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Job Berckheyde, 1630-1693 Permanent Collection:
Works of Art on Paper:
Job Berckheyde, 1630-1693

Dutch, Man Pulling a Rope. Black and red chalk heightened with sanguine. Art History Department Fund. 1969.100

Job Berckheyde was born in 1693, an older brother of the artist Gerrit Berckheyde, who was a student of Franz Hals and one of the most prominent painters of genre and city scenes of his day. Job Berckheyde, too, specialized in city views and depictions of churches, notably complex perspectival renditions of architectural interiors and their light effects. He became a member of the Haarlem painter's guild in 1654. Berckheyde traveled to Germany with his brother, painting landscapes and views of the Rhine, and they worked for a time at the court of the Elector Palatine at Heidelberg.

The Carlos drawing is in all likelihood a preparatory study for a genre painting on a Flemish theme. It was not unusual for such drawings to have served as a single instrument for numerous paintings executed with minor variations for the open market, and it may be impossible to identify the completed work. What is particularly attractive in this case is the fact that the figure is seen from behind. This concealing of the figure's features serves as an effective naturalist marker of the intensity but also the regularity of the laborer's burden - the same technique was used to superb effect by the French Realist Jean-François Millet.

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