Pieter van Bloemen

Landscape with Herdsmen and Animals in front of the Baths of Diocletian, Rome ()

About this artwork

This picturesque view of Rome, with the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian in the background, was once thought to be by Jan Asselijn. The current attribution to Pieter van Bloemen is more likely, as this type of Italianate landscape with careful groupings of figures and animals is typical of his work. In the 1560s, fragments of the ruined Roman baths had been converted into the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli by Pope Pius IV. Van Bloemen, with his masterful control over seemingly incidental detail, has included the tiny cross of the church at the apex of one of the roofs.

  • title: Landscape with Herdsmen and Animals in front of the Baths of Diocletian, Rome
  • accession number: NG 1014
  • artist: Pieter van BloemenFlemish (1657 - 1720)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Churches and cathedrals Ruins Animals
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created:
  • measurements: 48.50 x 63.50 cm (painted area) (framed: 650 x 79.50 x 7.50 cm)
  • credit line: Bequest of Mrs Mary Veitch to the Royal Scottish Academy 1875; transferred and presented 1910
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Pieter van Bloemen

Pieter van Bloemen

Pieter van Bloemen was a Flemish artist, and master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. A prolific painter, he was at the height of his career during an extended stay in Rome from 1687-1692. He mostly painted landscapes with figures and animals either travelling or at rest, although he also painted military and genre scenes. Van Bloemen’s landscapes are imbued with a distinctly ‘Roman’ atmosphere, his figures and animals are often placed in scenes that include the ancient ruins. In Rome, he joined the Schildersbent, a confraternity of Dutch and Flemish artists who called themselves ‘Bentveughels’ (birds of a feather) and assigned each other mocking nicknames. Van Bloemen’s was ‘Standaart’ (meaning banner or flag), undoubtedly because of the standards he included in his military paintings.