Paulus van Liender

Travellers near a moated castle

Born in Utrecht, Paulus and his brother Pieter Jan both trained with their uncle Jacob van Liender (1696–1759), a doctor and amateur draughtsman of some standing, who specialised in Arcadian landscapes. Paulus continued his studies in Amsterdam with Cornelis Pronk (1691–1759), whose topographical drawings proved of great influence to the young Van Liender. He was also acquainted with Jan de Beyer (1703–1780), another specialist in topographical views. Around 1774 Van Liender had moved to Haarlem, where he remained for the rest of his life. In Haarlem he taught at the Drawing Academy and occupied the position of ‘Steller van het Model’ (‘Positioner of the Model’), presumably determining the positions in which life models posed for Academy students. Among his pupils were Hermanus Petrus Schouten and Franciscus Andreas Milatz.

Van Liender is known to have made several miniature drawings like the present sheet, which the artist probably sold to collectors in pairs or series. A comparable example of nearly identical dimensions is preserved in the Weimar Museum. A further drawing of nearly identical size and dated 1780 formed part of the collection of Prof. I.Q. van Regteren Altena. The small size enabled the artist to showcase his highly sophisticated and precisely detailed technique to maximum effect.

Artist: Paulus van Liender (Utrecht 1731 - 1797 Haarlem)
Medium: brush and brown wash on laid paper
Dimensions: 51 x 75 mm
Signed: ‘Paul van Liender fec: 1776’