This large scale drawing, executed predominantly in black ink and watercolor, depicts a grand Arcadian landscape furnished with monuments including a temple, an obelisk and a fountain adorned with a sculpture of Hecate Triformis
. Andriessen was clearly influenced by his earlier compatriot Isaac de Moucheron (see lots 106 and 129), but began his career in what can only be described as a lull in the century-old tradition of Dutch depictions of Italianate landscapes. However, by circa
1770 a renewed interest in antiquity had breathed new life into this particular subject matter in the Netherlands, allowing Andriessen, as one of the few Dutch exponents of these Arcadian landscapes, to benefit from numerous private commissions.
Andriessen worked primarily as a painter of decorative wall-hangings, executed to adorn the grand canal houses of Amsterdam's rich merchant classes. From 1767 until his death, half a century later, he ran one of the most successful factories of these decorative paintings, employing many of the city's leading artists, such as his brother Christiaan, Hermanus Numan, Jean Grandjean, Daniël Dupré and Hendrik Voogd. Subsequent changes in fashion have meant that very few of Andriessen's decorative schemes have survived, but his drawings, many of them designs for his typical wall-paintings, have fared better, and some 500 are known today, the bulk of them in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Gemeentearchief.
Though the present work shares some similarities with many of these sheets, both in subject matter and in the low horizon line that the artist has employed, it differs significantly from Andriessen's known designs for decorative paintings in its unusually large size, and in its highly finished nature, suggesting that it was actually made as a finished work of art, for a collector, rather than as a preparatory study for another work. Two impressive drawings, very similar to the present work in scale, compositional type and coloration, and presumably also made as independent works of art, are in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem (see Literature).