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Famous Dutch Painters from Dordrecht, Ancient Capital of Holland

Part 20

51. Aert Schouman


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.

Aert Schouman

Dordrecht 1710 - The Haque 1792

Aert Schouman was a prolific and versatile Dutch painter, glass engraver, printmaker, collector and dealer, who produced still lifes, biblical and mythological themes, natural history studies, genre, historical works, portraits, sketches, etchings and mezzotints. He designed tapestries, painted wall-hangings and decorated objects such as fans, snuffboxes and even the glass windows of a magic lantern

When 15 years old he served as apprentice to the Dordrecht artist Adriaen van der Burg (1693-1733). Schouman was unusual among painters in that he kept a detailed diary of his professional life from 16 October 1733 to 16 November 1753. He took on his first art pupil in 1733 and continued teaching for the rest of his life. In 1736 he founded the Brotherhood of St. Luke, a fraternity of amateur art lovers from Dordrecht and environs. Schouman was a leading artist in Zeeland between 1735 and 1785. During that period he lived and worked in Dordrecht, The Hague and Middelburg and taught pupils in Dordrecht and The Hague. He traveled to England twice and assembled an important collection of paintings.

By 1762 he had been appointed principal of the academy and included among his pupils was the great Dutch flower painter Jan van Os. Schouman was fortunate to receive royal patronage and completed many works for Prince Willem V at the summer palace of Het Loo, at Apeldoorn. The Prince owned a zoological cabinet and a menagerie which contained mammals, snakes and birds from various parts of the world. Although newly arrived exotic birds were popularly depicted, the favorite bird subjects in the eighteenth century were still live domestic poultry, followed by dead partridges and other species. Among the domestic birds, new breeds were being developed and bantam cocks began to appear. Hens with their chickens were very popular, although the young of most every other species (with the exception of ducklings and goslings) were ignored.

Between 1765 and 1768, Schouman was employed in the pictorial recording of the animals at Willem V's palace at Het Loo. Over one hundred drawings by him can be found in one of the few surviving complete recueils, the "Vogel Boek" (Bird Book). Moreover, Schouman's depictions of the animals housed in the royal menagerie, along with those of Simon Fokke, formed the core of thirty-four treatises on foreign animals, published between 1767 and 1787 by Arnout Vosmaer. Their illustrations were accompanied by descriptions written by Peter Simon Pallas. In this composition of an Alpine Cough, the full range of Schouman's skill is spectacularly shown as he forges a remarkable synthesis between a concern for scientific truth and the decorative and exotic aspects of natural history that were highly prized by royal and private clients. In his ornithological presentations, Schouman places the bird in a setting that provides a strikingly accurate impression of scale. It is one of the masters of natural history's best paintings and is a valuable record showing the eighteenth-century synthesis of science and the aesthetic.


Christ and the Samaritan woman

Aert Schouman, 1738
Oil on canvas and panel 125,7 x 102,2 cm
Dordrechts museum

In the Gospel of John is written how Jesus, completely against the use, speaks with an infidel, Samaritan woman. Schouman gave this event again in a decorative, elegant style that reveals the increasing influence of Rococo and Classicism.


The flight to Egypt

Aert Schouman, 1737
Oil on canvas 134 x 111 cm
Dordrechts museum

Especially in the first period of his artistry Schouman painted several historical scenes. From these paintings with historical, biblical or mythological scenes have just a few survived. With the flight to Egypt Schouman painted a topic from the New Testament. He emphasized not the drama of the flight, but the relationship between Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child. Striking is the turban, one of Rembrandt known attribute, that was rare used by Joseph.


Self portrait

Aert Schouman, 1754
Oil on canvas 81,7 x 65 cm
Dordrechts museum

Around 1748 Aert Schouman moved from Dordrecht to The Hague, where his reputation as a great portraitist and wallpaper painter took flight. In 1751 he was elected as regent of the Hague art academy, the following year as he became President of the Hague painter society Pictura. Schouman here depicted himself as artist-regent. In his left hand he holds a gilded woman statue and the insignia of Pictura that he shortly before was given.


Self portrait

Aert Schouman, 1750
Oil on panel 28,8 x 23,3 cm
Dordrechts museum


Birds in a park landscape

Aert Schouman, 1766
Oil on canvas 187 x 123 cm
Dordrechts museum

Schouman was in the second half of the 18th century, much demanded as painter of decorative landscapes with birds. His models were caged or stuffed birds in the bird cabinets of collectors. These two paintings belonged to a five-piece wallpaper that Schouman made for a Country house in Oostkapelle. In 1809, the entire series moved to a house in Middelburg, in a bombing in May 1940 they were severely affected. These two paintings were temporarily housed elsewhere and were spared. Since 1961 they are in the Dordrecht Museum.


Juno and Argus

Aert Schouman
Oil on canvas on board 90,1 x 85,7 cm
Dordrechts museum

From the Metamorphoses of the Roman writer Ovid, Schouman took the story of Juno and Argus as inspiration. In the story changed the Roman supreme Jupiter his beloved Io into a white cow to avoid his wife Juno to find his adultery. But Jupiter could not mislead Juno. She asked Jupiter the cow as a gift and claimed Argus, the giant with a hundred eyes, as guardian of the animal. Ultimately the god Mercury killed Argus. His hundred eyes he gave to Juno, who put them on the feathers of the peacock. The loose style and elegant treatment of the painting points to the influence of the French rococo style.


