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The Vow (The divine appointment of William of Orange as the Saviour)

Joachim Wtewael workshop

* 1566 in Utrecht † 1638 in Utrecht

Pen and brown ink and grey wash, heightened with white, within pen and brown ink framing lines. Size of sheet: 18.7 x 24.7 cm.

Studio Paulus Wtewael in collaboration with his father Joachim. 
Inscribed in brown ink: Joachim Uijtenwael.Fecit. 

Literature:       E.McGrath, A Netherlandish History by Joachim Wtewael, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1975, vol.38, p.183, pl. 28a;

           Martin and Sewell, 1970, lot 59. 

Provenance:    With Martin and Sewell, 11 Bury Street, May 1970. 

Our drawing belongs to a series of lifetime replicas/copies after the set of drawings “Subjugation and Salvation of the Netherlands” by Joachim Wtewael (1566 - Utrecht - 1638). It is the Illustration 8 of the series of 14 known scenes depicting the The divine appointment of William of Orange as the savior. Around 1610. (Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, inv./ 8159). The mentioned set split today and hosted in various locations (Albertina, Wien; National Gallery of Canada, a.o). The intended function of the set has much been debated. Recently discovered documents confirm that the drawings were intended as designs for glass paintings. The panels were commissioned in 1610 to adorn the first floor of the town hall of Woerden, where earlier that year important negotiations had taken place with the Spanish.

The second set, to which our drawing belongs, is also known and discussed (E. McGrath, A Netherlandish History by Joachim Wtewael Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 38 (1975), p. 182 e.v., afb. 28 a.). This drawing shows a stiffer draughtsmanship to the first version in the Albertina and is clearly done after that. It was speculated whether the second set was done by a pupil in Wtewael’s studio or by his son Paulus, may be even in collaboration with his father.

This is a very fine Mannerist drawing of its time.



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