A Grotto in an Imaginary Landscape

Image credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Vliet specialised in painting church interiors and this is his only known landscape, though such scenes were popular with his Dutch contemporaries. The grotto is a curious hybrid, partly natural and partly man-made with elements carved from the rocks. Two gentlemen have journeyed to inspect the site. With its shadowy statue, to the left, and giant head, to the right, it seems to have been the centre of a mysterious antique cult. A kneeling shepherd, to the right, suggests that the primitive worship of nature continues.

A Grotto in an Imaginary Landscape


probably 1643


oil on wood


H 54.7 x W 90.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1966

Work type


Inscription description

Signed and dated: H Vanderbliet 164[3?]


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The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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