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    Signed & inscribed l.r. Houbraken / getekend / door Quinckhard

    Black chalk on buff paper

    24.2 x 20.2 cm


    LITERATURE [for the painting]:

    Engraved by Jacob Houbraken in 1749 (see fig. II);

    Alexander Ver Huell, Jacobus Houbraken et son oeuvre, Arnhem (1875), p.1 (first listed portrait)





    Jacob Houbraken was the son of the great Arnold Houbraken, an artist whose magnum opus - The Great Theatre of Dutch Painters (publ. Amsterdam, 1718-1721) - is regarded by some as being to Dutch art history what Vasari's Lives was to the Italians. Jacob assisted his father with his tome for a number of years as a young man and budding artist himself, then helping his mother with the final proofs of the manuscript before it's posthumous publication. Jacob's contributions to the text included a number of portraits of bygone painters, many of which are now the only extant depictions of these historical figures. His own career as an artist was devoted almost entirely to portrait engraving, an art form he excelled in. He collaborated with his contemporaries in England, the historian Thomas Birch and artist George Vertue, to produce the seminal series Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain (London, 1743-1752), an undertaking not dissimilar to Jacob's work for his father at the beginning of his career.


    The present work is of particular interest as one of very few known drawings of the younger Houbraken (with just one other, by Hendrik Pothoven, known today), and for being the best-known depiction of him, as that which was used in Ver Huel's catalogue of Houbraken's works. Quinkhard's finished portrait, dated 1748, is now known only through the engraving by Houbraken himself (the production of which makes for an entertaining thought!): in the portrait, Houbraken rests his left arm on a table, holding a print in his hand. The two artists knew each other very well, and were likely close friends, having collaborated on several dozen portrait engravings over the course of their careers. There is also a work whose creation process was the reverse of the present, in that it is a drawing (of Jacob de Wit) by Houbraken but after Quinkhard, and again engraved by Houbraken, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam  (see fig. I above).





    Quinkhard was born in Rees, near Cleves the son of the painter Julius Quinkhard the Elder, under whom he studied first. By 1710, Quinkhard was living and working in Amsterdam, where he was taught by Christoffel Lubieniecki, Nicolaas Verkolje, and Arnold Boonen, all leading artists of the period and a remarkably prestigious assembly of mentors for the young artist. He worked as both a draughtsman and portrait painter, but his most celebrated works are the more than a hundred miniature portraits of poets, known as the Panpoëticon Batavum, the idea for which came from Quinkhard's friend Arnoud van Halen, a painter who also supplied many of the portraits himself. Many of the original drawings for the Panpoëticon can now be found in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.


    Quinkhard was of the founding members of the Amsterdam Stadstekenacademie, or drawing academy. Among his pupils were numerous important artists of the day, including his son Julius Henricus Quinkhard, Jurriaan Andriessen, Jan de Beijer, Tibout Regters and Jan Stolker. Quinkhard himself became one of the leading portrait painters in Amsterdam, and works by his hand can today be found in several museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Museum in Amsterdam and the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.

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