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Anthonie Andriessen (Amsterdam 1746-1813)

A young woman seated at a table

pen and brown ink, grey wash, over traces of black chalk, black ink framing lines,
14.5 x 11.2 cm

with Shaunagh Fitzgerald, London, 1985 (Old Master Drawings, Shaunagh Fitzgerald, London, November 1985, no. 37b).
Private collection, USA.

Like his better known brother Jurriaan Andriessen (1742–1819), who was also his teacher, Anthonie specialized in painted wall decorations, which were hugely popular from the middle of the 18th century. Jurriaan’s son Christiaan (1775–1846) kept a visual diary between 1805 and 1808 which has become one of the most iconic documents of its time. Both brothers were active in the Amsterdam Teekenacademie (drawing academy); their pupils included some of the best-known 19th-century Dutch artists, such as Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk, Hendrik Voogd and Jean Grandjean. The majority of Anthonie’s drawings are landscapes, sometimes executed in colour washes, sometimes in grey or brown ink, and they are strongly reminiscent of drawings by masters of the 17th century. Anthonie is known to have studied the masters of the Golden Age, and drawn copies after paintings by Jan Wijnants, Adriaen van de Velde, Dominicus van Tol and Frans Hals are known from historic sale catalogues. Anthonie’s most original work, however, consists of a small group of figure studies, to which the present sheet belongs. They are drawn in a strongly stylized manner and appear to have been done quite late in his career, in the early years of the 19th century. These drawings bring to mind those by his nephew, Christiaan, but it has not been established whether the young artist influenced the older uncle, or vice versa, or not. Comparable sheets depict a Woman in a Window, now in the Metrepolitan Museum of Art, a Women Seated at a Table, and a Seated Mother and Child, in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam.

I am grateful to Charles Dumas for confirming the attribution to Anthonie Andriessen.

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