The Netherlands, unidentified auction, lot 29 (sold with Hermanus Numans A Wooded Landscape with Three seated Travellers, according to attached label).
Signed and dated Hs Numan inv e fecit 1789. (verso) in pen and brown ink, watermark J Whatman
Black chalk, pen and brown ink and watercolour, pen and brown ink framing lines
275 x 226 mm. (10 7/8 x 8 7/8 in.)
Hermanus Numan worked as a painter, draftsman and etcher of landscapes, and to a lesser extent portraits. He grew up in the Northern city of Groningen where his family ran a shop which produced lacquered and painted tinware. He learnt decorative painting under Johannes Franciscus Franc, and later in Haarlem was apprenticed to Jan Augustini (1725-1773). Numan was accompanied by Egbert van Drielst. After four years he returned home to work on portrait commissions. In about 1768 Numan went to Paris to finish off his studies, under the financial support of Petrus Camper. In France he worked under Hall, and was also taught by Jacques-Philippe Le Bas (1707-1783). In 1771 he returned to Groningen before settling in Amsterdam, where he enrolled in the Drawing Academy. Whilst in Amsterdam Numan painted portraits and worked with Juriaan Andriessen on stage sets for the new Playhouse, and gave drawings lessons to amateurs.
According to Niemeijer: Numan was unquestionably one of the most accomplished watercolourists of his day.1
Our watercolour is characteristic of the artist and is in excellent condition2.
1.J.W. Niemeijer, Eighteenth Century Watercolours from the Rijksmuseum Printroom, Amsterdam, Virginia, 1993, p. 108.
2.J.W. Niemeijer, op.cit, numbers 48 & 49.