The Dutch Drawings in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle

By Leo van Puyvelde | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THE recorded history of the royal collection of Old Master Drawings1 explains to a large extent the contents of the Dutch part of this collection.

When George II gave to the nation his rich and varied collection of books, which now forms the nucleus of the library of the British Museum, he retained the old drawings which had been acquired by himself, and his forebears. On his accession to the throne, George III, with the help of his librarian, Richard Dalton, immediately set about enlarging the collection. Many entire collections of paintings and drawings were bought in Italy, amongst them that of Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice, for which, in 1762, the King paid the huge sum of £20,000 pounds. George IV, while still Prince of Wales, made many additions, chiefly of works by Dutch artists. I was fortunate enough to find in the Royal Archives the bills for some of his purchases.

The bulk of the drawings would appear to have been acquired during the eighteenth century, and the taste of the period is reflected in the choice of the Dutch drawings. While the quality of some of these will ensure them a place amongst the works of art of all time, the greater number in this collection are of such a character as appealed particularly to the spirit of the eighteenth century. It was a time of quiet contemplation and enjoyment of life; men were learned without being pedantic, sensitive without sentimentality, and admirers of perfection in craftsmanship.

The greater number of the drawings in this collection are carefully executed works, mostly made for their own sake. This explains the absence of any of the 1250, more or less, drawings which Mr. Frits Lugt considers as definitely the work of Rembrandt. To most of the connoisseurs of the eighteenth century, whose demand was for a finished product, his notes and sketches, albeit the work of genius, appeared meaningless scribbles.

We, on the other hand, like the scribbles. We enjoy the studies from nature, and the exercises through which the artist tries to grasp the form in which to express the information he has acquired by observation, the creations of his imagination and the feelings of his heart. This shorthand writing enables us to follow the growth of an idea and the development of the artist's capacity.

Most of the old collectors looked at the matter from a different angle. Their interest was in complete drawings. As early as the seventeenth century many Dutch artists did their best to meet this demand by producing finished drawings for the albums of amateurs. One of the first to adopt this practice was Hendrik Avercamp, the 'dumb artist of Kampen', who finished off his drawings by colouring them in light and attractive tones. His later popularity in England is shown by the fact that the royal collection is richer than any other in examples of his work.

The taste of the eighteenth century is also exhibited here in the great number of landscapes by Dutch artists who followed the conception of the 'heroic' landscapes of the classical artists. The lesser men among them often fell into a spiritless repetition of themselves or of their models, especially at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The connoisseurs who formed the royal collection were, however, lucky in their choice of drawings of this school, for it possesses a large number of excellent works by these artists, amongst them being Herman van Swanevelt, Jan Both,

____________________
1
See Leo van Puyvelde, Flemish Drawings at Windsor Castle. London, Phaidon Press, 1942, Introduction.

-5-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Dutch Drawings in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Introduction 5
  • The Drawings 9
  • Reproductions 79
  • The Reproductions 81
  • General Index 161
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 166

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.