Josua de Grave

Josua de Grave - A landscape

A hilly landscape with travelers and farmers, a village beyond

Josua de Grave was born in Amsterdam in 1643. It is not known who he studied with. He entered the Haarlem guild of St. Luke in 1659. De Grave specialized in topographical drawings, traveling extensively in the Netherlands and France. However, several imaginary and Italianate landscapes by his hand are also known. Presumably the present work falls into the second category – as there is no explanatory inscription specifying when or where the work was made – although it cannot be excluded that the artist actually did depict an existing village.

De Grave’s work is often confused with that of his contemporaries Valentijn and Barend Klotz, who he made several travels with. Luckily, the present work is signed, leaving us with no doubts as to its attribution. Stylistically, it can be compared to the landscape sheet currently at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, which is dated 1674. The current work was probably executed around the same date.

The drawing shows a hilly rural landscape, with several farmers and travelers in the foreground, while a column of soldiers can be seen marching down the country road in the background, where their pitched tents can also be made out.

Artist: Josua de Grave (Amsterdam 1643 - 1712 Den Haag)
Medium: ink and wash on laid paper
Dimensions: 105 x 160 mm
Signed: 'J. De Grave: fecit:', bottom right