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Anthonie Waterloo

(1610 Lille – 1690 Utrecht)

A Capriccio of Antique Ruins. Black chalk, charcoal soaked in linseed oil, grey wash, black framing lines. 29.8 x 39.8 cm. Watermark: Foolscap.

This impressive, monumental sheet by Anthonie Waterloo strikes by its serene, contemplative atmosphere and by its subtle distribution of light and shade. The picturesque scenery is fully deserted and there is no sign of any human activity whatsoever. The ancient ruins commemorate a glorious, distant past and thus symbolise the frailness of all human endeavour. Although there is no documentary evidence that the artist ever undertook a voyage to Italy, several drawings of Roman ruins like the present one, suggest a possible stay there. Compare for example View of the Palace of Septimius Severus in Darmstadt  (Exhibit. Cat. Landschaftszeichnungen der Niederländer: 16. und 17. Jahrhundert. Aus der graphischen Sammlung des Hessischen Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Darmstadt 1992, no. 42), or View of the Baths of Diocletian, Rijksprentenkabinet Amsterdam (inv. RP-T-1954-112). However, Waterloo could also have been inspired by the works of Dutch fellow artists returning from study trips to Italy. 

The highly finished sheet is executed in the vigorous and fluid drawing style so typical for the artist. Provenance: Jacob de Vos Jacobz. (according to an inscription in the collection files of the last owner); with Bremmer, Amsterdam; from whom purchased by I. Q. van Regteren Altena (Lugt 4617). Exhibited: Amsterdam, Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap, Hoe Hollandse teekenaars Rome zagen 1500–1840, 1940 (no catalogue published); Exhibit. cat. In de ban van Italie: Tekeningen uit een Amsterdamse verzameling, by I. Oud, M. Jonker and M. Schapelhouman, Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam 1995, no. 16.

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