Black and brown chalk, black chalk framing lines, watermark PIR( ?)
202 x 304 mm. (8 x 12 in.)
Haag was known primarily as a painter of horses and horsemen, and was attached to the stadtholders court in The Hague. After living for a few years in Leeuwarden, where his father, Johan David Christiaan Haag, was employed as painter to Princess Marie Louise of Orange-Nassau, Haag moved to The Hague with the court when he was aged 10. Haags practice of portrait painting gradually gave way to depictions of animals. He was a friend of Aart Schouman and worked in a related genre. Both Schouman and Haag supplied drawings of the stadtholders menagerie for a series of works that was published by Arnout Vosmaer between 1766 and 1784. He was appointed director of the stadtholders collection of paintings. Haag was a member of The Hague Drawing Academy where he was both warden and later dean. The invasion of France in 1795 put an abrupt end to his public life for the House of Orange.
A characteristic example of his work as an animal artist is in the Rijskprentkabinet1, and there is a drawing comparable to ours of Two Dogs resting in a hilly Landscape which was recently on the art market2. The theme of dogs, which were used for hunting, a privilege of the nobility, was a typical subject matter for Haag. The attribution is historical, though has been thought convincing by some scholars3.
Haag painted a series of 10 panels for Otto van Randwijck, stalmeester to Stadhouder Prins Willem V, between 1785 en 1789, they are now in Cannenbugh Castle.
1.J.W. Niemeijer, Eighteenth-Century Watercolours from the Rijksmuseum Print room, Amsterdam, Zwolle, 1993, number 23.
2.Anonymous sale, Christies Amsterdam, 9 November 1998, lot 184.
3.Dr Erik Loeffler, written communication, 14 January 2010.