Two trees on a hill


Jacob van der ULFT

Gorkum 1621 – 1689 Noordwijk

Two trees on a hill

Pen and brush in brown ink; traces of brown ink framing lines.

311 x 207 mm (12-1/4 x 8-1/8 in).

WATERMARK: Arms of Amsterdam,

nearly identical to Heawood no. 342 (Holland, dated 1674). (R31)

CHAIN LINES: vertical, 22-24 mm.
PROVENANCE: Baron van Hardenbroek, Langbroek, 18th century.

Antiquariaat De Kruyff, Zeist, 1980-1.

Hans van Leeuwen, Amerongen (L. 2799a), his sale, Amsterdam, Christie’s, 24 November 1992, lot 195, acquired at the sale.

EXHIBITIONS: Robinson, Franklin W. and Peck, Sheldon. Fresh Woods and Pastures New: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Drawings from the Peck Collection. Chapel Hill/ Ithaca/ Worcester. 1999-2001. Published catalogue.

Jacob van der Ulft was a fascinating figure in 17th century Dutch draftsmanship; an amateur who never became the member of a guild, he was much involved in the municipal affairs of his native city of Gorkum.  He was deeply influenced by another amateur, Jan de Bisschop, a lawyer so devoted to the ancient world that he often Latinized his name to Johannes Episcopius.

This fresh and lively image of two “embracing” trees, struck with sunlight and set against a wash of golden brown “Bisschop ink,” is typical of the late style of Jacob van der Ulft.  The artist often made wash drawings of one or two trees, sometimes in roundels; examples are in the St. Louis Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, and the British Museum, the last two signed and dated in the 1680s.

The present drawing was once part of an album of 63 drawings by van der Ulft in the collection of Baron van Hardenbroek.