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36 East 73rd Street New York City, NY 10021 United States 212.517.9176
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$ 24,000

Two Seraphs

Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Signed 'Jdwit' on the lower right
Origin Netherlands
Period 18th Century
Materials Black, red and brown chalk heightened with white on paper
Dimensions
W. 24.5 in; H. 20 in;
W. 62.23 cm; H. 50.8 cm;
Condition Good.
Description The leading Dutch decorative painter of the eighteenth century, Jacob de Wit specialized in architectural panels for ceilings and walls with groups of putti painted in a rococo manner naturalistically or in grisaille. Born in Amsterdam, he was first apprenticed at the age of nine to Albert van Spiers, a painter of wall decorations who studied with Gerard de Lairesse in Rome. In 1708, at the behest of his uncle, Jacomo, a wealthy merchant and collector, de Wit moved to Antwerp, where he enrolled in the Koninklijke Academie and later trained with Jacob van Hal. During this period, he studied the work of the city’s great masters, most importantly Rubens, whose paintings he copied and later collected. In 1713, he was admitted to the Guild of Saint Luke, but chose to return to Amsterdam two years later. Upon his arrival, de Wit quickly established himself as the finest decorative painter of the city, securing important commissions for churches, civic buildings and patrician homes. His clientele rapidly expanded to include collectors throughout Holland, as well as in Kassel, Lisbon, London and Paris. An unceasing demand for the artist’s chamber paintings and decorations for over mantels, over doors and ceilings pushed his annual income, in 1742, to more than 4,000 guilders, a huge sum matched by surgeons, but not lawyers. So popular and innovative were de Wit’s paintings in imitation of white and gray stucco that in Holland they became known as “witjes,” in a play on his name.

A prolific and talented draftsman, de Wit made drawings as preparatory studies, to record completed paintings and as independent works of art, all of which were eagerly sought by collectors.
Styles / Movements Old Master, Other
Incollect Reference Number 308490
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