Jacob de Gheyn

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Jacob de Gheyn
A Soldier Preparing to Load His Caliver
ca. 1597-1607
Pen and brown ink and gray wash.
10 1/4 x 7 1/16 inches (261 x 180 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Inscribed at lower right, in brown ink, "22"; on verso, at upper left, in graphite, "26656 (crossed out) / 70/28"; at lower left, in brown ink, "1659" (crossed out) / Goll van Franckenstein's number, "N-1180"; at lower right, in graphite, "DeGheyn / 10 . 6".

Jan Pietersz. Zoomer (the entire series: Lugt 1511/; Jan Goeree (the entire series); his sale, Amsterdam, Schoemaker, 17 March 1731; Jonkheer Johann Goll van Franckenstein the Elder (1722-1785; his "N 1180" in brown ink on verso; Lugt 2987; acquired about 1758; not in sale of Jonkheer Pieter Hendrik Goll van Franckenstein, 1 July 1833, and probably sold by the owner before the end of the eighteenth century); and hence possibly Paignon-Dijonval (1708-1792), Paris; possibly his grandson, Charles-Gilbert, Vicomte Morel de Vindé (no mark; see Lugt 2520); possibly sold in 1816 to Samuel Woodburn (no mark; see Lugt 2584); sale, New York, Christie's, 29 November 1977, lot 156; Mr. And Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 157, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 10.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 34-35, no. 61.
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Nineteenth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1978-1980. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981, p. 169-170, 193-94.
Stampfle, Felice. Rubens and Rembrandt in Their Century : Flemish and Dutch Drawings of the Seventeenth Century from The Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1979, no. 46, repr.
The Age of Bruegel: Netherlandish Drawings in the Sixteenth Century (checklist only). New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1987, no. 53A.


Watermark: none.
An engraving after this drawing (inv. 2000.17) and a hand-colored 1608 German edition of the manual (PML 198443) are also in the collection of the Morgan Library.
The drawing is preparatory for plate 22 in the Dutch army manual first published in three parts in The Hague in 1607 under the title "Wapenhandelinghe / van Roers-Musqvetten / ende Spiessen / Achtervolgende de ordre van / Sÿn Excellentie Maurits Prince van / Orangie Graue van Nassau ... Figvirlyck Vutgebeelt door Jacob de Gheÿn."
This drawing was among those commissioned to illustrate The Exercise of Arms, an important Dutch military manual published in 1607 and based on the techniques for weapon handling developed by Maurice, Prince of Orange, who used them with noted success during the Dutch Revolt. The drawings remained unpublished for over a decade, likely because of a desire to keep them secret. Here a soldier opening a flask of powder demonstrates how to load his caliver (a type of harquebus). Collectors have long prized these beautifully artistic drawings. In this example, de Gheyn's use of the white of the paper in tandem with the wash creates shimmering volumes. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Zoomer, Jan Pietersz, 1641-1724, former owner.
Goeree, Jan, 1670-1731, former owner.
Goll van Franckenstein, J. (Johann), 1722-1785, former owner.
Paignon-Dijonval, 1708-1792, former owner.
Morel de Vindé, Charles Gilbert Terray, vicomte, 1759-1842, former owner.
Woodburn, Samuel, 1785 or 1786-1853 former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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