46. Abraham Teerlink

Dordrecht 1776 – 1857 Rome

The Falls at Tivoli

Abraham Teerlink first trained in his native Dordrecht under Michiel Versteeg (1756–1843) and Arie Lamme (1748–1801), who encouraged him to paint copies of landscapes after Dutch seventeenth-century masters. In 1807, a travel stipend from Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, enabled him to make a study trip to Paris and Rome. He copied paintings in the Louvre under the supervision of David, and set off to Italy in late 1808. Settling permanently in Rome in 1810, he became a successful landscape painter selling panoramic views to Grand Tourists. Tivoli had long been a popular destination, and Teerlink made several paintings of its famous waterfalls and ruins. In this oil on canvas, the artist omits any reference to human presence or the classical past, and focuses instead on presenting a study of light and natural elements in a large format. The refined treatment of the sky, almost certainly painted in the studio, contrasts with the fluid handling of paint in the warm ochres and mossy greens of the rock face. The scene is only populated by four tiny birds flying in the centre of the composition.