Dirk Langendijk (Rotterdam 1748-1805 Rotterdam) A hawking party (1780)

Dirk Langendijk was born in a relatively poor family and the only artistic education he got was an apprenticeship to the carriage painter Dirk Anthonie Bisschop (1708-1748). His hereafter acquired artistic skills seem to be fully autodidact. His marriage with Josina Margaretha van Doorn was not a success as Dirk was a man of furious temperament and the couple divorced. Dirk suffered from depressions, financial problems, a unhappily marriage and alcohol abuse. He drowned in the "Leuvehaven" Rotterdam, possibly due to drunkenness, though this remains unsure. Dirk was the teachter of his son Jan Anthonie (1780-1818), who was a less skillful artist compared to his father.[1]

His oeuvre as a history draughtsman consists largely of military (battle) scenes with crowdy compositions. Basically his style is pen and brown ink, with grey wash. Only few drawings in full-colour depicting non-military scenes are known by Dirk Langendijk.[2][3]

It is known Langendijk copied after Dutch seventeenth-century old masters like Berchem, Stoop, Romeyn, van der Does and Wouwerman etc as several drawings by Langendijk after Berchem and Wouwerman appeared in posthumous auctions by Engelberts, Amsterdam and van Oukerke, Haarlem.[4][5]

Dirk may have seen these paintings in the collections of several of his collectioners. These collectioners or connoisseurs from Rotterdam, Gerrit van der Pals, Daniël de Jongh, Jan van Ek and Gerrit van der Pot van Groeneveld owned paintings by Philips Wouwerman and it is very well possible the present drawing is a free copy after a painting by Wouwerman previously in of these private-collections.

These local clients were members of the Rotterdam drawing society "Hierdoor tot Hooger" (At higher level through this), which also counts for Aernout van Beeftingh, Willem Baartz and H van Lockhorst. Probably Dirk has copied after the famous seventeenth-century painters after his apprenticeship to Dirk Anthonie Bisschop. These influences very much traceable in his drawings, especially Langendijk's drawings with horses show Wouwerman's heritage, though he used the style of his predecessors to draw his contemporary political subjects in an up to date setting.

After his "Chatham" drawings and the prints (d. 1782) by Matthias de Sallieth (1749-1791) after these drawings, Langendijk's fame became so high he from thereon exclusively drew battle scenes, which fully corresponds with the dating of our drawing after Ph. Wouwerman (repeatedly signed and dated 1780 as well on the verso).

Drawings by Dirk Langendijk in full-colour depicting non-military subjects are extremely scarce. Teylers Museum Haarlem, who has got the largest collection of drawings by Langendijk amongst all musea, preserves the series "Vier Elementen" (The four elements) and "De Maanden" ("The Months) which are unusual and non-military subjects, though all in pen and ink and wash, uncoloured.[6][7]

A study for our drawing was at auction in the rooms of Oosten de Bruyn, Haarlem, 8 April 1800.[8]




[1] H.C. Hazewinkel, 'Dirk en Jan Anthonie Langendijk en Christoffel Meijer'. Rotterdams Jaarboekje 1955, p. 121-142.

[2] M.E. Deelen, A.M. Meyerman, M.C. Plomp and P. Ratsma, "Dirk Langendijk - tekenaar tussen kruitdamp en vaderlands gevoel". Stichting Historische Publicaties Rotterdam, 1982.

[3] M. Thissen-Menalda, 'Dirk Langendijk (1748-1805): tekenaar in woelige tijden'. Teylers Museum Haarlem, 1993.

[4] Een Italiaansch Landschap met een Herder, drie Koeijen, en een Hond: met de pen en roet, naar N. Berghem, door D. Langendijk. Veiling Engelberts, Amsterdam 9v.d. Schley,...de Vries), 14 December 1807.

[5] Een Landschap met Paarden, met o.i. Inkt, na Ph, Wouwerman, door Dk. Langendyk. Veiling van Oukerke, Haarlem (Engesmet), 19 May 1818.

[6] Dirk Langendijk, Vier Elementen. Teylers Museum Haarlem, Inv. nr. X 003-011

[7] Dirk Langendijk, De Maanden. Teylers Museum Haarlem, Inv. nr. X 012-023

[8] Dirk Langendijk, Een Juffer te Paard en een Heer te Voet, ten Valken Jagt gaande, in 't bruin, meesterlyk en breed behandeld, door D. Langendijk. Veiling Oosten de Bruyn, Haarlem (v.d. Vinne), 8 April 1800, no.15, blz. 82.

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