FRANCISCUS XAVERIUS XAVERY (The Hague 1740 – The Hague after 1772)
Peasants and Cattle in an Italianate Landscape
signed F:Xaverij.f in the lower center
oil on panel
14 x 21 inches (35.9 x 53.3 cm.)
Private collection, United States
Franciscus Xaverius Xavery was born in The Hague in 1740. He was a son of Jan Baptist Xavery (1697 – 1742/52). Franciscus specialized in landscape and marine paintings, and he is also known to have painted portraits. He was a student of his uncle Gérard Joseph Xavery and Jacob de Wit (1695 – 1754) in Amsterdam. Xavery was active in The Hague for most of his career, but he also worked in Rotterdam, where he is mentioned in documents at an early age, in 1758. His brother Jacob was also a painter, who specialized in still lifes. Paintings by Xavery hang in the museums of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Continuing a Dutch tradition that began in the mid-seventeenth century, Xavery in this panel has produced a personalized vision of an idyllic southern landscape. Although it is unknown if the artist actually traveled to Italy, he has brought an element of refinement to the subject not found in its seventeenth century antecedents.