click to enlarge

Frans Jansz Post
Dutch, 1612-1680

SN 275, oil on wood panel, 1664

From "The Pages"

Born in Haarlem in 1612, buried there February 17, 1680. Post was one of the first trained painters to paint in the New World.

His early training is not documented. However, he was probably influenced by many Haarlem landscapists. The influence of his brother Pieter Post & Cornelius Vroom is also evidenced in his works. Smith in Art Quarterly calls Post “the Canaletto of Brazil.” For some unknown reason, he stopped painting 11 years before his death.

Joaquin de Sousa Leào includes prints of Post’s works in his book, and the building in the Ringling painting is very similar to one of these paintings that is identified as a plantation unit. Professor Erik Larsen locates it in a fertile plain near Recife and Olinda in N.E. Brazil, a major area for the production of sugar cane.

Only six paintings remain from Post’s eight-year sojourn in Brazil. After his return to Holland in 1644, however, he spent the rest of his career painting Brazilian landscapes. Ours is one of those later paintings, which became more decorative as his palette became brighter and more saturated, and as his visual memory of the reality began to diminish.

According to Julius Böhler, John Ringling’s dealer, John purchased the work for £60. This painting was exhibited in the Isaac Delgado Museum, New Orleans, in 1968. The show was titled The Art of Ancient and Modern Latin America : Selections from Public and Private Collections in the United States.

In 1636 Post, along with Albert Eckhout (who was thought to have studied under Rembrandt) accompanied Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen, to Brazil to record the landscape, flora, and fauna. Maurits, as
Governor General, was the first European royal prince to rule a territory in the New World: Pernambuco, located in NE Brazil. The colony had been taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch West Indies Company.

Additional Bibliography:
Joaquin de Sousa Leào. Frans Post: 1612-1680, Amsterdam, 1973.