Jacob de Wit was one of a number of Dutch artists working in the early eighteenth century who was hired by Amsterdam's wealthy patricians and merchants to embellish their town and country houses with ceiling paintings, wall panels, and over-mantel works, few of which survive in situ. One of de Wit's specialties was groups of nude children for over-door and over-mantle pictures. His creations on that theme secured him commissions both in and outside of Holland. This drawing is perhaps related to de Wit's work for the domestic interior. In it de Wit placed four putti in the foreground of a landscape. The composition is similar to a more finished drawing by de Wit of the four seasons that is now in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam (see Adolph Staring, Jacob de Wit, 1695-1754 [Amsterdam, 1958], plate 103). In both the drawings, one of the putti holds a scepter. De Wit created stucco groups of putti as an allegory of the four seasons, suggesting that is the subject of the present sketch.
Jacob de Wit
Jacob de Wit
Four Putti at a Well
Pen and brown ink with gray wash on paper.
6 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches (156 x 130 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.
Inscribed on verso at lower right in graphite: "Almond / 4A 7"
Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A1321).