Abraham Meertens

A park landscape with a turkey, a chicken and a chick, a stork, a rooster and several other birds

Abraham Meertens was born in Middelburg in 1747. Although it is not known who taught him, he was greatly greatly influenced by Aert Schouman, who spent some time in Middelburg in the 1760’s. Meertens was one of the co-founders of the Middelburg drawing academy and became its director later on. Meertens mostly painted studies of animals, especially birds, many of which he probably studied in the menagerie of Prince Willem V, Stadhouder of the Dutch Republic, at Kleine Loo. Meertens also made illustrations for a book, De Zeeuwsche Oudheden, which was published at Middelburg in 1780.

The size of the present watercolor gives the impression that it was intended as a design for an interior, possibly a wall-hanging. Several large-scale wall panels by Meertens are known; other sketches for similar panels have also survived. Our study shows a menagerie of birds, several of which are interacting a a lively and amusing manner, in a park-like setting. Here, the influence of Meertens’ contemporary Aert Schouman – he was slightly older – instantly becomes evident. Stylistically, the drawing can be dated to the 1790’s, when compared to other known works by the artist.


Artist: Abraham Meertens (Middelburg 1747 - 1823)
Medium: ink and watercolor on paper
Dimensions: 300 x 180 mm