Jacob VAN DER ULFT- 1627 - 1689
Landscape with Fortress
Dutch School

Pen and brown ink, brown wash

11.9 X 20.8 cm

Watermark :

Provenance :

Euro :

Crest in a Circle

Hendrik Tersmitten Jr., Mayor of Amsterdam


Jacob van der Ulft, born in Gorinchem in 1627, was a self-taught painter, glass-painter and draughtsman who seems to have spent his whole career in the place of his birth. In addition to some work in oils, he made a series of detailed watercolors, important for their quality and subject matter. Ulft is best known, however, for his numerous drawings, mostly topographic or imaginary, of Italian scenes, especially Roman views, from which it might be supposed that he had visited Italy. He died in Nordwijk in 1689.

Jacob van der Ulft reflects a common seventeenth century response to the phenomenon of Rome; cityscapes and ancient ruins in the process of decay and yet intensely alive, magically transformed by the late afternoon light. His handling of long, flowing areas of golden wash is very typical and shows the influence of his fellow artist Jan de Bisschop. (Franklin W. Robinson, "Seventeenth Century Dutch Drawings from American Collections". Washington, 1977, p.66). Similar drawings by Jacob van der Ulft were formerly in the Hans van Leeuwen collection. These sheets portrayed Roman views and were dated between the years 1674 and 1675, which is about the same dating that can be assigned to the present sheet. Drawings by Jacob van der Ulft on this scale are rare, a similar size was with Sotheby's London in July 2001, and another is in the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.

Another version of this drawing, with different staffage, is contained in the album of drawings by Jan de Bisschop and Jacob van der Ulft, in the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth. The Chatsworth drawing, which has been dated circa 1688, is inscribed on the verso: Un Castello Qu’era di Roma, suggesting that the building seen here is a real castle near Rome.

The collector referred to in the note on the mount must be Hendrik Tersmitten Jr. whose extensive collection was sold in Amsterdam on 23 September 1754 and the following days.


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