Hendrik van der Straaten (Northern Netherlands c. 1665 – 1722 London)
An Angler near a Bridge over a River in a Mountainous Landscape
Black chalk, grey wash, black ink framing lines, countermark PD, 126 x 193 mm (5 x 7.6 inch)
Signed ‘H van Straaten’ (lower left)
- Dr J. den Hartogh, Zeist, 1962
- Hans van Leeuwen (1911–2010), Amerongen (his collector's mark, Lugt 2799a, applied on the verso); his sale, Christie’s, Amsterdam, 24 November 1992, lot 183
Nederlandse tekeningen: collectie Hans van Leeuwen, Laren (Singer Museum) 1963, no. 106
Born somewhere in the Northern Netherlands (most likely in Haarlem) around 1665 as the son of the painter Lambert van der Straaten (1631–1712), Henrik van der Straaten became a member of the Haarlem guild of St Luke in 1687.1 His known oeuvre shows an awareness of the works of Nicolaes Berchem (1620–1683) and other Haarlem-based Italianate painters.
Also known as De la Rue (‘straat’ is the Dutch word for ‘street’), the artist emigrated to England around 1690 and is considered a pioneer of English landscape painting.2 Van der Straaten was visited by the portrait painter Joseph Highmore in his studio in Drury Lane in London in 1714, who commendted on his effective working method, which allowed him to have a generous production of landscape paintings. He died in London in 1722.
Van der Straaten is best known for his Italianate landscape drawings, which are generally washed in watercolour by the artist himself, and often survive in pairs. They were executed as works of art in their own right, and were avidly sought after by collectors of ‘papierconst’. Comparable watercolour landscapes signed ‘d rue’ are preserved in the collections of the Universität Göttingen (Niedersachsen, Germany).3 The artist also signed himself ‘H. v. Straaten’ as in the present sheet, for instance in his Landscape with a Stone Bridge in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (fig.).4
1. For the artist, see: S. Karst, ‘Off to a new Cockaigne: Dutch migrant artists in London, 1660-1715’, Simiolus 37 (2013-2014), pp. 25-60.
2. See M.H. Grant, A Chronological History of the Old English Landscape Painters (in oil), Leigh-on-Sea 1957, pp. 77-78.
3. Inv. nos Sammlung Uffenbach H170 and H171; each 203 x 309 mm, one signed ‘d rue’; see G. Unverfehrt, N. Büttner a.o., Katalog der Zeichnungen. Kunstsammlung der Universität Göttingen, Munich 1999 (CD-ROM), no. 15501668, repr.
4. Black chalk, watercolour, 110 x 218 mm, inv. no. RP-T-1902-A-4654.