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4.1 The Drawings

Twenty-seven of the sheets feature drawings, which vary from a study of a chicken to completely finished compositions. Descriptions of 2004 in RKDimages were linked to the provisory name Masters of the Van Eeghen Drawing Book. In fact the hands of several artists may be discerned. Two series of drawings each appear to have been rendered by one hand:

  • fourteen Old and New Testament Depictions plus a study of three figures by a tree,1  

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The Annunciation, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The annunciation to the shepherds, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The adoration of the shepherds, c. 1605-1615


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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The angel proclaims to Zacharias the birth of John the Baptist, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, Mary visits Elisabeth (the Visitation), c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, Preaching of John the Baptist, c. 1605-1615


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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The baptism of Christ in the river Jordan, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The beheading of John the Baptist, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, Boaz hears his servant about Ruth, c. 1605-1615


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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The meeting of David and Abigail, who kneels before him and brings him supplies for his men (1 Samuel 25:23), c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, As Elijah prays, God sends fire which burns up not only his sacrifice but also the altar itself; the people fall prostrate on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-40), c. 1605-1615


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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, The parable of the rich man and the poor Lazarus, c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, King David rebuked by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-25), c. 1605-1615

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh, Man, woman and child at a tree (rest on the flight into Egypt?), c. 1605-1615

  • and four landscapes with dilapidated farms.2

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Meesters van het Van Eeghen Tekenboek, Landscape with dilapidated farm, c. 1630-1632

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Meesters van het Van Eeghen Tekenboek, Landscape with dilapidated farm, c. 1630-1632


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Meesters van het Van Eeghen Tekenboek, Landscape with dilapidated farms and wheelbarrow, c. 1630-1632

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Meesters van het Van Eeghen Tekenboek, Landscape with dilapidated houses and a horse skeleton, c. 1630-1632


The remaining finished works, a Venus with Three Nymphs Mourning the Dead Adonis [i] done in red chalk, a Landscape with a Saint Anne Trinity [i] and a Mary with Christ, Saint John the Baptist and His Parents Elizabeth and Zacharias [i]3 are by hands that do not show up elsewhere in the drawing book, whereas a few small sketches in chalk were presumably added by later owners. This is certainly true for the pages with calligraphic lines. The interspersed written names, Jesyn Cornilje (fol. 1r), Jan van Eeghen (fols. 1r and 100r, with the date 1738), and Jan Cornilje (fol. 3r) establish that the book was already handed down within the same family back in the 18th century.4

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Meesters van het Van Eeghen Tekenboek, Venus and her nymphs mourning at the lifeless body of Adonis, first half 17th century

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attributed to Lambert Jacobsz., 'Anna selbdritt' with Joseph in the background (?), c. 1620

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Lambert Jacobsz., Mary with Christ, John the Baptist and his parents Elisabeth and Zacharias, c. 1620


The group of four landscapes is closely related to the work of Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651). Although a number of the biblical depictions also betray the influence of that Utrecht master, the landscapes are drawn in a more confident and refined hand to which six sheets in sundry museums and the art trade are also attributed. Two of these are dated 1630 and 1632 respectively.5 In the past these landscapes have been attributed to Jacob van Geel (1585-after 1638), presumably on the basis of comparable gnarled trees in his paintings, but the known drawings by him are much stiffer in composition and execution.

Because of the ‘Reyer Claessoon’ that is inscribed on the front cover, for the 15 predominantly biblical scenes the name of Reyer Claesz. Suycker (c. 1590/1600 - c. 1655) has come up, but the similarity to the work of this landscape painter is slight. There are clear stylistic differences within this group of drawings, varying from sheets that are reminiscent of the mannerist style of Abraham Bloemaert and Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638), such as the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist [i], , to compositions close to Pre-Rembrandtists like Pieter Lastman (1583-1633) and Jan Tengnagel (1584-1635), such as Elijah and the Worshippers of Baal [i], while still others bring to mind Italians such as Jacopo Bassano, witness the Adoration of the Shepherds [i]. Nor is the group uniform with respect to drawing technique and quality of execution and composition. However, striking characteristics such as the foliage, the gnarled trees, the stocky figures with disproportionally large heads set low on the bodies, the overly long arms with large, often gesticulating hands, and the architectural backgrounds recur in ever changing combinations, allowing the conclusion that the series is by the same hand or that it originated in the same workshop.

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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh   , Preaching of John the Baptist, c. 1605-1615

studio of Rombout Uylenburgh  
Preaching of John the Baptist c. 1605-1615
pen in brown ink / blue washed paper, 278 x 425 mm
Private collection, no. fol. 11 recto



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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh   , As Elijah prays, God sends fire which burns up not only his sacrifice but also the altar itself; the people fall prostrate on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-40), c. 1605-1615

studio of Rombout Uylenburgh  
As Elijah prays, God sends fire which burns up not only his sacrifice but also the altar itself; the people fall prostrate on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-40) c. 1605-1615
pen in brown ink / paper, 278 x 425 mm
Private collection, no. fol. 20 recto



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studio of Rombout Uylenburgh   , The adoration of the shepherds, c. 1605-1615

studio of Rombout Uylenburgh  
The adoration of the shepherds c. 1605-1615
pen in brown ink / paper, 278 x 425 mm
Private collection, no. fol. 5 recto





[1]

Fols. 3r (RKDimages 65327), 5r (65567), 6r (65329), 9r (65330), 10r (65331), 11r (65332), 12r (65333), 13r (65334), 17r (65335), 18r (65336), 19r (65337), 20r (65338), 21r (65339), 22r (65340), and 82v (65351).

[2]

Fols. 32r (RKDimages 65344), 33r (65345), 36r (65346) and 37r (65347).

[3]

Fols. 25r (RKDimages 65341), 28r (65342) and 29r (65343).

[4]

‘Jan Cornilje’ is presumably the same as Jan Cornelje (?-?), husband of Christina Laers and father of Cornelia Cornelje (1695-1749), who in 1724 married Christiaan van Eeghen (1700-1747). Jan van Eeghen (1729-1760) was their son.

[5]

Fols. 32r (RKDimages 65344), 33r (65345), 36r (65346) and 37r (65347); RKDimages 108422, 236862, 238634 (art trade), 238637 (dated 1630), Kupferstichkabinett Dresden), 238630 and 238631 (one of which is dated 1632 (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen).

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