Herman Saftleven (Rotterdam circa 1609-1685 Utrecht)
A mountainous river landscape with figures loading barges signed with initials and dated 'HS/ 1669' (lower left) oil on panel 47.1 x 63.2cm (18 9/16 x 24 7/8in).
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Carlos Blacker (most probably purchased in Paris, circa 1900) and thence by descent to the present owner
Carlos Blacker (1859-1928), an Englishman of independent means, spent a great deal of his life abroad, especially in Paris. He was a constant friend to Oscar Wilde, with whom he exchanged much correspondence, and also acted as an intermediary between Wilde and his wife, Constance, after the former's release from prison in 1897. Blacker took a financial interest in Lady Windermere's Fan and The Happy Prince was dedicated to him. The letters exchanged between him and Wilde were offered for sale by Sotheby's on 10 July 1986. Blacker was a prolific correspondent and linguist (he learnt a new language every two years) and his circle of friends included George Bernard Shaw and Anatole France.