This grand, finished watercolor, and also another similar work in the De Grez Collection at the Brussels Museum (see Literature
) and its variant in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam1
, relate to a series of ten small panel paintings by Haag, all 'portraits' of different breeds and types of horses. The animal shown here is identified in the lower margin as a 'Cheval Limosin'
, a horse from Limoges. The Brussels/Amsterdam drawing represents a 'Cheval Danois'
The paintings, which were formerly in the possession of the master of the Horse at the Stadholder's Court, Baron Otto van Randwyck, are today kept at Cannenburg Castle, in the province of Gelderland. The paintings are, however, all dated between 1785 and 1789, significantly later than the drawings, and since the backgrounds are also rather different in the paintings, it seems likely that the drawings were made as independent works, and not with the paintings in mind. Works of this type by Haag are extremely rare.
We are very grateful to Robert-Jan te Rijdt for sharing with us his forthcoming exhibition catalogue entry on the De Grez collection drawing.
1. J.W. Niemeijer, Eighteenth-Century Watercolours from the Rijksmuseum Printroom, Amsterdam, exhib. cat., Paris, Fondation Custodia, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, and New York, The Frick Collection, 1991-93, no. 23