Jacob van Strij
Dordrecht 1756-Dordrecht 1815
A Landscape with Cattle, Sheep and Herders

Signed J:van Stry

Pencil, pen and black ink and wash, pen and black ink framing lines

350 x 472 mm. (13 x 18 in.)


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 (1739-1822) 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.

According to Bolten it is Jacob van Strijs landscape paintings and drawings that Cuyps influence makes itself felt most strongly. Jacobs deliberate emulation of this painter is probably also to be explained to a not insignificant extent by the great interest shown in Cuyps work at the end of the 18th Century by collectors and dealers, especially in England1. According to Adriaan van der Willigen who commented in 1817 that it took a practiced eye to distinguish Van Strijs copies and imitations from the original works by Cuyp. However it is clear that in our drawing van Strij is imitating Cuyps painting style, rather than his drawings. It is difficult to date his drawings, since he seldom if ever dated his work, though his major pieces dated from 1790-1810 and our drawing is likely from this period2.

Our drawing is close to a number of drawings and paintings by Jacob van Strij. The comparable drawings are in the Dordrecht Museum and in an unknown location3. The paintings that our drawing is close to are in a private collection and also in the Dordrecht Museum4.

1.Leiden, University Print Room, J. Bolten, Old Master Drawings from the Print Room of the University of Leiden, The Hague, 1986.

2.Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 28 November 1997-3 March 1998, On Country Roads and Fields. The Depiction of 18th and 19th Century Landscape, entry by Robert Jan Te Rydt number 21.

3.C. Dumas, et al, Abraham en Jacob van Strij: Hollandse meesters van landschap en interieur omstreeks 1800, 2000, Dordrecht, cat.no.195, fig.207,p.141, and fig.208, p.141.

4.C. Dumas, op.cit., cat.no.73, fig.46, p.36 and cat.no.64, fig.143, p.102.