Dirk van der Burg (Utrecht, 1721-1773) View on Langerak seen from the river Lek (1756)

Dirk van der Burg or Dirck van den Burg was baptised on the 10th of August 1721 in Utrecht as the son of Albertus van der Borgh and Pietronella de Riet. His brother Jacobus was born on 2 April 1724. Dirk married Alida van Cornegga on 11 December 1772. The couple had one son Albertus who was born on 18 April 1773 after which Dirk died soon on 2 June 1773. Alida dies on 2 January 1796.[1]

Van der Burg was a well to do man who owned a large collection of juwelry, drawings, paintings, books, gold and silver coins and medals, and prints. Though van der Burg is mentioned as "Konst-Schilder te Utrecht" (Painter in Utrecht) posthumously in 1774, his known oeuvre is utmost small compared to other contemporary (topographical) artists like Jan de Beyer.

Possibly a large part of his oeuvre was lost or more likely he was a dilettante who did not need to draw and paint to make a living out of it which could also clarify his small oeuvre. Evidence for this dilettante is all his signed and dated drawings date between April and October, from which we may conclude van der Burg was a summer draughtsman, just like Cornelis Pronk and Jan de Beyer.

He is mentioned by Van Eynden and van der Willigen as a landscapist whose drawings are very truly drawn after nature. A scholarship of van der Burg is unknown, though influences by Cornelis Pronk and his fellow citizen Jacob van Liender are evident. His active period dates between 1743 and 1770 based on signed and dated drawings. J van Hiltrop, J.C. Philips and C. Philips Jr. have engraved after Dirk van der Burg.

Our drawing shows a view drawn after life (ad viv: del:) of Langerak, seen from the river "De Lek" with in front of two samoreus ships a rowing boat with two elegant ladies. Clearly visible in the background on the left wing of the drawing is the characteristic Dutch Reformed Church of Langerak, which origins date from the 14th century, one of the oldest church buildings in The Netherlands.

Verso shows the so characteristic signature and annotation known from other drawings by van der Burg "Langerak. D.vd.Burg ad viv: del: 16 july 1756". Our drawing mentioned under no. 77 in the catalogue raisonné by Chr. P. van Eeghen.[2]

Van der Eeghen mentions in his article "Een in blauw gewasschen teekening zag ik niet" (I did not see any drawings with blue wash) from which we may conclude he didn't see our drawing first hand. These drawings with blue wash are very scarce in van der Burg's oeuvre.




[1] Chr.P. van Eeghen, 'Dirk van der Burg of Jan de Beyer?'. Oud-Holland 59 (1942), p. 23-37

[2] Chr.P. van Eeghen, 'Proeve van een oeuvre-catalogus van Dirk van der Burg'. Oud-Holland 59 (1942), p. 90-96. No. 77, A.J. van Huffel 1011.

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