OIL PAINTING: Peasants with Cattle by a Ruined Aqueduct, 1658
Nicolaes Berchem, the son of a distinguished still-life painter, Pieter Claesz., was born in Haarlem. The town was a leading centre of landscape painting in the early seventeenth century and among Berchem's teachers was the landscapist Jan van Goyen. Like many Dutch artists, Berchem travelled to Italy immediately after completing his apprenticeship. He was in Rome late in 1642 and remained there for three years. While in Italy, Berchem made many drawings of the landscape of the Roman Campagna, its cattle and peasants.