Lot 116
  • 116

JACOB DE WIT | Putti playing around a herm

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Style of Jacob de Wit
  • Putti playing around a herm
  • Pen and black ink and brown and gray wash, heightened with white, over red chalk;signed in brown ink, lower left: Jdwit F. invt, and inscribed, verso: Schoorsteen Stuckie voor d Heer ... Hagelis / 1732 geschildert 17..


Sir Charles Greville (L.549),
thence by descent to his nephew George Guy, 4th Earl of Warwick (L.2600);
sale, London, Christie's, 20-21 May 1896, lot 102;
Kurt Meissner, Zurich;
Jacobus A. Klaver, Amsterdam (bears his mark, not in Lugt, on the backing),
his sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 10 May 1994, lot 108,
where acquired by the present owners


Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Tekeningen van Oude Meesters, De Verzameling Jacobus A. Klaver, 1993, cat. no. 107;
Boston, St. Botolph Club, A Selection of Dutch 18th Century Drawings and Watercolors from the Gordon Collection, 2003, no. 18

Catalogue Note

This drawing, surely a decorative design for a chimneypiece and executed in an elaborate combination of pen and ink, wash, red chalk and white heightening, is one of the most highly refined sheets by De Wit to appear on the market in recent times and is a striking example of the artist’s virtuosity as a draughtsman. Though De Wit’s drawings do appear with some regularity on the open market (see lots 113 and 114), the present sheet is a particularly fine example due, in part, to its high degree of finish, created through De Wit’s almost sculptural use of the his media, coupled with its superb condition. As mentioned in the 1994 catalogue entry (see Provenance) the verso of this drawing, like many others by De Wit, bears an inscription noting for which commission it was made. The patron, mentioned in this inscription, appears to have been the wealthy art collector Bernardus Hagelis (1680-1761), whose extensive art collection was sold in Amsterdam in the year after his death.1  Robert-Jan te Rijdt has kindly informed us that Hagelis is recorded as having bought his house at Keizersgracht 223 in Amsterdam in December 1731, and the present drawing must surely therefore be the design for a painting, commissioned by Hagelis from De Wit to decorate his new house.   

A comparable red chalk drawing by de Wit, similarly depicting Putti decorating a Herm with Garlands,2 is today in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, however in spite of the highly comparable subject matter, Guus van den Hout dates this drawing to significantly earlier in de Wit’s career, circa 1715.

1. See Hagelis sale, Amsterdam, 8 March 1762
2. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1971.513.36