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Andries Both
(Utrecht 1611-1642 Venice)

Four smoking, drinking and chatting peasants

with inscription ‘A. Both’
black chalk
16.7 x 19.1 cm

Artaria; auction 1862, lot 210 (according to the 1985 Christie’s catalogue; not traced).
Dr. A. Ritter von Wurzbach-Tannenberg (1845-1915), Vienna (L. 2587).
Dr. C. Otto (circa 1880-1929), Leipzig (L. 611c).
Stephan von Licht (1860-1932), Vienna (L. 789b); Helbing, Frankfurt, 7 December 1927, lot 104.
Edward James Foundation; Christie’s, Amsterdam, 18 November 1985, lot 71.
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, Paris, 21 June 2011, lot 27;
Private collection, England.

Andries Both was the older brother of Italianist painter Jan Both (1615/1622-1652) and the son and pupil of the glass-painter Dirck Joriaensz. Both (died 1664).[1] Besides the training from his father, Both was studied with Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651) before travelling to Italy, through France, arriving in Rome between 1635 and 1641.[2] There he joined the Bamboccianti and produced prints, paintings and drawings with genre scenes inspired by daily life.
Almost his entire artistic output consists of works showing genre scenes – a specialty the artist had already adopted before travelling to Italy – and the present sheet is no exception to this. Drawn in Both’s expressive and bold style, with its typical strong accents dotted around the sheet, the drawing shows four drinking, smoking and chatting peasants. In terms of subject and technique, the sheet can be closely compared to a drawing of the in The British Museum, London although the chalk in the latter drawing is of a softer quality.[3] Another comparable drawing, this time executed in pen and brown ink and wash, and inscribed and dated ‘Rouen/ 1633’ is in the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. [4]

[1] K.G. Saur, Saur Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker, Munich and Leipzig, 1996, vol. 13, p. 240.
[2] L. de Bruyn, ‘Het geboortejaar van Jan Both’, Oud Holland, 1952, LXVII, pp. 110-112.
[3] inv. 1836,0811.77.
[4] C. Wintermann and C. Melzer, ‘Andries Both. Trinkende Bauern/ Widersprüchliche Datierungen un Ortsangaben.’, in Zeichnungen in Weimar. Ein Handbuch, Dresden, 2022, p. 140 (with a discussion on the date of the drawing in Weimar); inv. KK 4083.

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