This elaborate drawing relates to one of Van der Werff's grandest paintings, the large, arched top canvas (fig.1), one of a series of decorative wall paintings that he executed around 1696 for his own house, on the Delftsche Vaart, Rotterdam. The paintings were acquired around 1749-53 by the Landgraf of Kassel, where they remain today, in the Staatliche Gemäldegalerie.1 The drawing and painting differ not only in format, but also in various compositional details: for example, the drawing does not include the urn that appears behind the figures in the painting, nor the step or plinth behind the female figure, but on the other hand it does incorporate a secondary figure group beside the small building in the background.
Drawings by Van der Werff are extremely rare, and it is certain that only a small proportion of his drawn oeuvre survives. The handful of red chalk drawings that we do know are all more freely drawn than this2, but there are still enough general similarities of technique for this to be considered seriously as an autograph work - presumably some kind of freely reworked ricordo of the painting, or perhaps a modello for an engraver.
1. B. Gaehtgens, Adriaen van der Werff, Munich 1987, pp. 230-31, no. 25 A
2. e.g. the Samson and Delilah in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Gaehtgens, op. cit., p. 266, no. 42a
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale