Here are some of the most interesting items our sellers have on offer at this year’s edition of the Maastricht Antiquarian Book & Print Fair (St. Jan’s Church, Vrijthof, Maastricht, 10-11-12 March 2017).
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Pen and black ink and grey, brown and red wash; signed, lower right: JdWit/inv/ii (1725 – 1735) 291 x 429 mm. Exhibited: Amsterdam, Bijbels Museum, In de Wolken, Jacob de Wit als plafondschilder (March-June 2000). J. Boonstra and G. van den Hout (eds.) 2000, pp. 57, 59, reproduced fig. 18. EUR 18.500
De Wit received his first commission for a decorative ceiling painting around 1719 and thereafter built himself a reputation as the pre-eminent exponent of that artform in 18th-century Holland, executing many such works throughout the remainder of his career.
This beautiful and impressive drawing shows perfectly well how De Wit composed his ceilings. As usual he takes one point of view at a 45 degree angle. There is a lower section, consisting of clouds on which groups of persons are resting, a perspective with a flying person (sometimes more) and a group of putti playing with flowers or other appropriate attributions.
On numerous occasions Jacob de Wit has depicted the theme of bacchants and nymphs celebrating the joys of nature. It can also be considered to be an allegory on Autumn. A comparable though less elaborate drawing is kept in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum in New York.
(Lit. Janrense Boonstra & Guus van den Hout eds., In de Wolken, Jacob de Wit als plafondschilder, Amsterdam 2000).