Possibly by descent from Mr. A. Blussé to Johanna Staring - Blussé, wife of M.L.C. Staring (1840 - 1914), 'Soekasari', Dordrecht;
Thence by descent to Mr A. Staring, 'De Wildenborch', Vorden;
Thence by descent to Dr F. Vriesendorp (1908 - 1998), Dordrecht.
Jacob and his brother Abraham van Strij are the most well-known representatives of the Dutch Schools of painting at the turn of the 19th Century. Their work is rooted in the painting tradition of their native Dordrecht, and in particular in the work of Aelbert Cuyp and his contemporaries. The Van Strij brothers lived and worked their entire life in this city, except for an apprenticeship in Antwerp in the 1770s. Besides managing the painting shop of their father they were involved in the city's cultural life. Abraham established the drawing society Pictura and Jacob was co-founder of the Maatschappij tot Nut van 't Algemeen.
Although inextricably linked with the local painting tradition, the work of the Van Strij bothers demonstrates that they were not mere followers of the Dutch Old Masters, but developed a new and characteristic style. The present work, in excellent condition and painted on a grand mahogany panel, is a fine example of Jacob's innovative approach. This becomes evident in the way Jacob van Strij ingeniously combined motifs from Cuyp, Paulus Potter and Adriaen van de Velde into one, convincing, composition. This seems consistent with Van Strij's reputation as a highly educated artist and his knowledge of painters from the Golden Age.
The painting shares the same quality in execution with other well-known masterpieces by the artist, such as The landscape with milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. A1140) and Wooded landscape with cattle near Dordrecht (inv. no. DM/855/58) in the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht. The dearth of such eminent works seems to indicate that Van Strij made those high quality works for specific (international) patrons, whereas his much simpler compositions were produced for the free market.
The painting belonged to the collection of Mr. A Staring, a renowned scholar of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Dutch painting. As a native from Dordrecht, he cherished a special interest for local painters such as Aert Schouman and Jacob van Strij.
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