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Jan Wyck, ca. 1645–1700, Dutch, active in Britain (from ca. 1664)


Additional Title(s):

A Staghunt

Brown wash and white gouache on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 18 3/4 x 12 7/8 inches (47.6 x 32.7 cm)

On back, in graphite, lower right "2629 | EHC| Me[?atyard] 21.8.20"; below "c | 77" and below "Prov. 1840 sale lot 1197 | Px R [?Willett] 1808"; on mount, in pen and brown ink, bottom left: "539_2"; bottom center "John Van Wycke" and bottom right "WE".

Bottom center "John Van Wycke"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
animal art | deer | hunt | landscape | riders, horseback | sporting art | trees
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

A vivacious chase swirling uphill, a lady riding sidesaddle, the noble profile of the stag and the pursuing hounds: every element in “Stag Hunt” has been infused with elegance. This work epitomizes a shift occurring in the social practice of hunting. Whereas Francis Barlow depicts hunting mostly as a physical and strenuous activity, Wyck shows it as a fashionable pastime. In fact, the present scene may have less to do with “hunting” than with “sporting,” associated with recreation and amusement. Sporting embodied politeness and refinement. It was believed that nobility could be attained through horsemanship, closely associated with the ancient glory of chivalry. Given that sporting required vast open spaces, the representation of landscape in works of art quickly became a pretext to show prosperity. Sporting scenes such as this one were also seen as a celebration of country life; for opulent residents of large seventeenth- and eighteenth-century metropolises, being able to live outside the city was perceived as beneficial to health and as a sign of wealth.
This composition is a fine example of Wyck’s ability to merge the genres of landscape and hunting scenes. Unlike most sporting painters, as an author once judiciously observed, Wyck “contrived really to make pictures for the connoisseur without disappointing the sportsman” (Grant, 1957, p. 46).

Sté phane Roy

Baskett, John, Jules David Prown, Duncan Robinson, Brian Allen, and William Reese. Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art , 2007, cat. no. 12

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 246, no. 12, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Maurice Harold Grant, A chronological history of the old English landscape painters (in oil), From the XVIth century to the XIXth century , 8 v., F. Lewis, Publishers, Limited, London, UK, 1957, p. 46, ND1354 G73 1957 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 2, no. 12, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

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