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'Shepherd and Shepherdess' is typical of the series of sensual, mythologically inspired pictures produced by Van der Werff from the mid-1680s to the mid-1690s. It was painted for the Rotterdam collector Adriaen Paets, and appeared, together with a companion piece, in Paets’s sale in 1713. The picture’s elegant subject matter and smooth technique attracted the attention of Baron Schönborn, who acquired it and hung it in his audience chamber at Schloss Weissenstein, Pommersfelden, where it was described as ‘a magical and very good Van der Werff’ in 1719.
oil on canvas
H 46.7 x W 38.4 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1868; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897