Portrait of Cornelis van Lil and his son with Schouman himself

Aert Schouman
Oil on panel 49,3 x 41 cm
Dordrechts museum


Still life with ox-head

Aert Schouman, 1747
Oil on canvas 83,5 x 70 cm
Dordrechts museum


Portrait of Albertus de Jonck and his wife Maria Verpoorten and son William

Aert Schouman, 1746
Oil on canvas 89,5 x 116,5 cm
Dordrechts museum


View at Dordrecht made like Aelbert Cuyp in 1647

Aert Schouman, 1759
Pencil, brush and colors 15,5 x 29,5 cm
Dordrechts museum


Stone quarry of the earl of Kassel

Aert Schouman, 1753
Aquarelle 10 x 15,9 cm
Dordrechts museum


Three birds in a tree

Aert Schouman
Aquarelle 42,4 x 26,5 cm
Dordrechts museum


Wallpaper with a scene from "il pastor fido"

Aert Schouman
Aquarelle 20,6 x 6 cm; 26,5 x 44,9 cm; 20,6 x 6 cm
Dordrechts museum


Birds in a landscape

Aert Schouman
Aquarelle 16,5 x 21,7 cm
Dordrechts museum


A bergamot-plant

Aert Schouman, 1753
Aquarelle on gouache, 43,3 x 28 cm
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam


Gold-Pheasants with chickens and black grouse chicks in a landscape

Aert Schouman
Oil on canvas 99 x 151 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Portrait of Frans Groenewoud (1680-1761/62)

Aert Schouman
Oil on copper oval 11 x 9.2 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Miniaturist, glass engraver and poet in Dordrecht



Aert Schouman, 1787
Oil on panel 45 x 37 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Turkeys, Chicken and a Guinea Fowl by a Wooden Fence

Aert Schouman
Black chalk, watercolor, pen and ink framing lines 23.1 x 33 cm
Private collection


An Agouti

Aert Schouman, 1758
Pen and black ink and watercolor within brown ink framing lines 30.5 x 25.4 cm
Private collection

On the other side is written "een westindies Conijn levensgroote als een klyne kat"

Schouman-Aert-An Alpine Cough on a Branch

An Alpine Cough on a Branch

Aert Schouman, 1778
Watercolor within brown ink framing lines, in black chalk and again in brown ink 36.1 x 25.9 cm
Private collection

The bird was seen by the artist in the collection of the Stadtholder Willem V


Three Birds in a Tree: A Weaverbird, a Redbilled Quelea and a Red Bishop

Aert Schouman
Watercolor over traces of black chalk, within remains of black brown ink framing lines 30.7 x 20.3 cm 
Private collection

On the backside is written “Deeze drie Vogeltjes, Alle na Leevende geteekent/+ Rotterdam bij de Heer Arnoud gevers/door de fijn schilder A Schouman”


An Adult and Juvenile Night Heron

Aert Schouman
Watercolor over traces of black chalk 36,1 x 25,1 cm
Private collection


Decorative birds in a park

Aert Schouman
Oil on Canvas 197 x 162 cm
Private collection


Parrots and other exotic birds in a landscape

Aert Schouman
Oil on Canvas 133.5 x 141 cm
Private collection


Exotic birds in a parkland setting; A mallard and a spaniel beside a lake in a park, pair (2)

Aert Schouman
Oil on Canvas 170 x 83 cm
Private collection


Two red faced lovebirds and a waxbill

Aert Schouman
Black chalk, watercolor 31,6 x 22,2 cm
Private collection


A Merganser Standing on Rocks

Aert Schouman
Black chalk watercolor 13 x 10 inches
Private collection


A Beaver by a River

Aert Schouman
Black chalk watercolor 14.4 x 10.2 inches
Private collection


A Crested Oropendula

Aert Schouman
Watercolor, 7.3 x 11 inches
Private collection


A Crown bird at the foot of a tree, a terrace in the background

Aert Schouman
Black chalk, watercolor, 11.6 x 15.9 inches
Private collection


A peacock, a pheasant, a cockerel and other birds in a landscape

Aert Schouman, 1746
Oil on canvas 123.2 x 100.3 cm 
Private collection


Portrait of a family

Aert Schouman, 1749
Oil on panel 58.3 x 49.6 cm
Private collection

Portrayed full-length, said to be Yoan van Wageningen (b. 1704) and children, Yan (b. 1733) and Cornelia (b. 1734), in an interior.


Portrait of a nobleman

Aert Schouman, 1774
Oil on canvas, oval 60.6 x 51.6 cm
Private collection

Portrayed half-length, in a blue embroidered vest, lace collar and cuffs and a dark blue coat, holding a drawing of a bird in his right hand

Schouman-Aert-A-peasant-pours-a-drink-for-a-woman-while-he- husband-and-maid-sleep

A drinking party in a garden

Aert Schouman, 1739
Oil on copper 35.3 x 43.2 cm
Private collection


Communion and Baptism set

Aert Schouman and Dirk Wor 1738
21 krt. Gold
Dordrecht Minster (Grote Kerk) Dordrecht

Aart Schouwman made the set of drawings ​​for the Communion and Baptism Set in the Dordrecht Minster and his fellow townsman, the goldsmith Dirk Wor, made the cups and bowls in gold. ​On the first Sunday in 1738 it was first used at the communion table in the Choir.

The complete Communion and Baptism Set is exhibited in the Minster, of course safely in a safe and behind glass !!!


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