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Pieter Withoos (Amersfoort 1654-1692 Amsterdam)

A thrush on a branch

signed with monogram ‘P:W: fe:’
watercolour, bodycolour, brown ink framing lines, watermark IHS
18.3 x 19.1 cm

Private collection, France.

Pieter Withoos was born into an artistic family based in Amersfoort: his father, Matthias Withoos (1627–1703), was a painter of still-lifes and town views, while four of Pieter’s siblings, Jan, Alida, Maria and Frans Withoos, also pursued artistic careers.[1] Pieter was born shortly after his father’s return from a Grand Tour to Paris, Florence and Rome, where he was worked in service of Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici. Like his brothers and sisters, Pieter was taught by his father, who in his turn had been taught by Jacob van Campen. In 1672 the family moved to Hoorn to escape the occupation of Amersfoort by the troops of king Louis XIV. During the 1680s, Pieter lived in Utrecht, and later in Amsterdam. He was mostly active as an artist in watercolours, producing detailed depictions of birds, flowers and insects. From the late 1680s he was patronized by the botanist Agnes Block, who lived on the Vijverhof estate near Amsterdam, where she collected birds and plants, including the first fruit-bearing pineapple. Pieter’s sister Alida Withoos (circa 1660–1730), also produced drawings and watercolours for Block. The present sheet is beautifully preserved and monogrammed by the artist and can be especially closely compared to a drawing of a snipe in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam.[2]

[1] For the artist, see M.W. Heijenga-Klomp, ‘Matthias Withoos (ca. 1627-1703) en zijn kinderen. Een Amersfoortse schildersfamilie’, 'Flehite, Historisch Jaarboek voor Amersfoort en omstreken', 2005, pp. 108-131 and A. Boersma, 'Ander Licht op Withoos. Drie Generaties Withoos', Amersfoort, 2021, pp. 131-140.
[2] inv. RP-T-1900-A-4492.

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