Jacob CATS - 1741 - 1799
Landscape with a Herdsman and his Animals by Ruins
Dutch School

Pen and grey ink, grey was
Over black chalk
Brown ink framing lines

18.0 x 25.8 cm

Signed :

Numbered :

Watermark :

Euro :

“J. Cats inv et fec 1799”


Crest with a Post horn and “D & C Blauw”


Jacob Cats, born in Altona, Germany, in 1741, soon moved with his book dealer father, Jan, to Amsterdam. His artistic career began with lessons in copper engraving from Abraham Starre and Pieter Louw. He was then interested in wallpaper-painting and studied with Gerard van Rossum and worked in the factory of Troost van Groenendoelen together with Jacob Xavery and Johannes Schultz. He then created his own wallpaper factory in Amsterdam where Egbert van Drielst was particularly active. At this point in life, by his own admonition, his true love in the arts was drawing. He also gave drawing lessons in his factory until he decided to close it down in order to devote himself completely to his drawings. Jacob Cats died in Amsterdam in 1799.

His numerous superb drawings of landscapes and topographicals have established his fame. Jacob Cats must be regarded as the most outstanding draughtsman in Holland during the second half of the eighteenth century. His drawings either highly finished or free, present scenes of Dutch everyday life, renewing the vision of Holland during his time, but also presenting the Dutch man as united with nature. His ability to represent, in pen and ink or watercolour, atmosphere, and the effects of light is nearly unsurpassed in the eighteenth century.( Earl Roger Mandle, "Dutch Masterpieces from the Eighteenth Century". 1972, p.32,33). The present drawing dates from his last year of activity and can be compared to the "Winter Night in a Dutch Town" in the Cleveland Museum of Art, dated 1797, and the "Scene on a Frozen River Skirting a City Rampart" in the Rijksmuseum print room in Amsterdam (inv.no.1919:36) which is dated 1790.


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