Signed in pen and ink J:van/ Str f [on a log in the right hand corner], black ink framing lines, pencil and watercolour
538 x 438 mm. (21 1/8 x 15 3/4 in.)
Miss Blake, Southampton; Mr & Mrs Gilbert Cousland, London (according to labels on the backing).
Jacob and his brother Abraham, learnt the rudiments of painting in the workshop of their father Leendert, who was a house-painter and decorative painter in Dordrecht. From 1801 Jacob, together with his brother Abraham, ran a joint studio, where they both made wall-hangings, amongst other things. Jacob went on to study under Andreas Lens a history and figure painter. Between 1774-6 Jacob took lessons at the Antwerp Academy. On his return to Dordrecht he became a member of the Pictura Drawing Society which had been founded in 1774 by his brother, amongst others. When Jacob van Strij was working on his watercolours he drew inspiration from the seventeenth century, Antoine van Borssom, Rembrandts pupil, whose style he largely adopted. Van Borssom was one of the few 17th century artists to colour their landscapes, and in van Strijs day coloured landscapes were extremely popular. It is not surprising that van Strij should look to the seventeenth century for his inspiration, since his landscapes were strongly influenced by Albert Cuyp.
Our watercolour is comparable to two other drawings, in both size and subject matter, which are in Frankfurt-am-Main1. In addition the drawing is comparable in subject matter and format to a number of paintings by Jacob van Strij2. Charles Dumas has confirmed the attribution from a photograph.
1.C. Dumas, et al, Abraham en Jacob van Strij: Hollandse meesters van landschap en interieur omstreeks 1800, 2000, Dordrecht, fig. 92, p.69; p.168, fig 245, cat 208.
2.C. Dumas, op.cit., fig.43, p.34; fig.52, p.40; fig.59, p.44; fig.71.p.57.