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Famous Dutch Painters from Dordrecht, Ancient Capital of Holland

Part 22

54. Abraham van Strij 


Note : Please do not email me with technical questions about paintings and their age and origin because I am not an expert but I only have gathered information about the Painters from the Netherlands and specially from Dordrecht.

Dordrecht is not only known as the oldest city and ancient capital of Holland but also for the many famous painters who were born or lived in Dordrecht during the late Middle ages and later centuries.

On the next pages you can find many works from these famous painters who were responsible for many styles of paintings and they immortalized the daily life and landscapes in the 15th to 19th century. Most of their masterpieces are nowadays part of collections in museums all over the world and of which many can be seen in the local Dordrechts Museum.

Abraham van Strij

Dordrecht 1753 - Dordrecht 1826

Abraham received his first drawing lessons from his father, Leendert van Strij (1728-1798). Van Strij senior had a painting shop, which meant he painted houses, but he also decorated spreads and wall panels. Later, Abraham got lesson from Joris Ponse (1723-1783), maker of decorative pieces and still lifes and a short study at the Antwerp academy of art. In 1774 Abraham founded the Art societssy "Pictura" in Dordrecht, which he would remain committed.

Abraham was more versatile than his brother Jacob, who was also a painter. He began with paintings on wall systems and interior panels. After 1780 he made regular portraits and landscapes. More familiar are the interior scenes, by which he was inspired by seventeenth-century masters such as Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684). Van Strij had many pupils, including his son Abraham (1790-1840).


Reading woman near a window with view on the Dordrecht Minster

Abraham van Strij
Oil on panel 70,5 x 58,4 cm
Dordrechts Museum

In many works of Abraham showed van Strij an inventive and intelligent follower of the Golden Age. The composition of this panel is reminiscent of Pietsser de Hooch (1629-1684), the bright palette that of Aelbert Cuyp, while the reading a woman is a known motif of Nicolaes Maes.

In this painting van Strij let himself known as Dordtenaar, by the half-opened window, the Great Church of Dordrecht xan be recognized.

Strij-Abraham-The lesson

The drawing lesson

Abraham van Strij
Oil on panel, 69 x 60,3 cm
Dordrechts Museum

The inspiration for this panel was the work of seventeenth-century genre painters. The theme of the student who works for a classical sculpture is already seen by Jan Steen (1626-1679). The composition of the two look through's  based Abraham van Strij likely from Pietsser de Hooch (1629-1684).

The painting style with clear colors and the font style brush lining is typical for Van Strij's own time, the period around 1800. In the painting a statue is seen, a copy is a work of Lysippus Greek sculptor (4th century BC). The image, the old Silenus, who acted as an educator of the young god Dionysus.


Woman and drinking soldier

Abraham van Strij, 1825
Oil on panel, 69 x 60,3 cm
Dordrechts Museum

As a source of inspiration for this painting, served a bar scene of the 17th-century genre painter Pietsser de Hooch. De Hooch and other painters of the Golden Age were important examples for Abraham and his brother Jacob van Strij. The brothers admired the old masters to their sophisticated appearance of the light. In their work they tried their predecessors even to surpass in brightness.

As in 17th-century paintings often is the case, this scene has a double bottom. The sword between the legs of the hussar is impossible as an innocent motive to be seen. Also van Strij's contemporaries would have understood what these cheerful drinker actually want.


Still-life with flowers, fruits and a fish can

Abraham van Strij
Oil on panel 92,4 x 72 cm
Dordrechts Museum

In van Strij's oeuvre, this is a rare type of still life. Interestingly, the combination of very different objects and the unusual motif of the bowl with goldfish.

In the seventeenth century still lifes often contained references to the transience of life. At the end of the eighteenth century, such meanings mostly disappeared. The decorative and pictorial elements were then the most important.


The beggars

Abraham van Strij
Paper pencil in brown paintbrush in color 43,3 x 36,7 cm
Dordrechts Museum


A woman and child

Abraham van Strij
Oil on panel 58,2 x 53,3 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Interior with sitting man with fur cap

Abraham van Strij
Aquarelle en gouache 36,4 x 26,2 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Stable interior with woman and wheel barrow

Abraham van Strij
Aquarelle 21,7 x 18,6 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Stop at an inn

Abraham van Strij, 1794
Pen in black, brush in black and gray 33,4 x 28,4 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Talking about art

Abraham van Strij
Brush in black, brown and gray 21,4 x 24,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum


A cherries saleswoman at the front door

Abraham van Strij, 1816
Oil on panel 72.7 x 59 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

A woman sits at the door and shows her daughter the cherries that a woman at the door has for sale. Right blows a cat in the windowsill to a dog. Near a window a rifle and other belongings of a hunter.


The drawing lesson

Abraham van Strij, 1790/1809
Oil on panel 25 x 20.5 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

A boy is under the supervision of a master drawing a plaster statue of a nude portrait. In the background are several paintings.


The housewife

Abraham van Strij, 1800 tot 1811
Oil on panel 56.5 x 49 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Interior with a mother sitting at the cradle of her child. The woman's lap has a basket with vegetables. On the left in a corner a press.


The boiler barnster

Abraham van Strij, 1808/10
Oil on panel 34 x 27 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In a kitchen a cook is in the process of sanding a copper kettle. On a wooden bench is an earthenware pot and lid.

Strij-Abraham-Young Sweethearts

Young Sweethearts

Abraham van Strij
Montana Museum of Art & Culture


A Winter Scene

Abraham van Strij
Oil on panel, 61 x 55 cm
Private collection

Abraham van Strij painted few winter scenes (he draw rather more). In this excellent and beautifully preserved example we see the artist's interest in the effects of light, and his delight in detail, such as the view through the little gate with a man holding a bucket in the late sunlight of a winter day.


An Extensive River Landscape

Abraham van Strij
Oil on canvas 211 x 189 cm
Private collection

This painting, depicting an extensive river landscape with a boeier at anchor and horsemen on the shore with an elegant couple and a dog, a ferry with cows in the background, formed part of a rare set of six wall-hangings by the brothers Jacob and Abraham van Strij. Only very few complete or almost complete sets have survived, one of which, a set of seven, is now in the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, and another set of five is in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.

Wall-hangings became very popular in the second half of the 18th century, when several factories in Amsterdam were established producing these wall-hangings for the canal houses. The workshop of the Strij brothers also produced wall-hangings which are often signed by only one artist, the main contributor. However, in most cases the hand of both painters can be seen.


Interior with mother, child and dog

Abraham van Strij, 1810
Oil on panel 64 x 78 cm
Private collection


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