Aert Schouman
Dordrecht 1695-1760 The Hague
A Jay with outstretched wings and wren perching on a Tree beside a Dutch Estuary

PROVENANCE: Lord Fairhaven.

Signed and dated A Schouman/ 1778

Black chalk, watercolour, pen and brown ink framing lines, watermark GR

345 x 250 mm (13 x 10 in.)

Aert Schouman is regarded today, as well as in his day, as one of the unrivalled watercolourists of the period. Around the age of 15 he began an 8 year apprenticeship with Adriaan van der Burg in his native Dordrecht. After his masters death Schouman became an in dependant artist, earning his living chiefly as a painter of portraits and wall hangings, although he accepted more modest commissions. Like many of his colleagues Schouman also worked as an art dealer. Beginning in 1735 he received commissions from the province of Zeeland, and in particular from the town of Zeeland, where his brother Cornelis was active as painter. From around 1748 he lived alternatively in Dordrecht and The Hague. It was in The Hague, where the stadtholder had his court, that Schouman came into his own as an artist. Niemeijer regarded Schoumans

rendering of animals and birds, some in oils, but most in watercolour, are probably his most important contribution to eighteenth-century Dutch art. In them he combined an exceptionally radiant palette with a rapid, transparent handling of the brush and an assured mise en page

Our wonderful drawing is closely comparable to a number he drew in the Rijksmuseum, indeed the landscape beneath the Jay is also close to those in the museum, and is distinctly Dutch in character2.

Lord Fairhaven is well known for having an excellent collection of Dutch 18th Century watercolours.

1.J.W.Niemeijer, Eighteenth-Century Watercolours from the Rijksmuseum Print room, Amsterdam, Zwolle, 1993, p. 124.

2.J.W.Niemeijer, op.cit, nos. 56-8.