Description & Technical information

Sheets of studies such as the present sheet were an integral part of Bloemaert’s working method. The drawing of a standing goat is a preparatory study for the engraving Two Goats and a Goatherd, plate 7 of the Beesten en Vogelen series of fourteen prints of animals, designed by Bloemaert sometime between 1610 and 1615 and engraved and published by his son Frederik in the 1640s or 1650s. A closely related, double-sided pen and ink drawing with three studies of a goat is in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, while a comparable sheet of studies of goats is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago; both drawings are studies for later prints. Another, similar study of goats, drawn in red and black chalk and also preparatory for an engraving, is in the Courtauld Gallery in London.

None of the other animals depicted on the present sheet appear to be studies for engravings, although similar storks appear in a handful of prints designed by Bloemaert.

This drawing bears on the verso the collector’s mark of Paul Eeckhout (1917-2012), a Belgian architect, draughtsman and printmaker who served as a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent between 1948 and 1982.

Provenance: Paul Eeckhout, Ghent (Lugt 824a), his mark on the verso
His (anonymous) sale, London, Phillips, 7 December 1994, lot 90 (as Attributed to Abraham Bloemaert)
W. M. Brady & Co., New York and Thomas Williams, London, in 1995\
Private collection.
Literature: Jaap Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert: The Drawings, Leiden, 2007, Vol.I, p.400, no.1323, Vol.II, p.415, fig.1323 (as location unknown, and dated 1605-1610); Horace Wood Brock, Martin P. Levy and Clifford S. Ackley, Splendor and Elegance: European Decorative Arts and Drawings from the Horace Wood Brock Collection, exhibition catalogue, Boston, 2009, p.156, no.109, illustrated p.111.
Exhibitions: New York, W. M. Brady & Co. Inc., and London, Thomas Williams (Fine Art) Ltd. at Daniel Katz Ltd., Old Master Drawings, Autumn 1995, no.13; Stanford University, Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Classic Taste: Drawings and Decorative Arts from the Collection of Horace Brock, March-May, 2000; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Splendor and Elegance: European Decorative Arts and Drawings from the Horace Wood Brock Collection, 2009, no.109.