Jan de Groot (Flushing 1650 – 1726 Haarlem)
Tavern Interior with Peasants Smoking and Drinking
Pen and brown ink, grey wash, over a sketch in black chalk, watermark letters IM,1 183 x 152 mm (7.2 x 6 inch); tipped onto an 18th- or 19th-century collectors mount with framing lines in pencil, grey wash and gold leaf
Annotated ‘AVO’ (pencil, lower right)
Private collection, The Netherlands
The little-known artist Jan de Groot was born in Flushing (Vlissingen) in 1650 and received his first artistic training from Adriaen Verdoel (c.1620–1675), who was based in this city.2 De Groot continued his education in the studio of Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685), whose hugely popular genre paintings and drawings depicting scenes of peasant life were highly influential to De Groot. He further trained with Frans de Jongh (d. 1705), the son of Ostade’s sister, who had been taught by his uncle and registered with the Haarlem guild in 1664 as an independent artist, although only a single work by this artist is now known.
According to Arnold Houbraken’s Groote schouburgh of 1718-21, De Groot gave up painting to become a merchant in coffee, a profitable trade, and also ‘dreef somwyl een handeling met Schilderyen, Teekeningen en Printkonst’ (dealt in paintings, drawings and prints). A fellow-pupil in Ostade’s studio was Cornelis Dusart (1660–1704). De Groot’s drawings have frequently been attributed to Ostade and Dusart in the past.
This amusing drawing is a typical example of De Groot’s rare drawings – only about a dozen are known today. Highly influenced by Ostade, our drawing was at some stage even attributed to Ostade, as is seen from the Ostade monogram at lower right. It is full of charming details, such as the individual faces, the drying laundry at the top, and the broken glass in the window, and is among the most accomplished sheets by De Groot. It can be compared to his drawing of Peasants at a Farm Door which appeared on the Berlin art market in 2014 (see fig.),3 which clearly shows De Groot’s technique of a rough initial sketch in graphite or black chalk, which is then worked out in pen and brown ink; in our sheet, grey wash has also been applied. Ostade and Dusart employed a similar working method. A further comparison can be made to De Groot’s Tavern Interior in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich (see fig.).4
1. Similar to Heawood 3027, datable around the third quarter of the 17th century.
2. For the artist, see A. Bredius, ‘De schilder Jan de Groot’, Oud-Holland 5 (1887), pp. 64-65 and A. Welcker, ‘Jan de Groot, leerling en navolger van Adriaen van Ostade’, Oud-Holland 57 (1940), pp. 149-59.
3. Graphite, pen and brown ink, 150 x 138 mm; Bassenge, Berlin, 29-31 May 2014, lot 6224, repr.
4. Pen and brown ink, 153 x 196 mm; inv. no. 1849; W. Wegner, Kataloge der Staatlichen Graphischen Sammlung München. Die Niederländischen Handzeichnungen des 15.-18 Jahrhunderts, Berlin 1973, vol. I, no. 608, vol. II, pl. 262. For a further example, see B. Schnackenburg, Adriaen van Ostade. Isack van Ostade. Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Hamburg 1981, vol. II, p. 289, fig. 94.Request more information »