorned with asymmetrical leaves, foliate shells, and flowers. The frame has been hand-carved with a lozenge diapered background and a textured border. The painting has been signed and dated “Eugene Verboeckhoven 1847” in the lower left corner of the canvas.
The fantastically colored painting utilizes gradient hues to depict a storm coming in from a large body of water off a coast. The left side of the painting features dark gray clouds moving inland above rolling mounds, including a large hill that is engulfed by shadows from above. A wooden bridge links this parcel of land to a larger, sunlit area. The clouds above are light gray and less threatening, with a curtain of rain visible over the sea.
On the main body of land, a shepherd stands among his flock of sheep with a lamb tucked under his right arm and a black sheep dog at his feet. Our shepherd is wearing an overcoat and a hat, while his left hand is holding a long, straight crook. The sheep graze in a green field, but in front of them, the vegetation is sparse, and the ground is muddied, with discarded items laying about, such as a boot and a shattered urn. Behind the shepherd is a crucifix monument dated 1539 that is in honor of a baroness named Annemarie Marguerite. The monument facing has been engraved in French, telling how the baroness died March 26 at the age of 23. The skies above are clear and sunny, with white fluffy clouds amongst the blue background.
Eugene Joseph Verboeckhoven was born in 1798 in Warneton, Belgium. Verboeckhoven’s father, Barthélémy, was a sculptor who tutored both Eugene and his younger brother, Charles Louis. Verboeckhoven rose to international fame with his depictions of bucolic landscapes and precise anatomical representations of humans and animals in action. Verboeckhoven earned recognition from collectors as far away as the United States, and he received numerous awards from countries across Europe. Verboeckhoven died in 1881, having been given the nickname “The Raphael Of Sheep” for his accurate depictions of sheep in his paintings.
Sight dimension: 38 1/2 H x 53 7/8 W.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use including age separations to the giltwood frame. Minor losses to gilding, leaving traces of red bole. Light craquelure and abrasions to canvas. Well done small repair to canvas and frame