Description & Technical information

The present sheet may be a copy after an Old Master painting. Jan de Bisschop produced numerous drawn copies - in pen, brush and dark brown wash, often with dramatic effects of chiaroscuro – of earlier works, usually by Italian artists or by Northern artists active in Italy. As the 18th century biographer Arnold Houbraken wrote of the artist, ‘By his knowledgeable skill of drawing with the brush on white paper he was able to recreate each artist’s special manner so cleverly that one could see already at first glance whether his drawing was after a painting by Tintoretto, Bassano, Carracci, Paolo Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck and so on.’ As Jane Shoaf Turner has further noted, ‘At least 180 such copies after old masters were known to van Gelder. Some may have been based on engravings, but most were after original paintings or copies of them. At the time de Bisschop was actively making his copies, during the 1650s, many of the pictures belonged to the Orange family or were in the Arundel collection, part of which was then in Amersfoort and part in Amsterdam.’

Among stylistically comparable drawings by Jan de Bisschop is a study of Moses after a painting once thought to be by Guercino, sold at auction in 2007, and a drawing of Lovers by a Fountain, after figures in a painting by Titian and dated 1667, in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, as well as a study of Christ and the Canaanite Woman in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with framing lines in brown ink.
Dimensions: 11.8 x 66 cm (4⁵/₈ x 26 inches)
Provenance: Hill-Stone, New York
Private collection, New York.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints