Jean Bernard (Amsterdam 1765-1833 Amsterdam) Allegory on the Sea

Jean Bernard was an Art-collector, Art-dealer and amateur draughtsman, taught by the sculptor Christiaan Vermeer (1742-1814). He studied at the Amsterdam Drawing Academy and was a member of the Royal Dutch Institute. Bernard was a member of Teekengenootschap (gekleed model) onder de spreuk Zonder Wet of Spreuk (Drawing society (dressed model) by the adage Without Law or Saying) in Amsterdam, of which figure studies are known of the same boy seen from slightly different angles by Bernard and Abraham Johannes Ruytenschildt (1778-1841).[1]

During it's existence between 1808 and 1819 drawing society "Zonder Wet of Spreuk" (Withour Law or Saying) counted seventeen active members (among which were artist and dealers). The artists gathered mostly at the house of member Gerrit Jan Michaëlis (1775-1876) on monday evenings between the months of November and March. Inspired by their seventeenth century predecessors Cornelis Bega, Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde and Adriaen van de Velde, they sketched after living models who were always dressed and never served as nude models, though often depicted barefoot. The studies drawn at "Zonder Wet of Spreuk" show mostly serene poses dressed in rural fashion and were often literally pasted as staffage into landscape paintings by it's members. Bernard was closely acquainted with, and artistically inspired by Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk (1782-1810) and is best known for his black chalk drawings of animals and his drawn copies of paintings by Paulus Potter (1625-1654) and Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683).[2]

The present drawing is clearly after a Flemish Old Master (the painting dated 1621 on the lower left), the painting and artist this far unrecorded.



[1] R.J. te Rijdt, Figuurstudies van het Amsterdamse particuliere tekengenootschap "Zonder Wet of Spreuk" (ca. 1808-1819).
Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 38 (1990), p. 223-244.

[2] Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum - Artists born between 1740 and 1800.
Haarlem/Ghent/Doornspijk, 2004. p.67-69.

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