Attributed to Jacob de Wit (Amsterdam 1695 – 1754 Amsterdam)
The Head of the Virgin
Black and white chalk and some grey ink on blue paper, 405 x 270 mm; presented in a blue mount with gilt framing lines and in an antique gilt frame
Private collection, The Netherlands
Jacob de Wit was born in Amsterdam and received his early training when he was only nine years old from the painter Albert Spiers.1 At the age of thirteen he left for Antwerp to study with Jacob van Hall and became an admirer of Rubens and Van Dyck. De Wit quickly developed into the leading decorative painter in Amsterdam. From 1717 on De Wit had so much work on his hands ‘that he scarcely knew were to begin’, according to the artist’s biographer Jacob van Gool in 1750.
One of De Wit’s specialities were grisaille paintings, giving the illusion of marble reliefs. These grisailles are knowns as ‘Witjes’, after the artist to whom they had brought such fame. Many of the houses along the Herengracht and Keizersgracht canals of Amsterdam are still adorned with ceiling paintings and wall panels by De Wit. Together with Cornelis Troost, De Wit is rightly considered among the most important and gifted artists of the Dutch 18th century, the Silver Age.
1. For the artist, see: A. Staring, Jacob de Wit: 1695–1754, Amsterdam 1958, J. Huisken, Jacob de Wit: de Amsteltitiaan, Amsterdam 1986 and G. van den Hout and R. Schillemans, Putti en Cherubijntjes: het religieuze werk van Jacob de Wit (1695–1754), Haarlem/Amsterdam 1995-96.
18 000 €
8 000 €