The painting is identical with the 'Landscape with a Flute-blowing Shepherd' listed by Hofstede de Groot : Hofstede de Groot describes the painting as follows: 'Landscape with a flute-blowing shepherd, to whose music three young girls are singing; one of them is sitting on a richly harnessed mule. In front of this walks a donkey loaded with three calves; on either side and behind follows a herd of cattle and sheep. The procession is approaching a stream; the youngest girl in front is carrying a lamb in her arms. Further back on the right, a shepherd is driving two oxen that have fallen behind. In the background, mountains and bushes, crowned by a ruin on the left. First rays of the morning sun.'
Provenance: Mentioned by Gustav Parthey, 1864. Collection of Sierstorpff in Driburg, 1864. Auction of Sierstorpff from Driburg in Berlin on 19 April 1887, no.36. Probably Silkerode estate (southern Harz foreland), there in the family possession of the Counts of Minnigerode. Afterwards, until the flight from East Prussia in 1945, Irmgard von Minnigerode-Anglitten (originally Agnitten, around 1782 name change). Since 1947 family property of the von Minnigerode family (Detmold, Münster). Nicolaes Berchem counts among the main representatives of Dutch landscape painting of the 17th century. At an early age he was apprenticed to his father, the Haarlem still-life painter Pieter Claesz. He was probably trained by Jan van Goyen, Jan Wils and Pieter de Grebber. In 1642, at the age of 22, he joined the Saint Luke's Guild in Haarlem. Before that, a journey to Italy is considered very likely. Subsequently, Berchem's Arcadian landscapes show a southern, atmospheric treatment of light and shade. 1677 he moved to Amsterdam where he died 1683. Literature: Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis: Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis: Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII Jahrhunderts, vol. 9: Johannes Hackaert, Nicolaes Berchem, Karel du Jardin, Jan Both, Adam Pijnacker, Esslingen 1926, p. 129f., no. 272. Parthey, Gustav: Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbenen Maler aller Schulen; in alphabetischer Reihenfolge zusammengestellt, Berlin 1863/1864, Vol. I, p. 104.