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Jan Maurits Quinkhard

(1688 Rees – 1772 Amsterdam)

Two Women, One Sitting and One Sleeping, in Front of a Window with a View of a Mountainous Landscape. Drawing in red chalk. 18.5 x 14.5 cm. Signed and dated: “J.M. Quinckhard f. 1712”.

The charm of this intimate scene derives from the sensitivity of its observation and the subtle handling of different spatial planes. To the left, a contemplative young woman sat on a fragment of ancient architecture steals a glance at the observer. To her right a young woman is fast asleep, her pretty face resting on a cushion, in a state of complete self-abandonment. It would appear to be an outdoor scene, although the window opening behind the two women, which affords a view of a mountainous landscape, suggests the intimacy of an enclosed space. This subtle play with different levels of space and reality imbues the scene with an air of poetical mystery.

The author of the piece, the painter, miniaturist and draughtsman Jan Maurits Quinkhard, hailed from the Rhineland. After 1710 he lived and worked in Amsterdam, where he was granted the rights of a citizen in 1723. He was taught by his father, Julius Quinkhard the Elder, and later apprenticed to Arnold van Boonen, Christoffel Lubienietsky and Nicolaas Verkolje. While Quinkhard was mainly successful as a portrait painter, he also distinguished himself with allegorical and mythological compositions. Only a handful of his drawings have survived. Quinkhard was important as a teacher, too. Among his students were such illustrious names as Jurriaen Andriessen, Ludolf Backhuijzen II, Jan de Beijer and Jan Stolker.

Provenance: C. G. Boerner, Neue Lagerliste 54, Düsseldorf 1970, no. 68.

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