Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)

Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)

Michiel Versteegh (Dordrecht 1756 – 1843 Dordrecht)

A Man Drinking by Candlelight

Watercolour on vellum, black ink framing lines, 183 x 164 mm (7.25 x 6.5 inch)

Signed and dated 'Michiel Versteegh / 1789' upper left

Private collection, The Netherlands


A man dressed in 17th-century costume has just poured himself a 'roemer'-type glass of wine from a pewter jug. Although the glass and jug are also of 17th-century style, the candlestick ('blaker') and porcelain 'Gouda' pipe are of a design contemporary with the date of the watercolour.This type of pewter jug so often appears in paintings by Jan Steen (1625/26-1679) that it is generally known as a Jan Steen jug.

This is an early work by the Dordrecht-born painter and draftsman Michiel Versteegh. The artist was born in 1756, and this drawing is dated 1789, when Versteegh still had many productive years ahead of him, dying at great age in 1843. Versteegh's earliest works are landscapes, but he is most famous for his carefully-worked 'kaarslichtjes', candle-lit scenes such as the present work, which are inspired by works of the Leiden school of 'fijnschilders' (fine painters), established in the 17th century by Gerrit Dou.

A second, undated version of the sheet is in the Museum in Dordrecht.1


1. Inv. no. DM/960/T170. See exhib. cat. 150 Jaar Dordtse tekenkunst 1700-1850, Dordrecht (Dordrechts Museum) 1984-85, no. 66, repr.

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Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)
Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)
Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)
Michiel Versteegh (1756-1843)
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