Aert Schouman

A sea eagle with its prey

Aert Schouman was born in Dordrecht in 1710. At age fifteen he became the apprentice of the – otherwise quite unknown – Dordrecht painter Adriaan van der Burg. From 1742 until his death in 1792 he was the head master of the Dordrecht artist guild Teekengenootschap Pictura; from 1752 until 1762 he was also head master of the guild of The Hague. His took on his first student in 1733 and continued teaching until his death; among others, he taught the still life painter Jan van Os. Schouman worked primarily in The Hague, although he also spent some time in Middelburg and visited Great Britain in 1765.

Schouman was a prolific artist, who not only painted portraits, townscapes, biblical scenes and mythological themes but also wallpaper decorations. He was also active as an engraver and, occasionally, as an art dealer. Over his lifetime Schouman amassed a great collection of paintings. Today however, he is best known for his watercolors of plants and animals – especially (exotic) birds, mostly set in park-like landscapes.

Schouman made whole series of studies of animals, mostly birds, which he had the chance to study in the menagerie of Stadhouder Willem V. The present work, a very vivid depiction of a sea eagle holding down its prey, may be considered a prime example of his art.

Artist: Aert Schouman (Dordrecht 1710 - 1792 The Hague)
Medium: pen and ink, watercolour on laid paper
Dimensions: 255 x 365 mm