Franciscus de Neve (c.1632-1704)
‘Landscape with Shepherdess Playing a Tambourine’ and
‘Echo & Narcissus’
Both signed in the lower margin: ‘Franciscus de Neue In. e fecit’ and ‘Si Stampano in Roma da Gio: Iacomo de Rossi alla Paca’
Each 31.5 x 38.5cm (plate)
Franciscus (or Frans) de Neve was a Flemish painter and engraver, born in Antwerp in 1632. His father, also an artist, was called by the same name, resulting in some confusion for art historians. The younger de Neve was working in Rome from 1660-1670, producing paintings for the Palazzo Doria-Pamphili (alongside Pietro da Cortona) and was known for his religious subjects, mythological scenes and landscapes. He was part of a network of Dutch and Flemish artists in the city, who helped to promote and support his career. Many of his works are known only from the engravings which in Rome were produced by Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi alla Pace (including these examples). After 1670 he travelled to Augsburg and Munich, then to Austria and Moravia, where he completed numerous commissions for altarpieces. Towards the end of his life he returned to his native Flanders and became Master of the Guild of Saint Luke.
De Neve had a reputation as a gifted landscape painter, and these two engravings show his keen interest in the details of the natural world, as well as the influence of Claude Lorrain in the extensive vistas. The painting of ‘Narcissus and Echo’ after which this engraving was made, hangs in the collection of Christ Church College, Oxford – one of his few original oils known to survive. Another of the prints is owned by the British Museum.
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