Some of the new acquisitions in the year 2000:

Jacques de Gheyn II (Antwerp 1565-1629 The Hague)
Three drawings:
Bust of Christ,
Bust of Saint Simon; and
Bust of Saint John the Evangelist
in pen and brown ink with grey wash, traced, approximately 136 mm in diameter (inv. nos. 2000-T.29/31)

These three circular drawings representing Christ, Saint John and Saint Simon are designs for a set of fourteen engravings of Christ, the twelve Apostles and Saint Paul, executed by Zacharias Dolendo (1561- c.1605). Until recently, the drawings had been thought to have been lost, only four preparatory sketches for the series of engravings having been known to exist: Saint Thomas and Saint Matthew (Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam), Jude Thaddeus (Minneapolis Institute of Arts) and Saint Matthias (National Gallery of Arts, Washington). The rediscovered drawings, purchased by the Fondation Custodia, are in the same style and technique as their fellows, the ink lines being traced by a needle. This was a method used to transfer the outline of the drawing onto another surface, in this case a copperplate for the engraving. The engravings would be in reverse compared to the preliminary design.

The series can be dated to approximately 1596, relatively early in the artist's career. Between 1585 and 1590, Jacques de Gheyn II worked in the studios of Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) in Haarlem. Around 1590, he decided to set up his own workshop in Amsterdam, later moving to Leiden where he worked as an engraver and publisher. While he had previously engraved and printed the work of other artists, he now started to publish prints after his own designs. For this series of the Apostles, De Gheyn produced the design drawings and then had his pupil Zacharias Dolendo produce the actual engravings. In this early stage of De Gheyn's career, the influence of his mentor Goltzius is still very apparent.

- Regteren Altena, I. Q. van, Jacques de Gheyn, three generations, The Hague 1983 (see nos. 66, 70 and 76)
- Filedt Kok, J. P. and M. Leesberg, 'The De Gheyn Family' in The New Holstein: Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700, Rotterdam 2000, nos. 86-99

Johan Barthold Jongkind (Lattrop 1819-1891 Grenoble)
a watercolour over underdrawing in black chalk
View of Montmartre of c. 1849, signed, 258 x 416 mm (inv. no. 2000-T.1)

Johan Barthold Jongkind is regarded as a forerunner of Impressionism. Monet, Manet and Pissarro all refer to him as a pioneer of the Impressionist landscape. Born in the Netherlands, he first left for Paris in 1846 at the age of 25. Until 1855 he lived mainly in Montmartre. During this period he painted many views of Paris, including this watercolour View of Montmartre. It already shows signs of the freedom of execution for which his later watercolours (1862, 1883 en 1884) would become so famous. In the foreground we see a high area of waste ground depicted in fluent strokes. Numerous plumes of smoke rise from the chimneys of the buildings in the distance. All this is painted in light but brown hues that still betray the influence of his teachers (Andreas Schelfhout, Eugène Isabey).

Pieter Lastman (Amsterdam 1583-1633 Amsterdam)
a drawing of
Mercury in red and white chalk on paper prepared light orange, 282 x 209 mm (inv. no. 2000-T.6)

Pieter Lastman, Rembrandt's teacher, drew various figure studies in red and white chalk. This is a drawing of Mercury done on prepared paper. It is not known for which painting this was a drawing. We see Mercury from below, so that he towers over us. Yet the figure is not monumental; rather it is depicted quite elegantly. The red chalk lines are very free, as evidenced by the shading of the cloak, and highly graceful, as can be seen in Mercury's right arm. The free style of drawing in this figure study is also sometimes found in Rembrandt's early figure studies.

- Amsterdam, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Pieter Lastman, leermeester van Rembrandt, 06-12-1991/01-03-1992, catalogue: pp. 162-163, no. 33 repr. Bibl.: K. Bauch, Der frühe Rembrandt und seine Zeit, Berlin 1960, p. 107 fig. 69

Domenico Beccafumi (Valdibiena 1486-1551 Siena)
a chiaroscuro woodcut of
An apostle (St. Bartholomew ?) from three blocks in shades of grey on paper, c. 1540-1550, 414 x 214 mm (inv. no. 2000-P.18)

This woodcut of an apostle was made by the Italian artist Beccafumi in three shades of grey. It is considered to be among the finest examples of the chiaroscuro technique.

Beccafumi was a versatile artist. As well as paintings, he produced sculptures, mosaics, drawings, etchings and woodcuts. He is also known for his work in marble on the floor of the cathedral in Siena. Beccafumi worked in the Mannerist style. A typical feature is the twisted but monumental pose of his figures (contraposto), which often have rather long arms. In his chiaroscuro woodcuts he experimented with light-dark effects and the possibilities of colour.

The standing apostle belongs to an incomplete series. The work fits in well with other chiaroscuro woodcuts and a drawing by Beccafumi which is also in the Frits Lugt Collection. This elaborately worked depiction of Three prophets (?) on coloured paper has the same dimensions as most of the other prints in the apostle series. It is worth noting that the drawing is indented for transfer with the stylus. This made it possible to copy the work, for example on another sheet of paper. Beccafumi probably wanted to use the drawing to make a print (now unknown).

- A. Bartsch, Le peintre-graveur, 21 vols, Vienna 1800-1821, vol. XII, 72.15