Jacob Helmolt (1747-1808) (L. 2986b) with his number 'N:1512'.
Frederik Carel Theodoor, Baron van Isendoorn à Blois (1784-1865) (L. 1407, on the mount).
Anton Wilhelmus Mensing (1866-1936) (according to the 1960 exhibition catalogue).
Dr. Albert Welcker (1884-1957) (L. 2793c) with his number 'Inv. No 1338'.
Schouman was a prolific and versatile artist and the collection of his work assembled by I.Q. van Regteren Altena and offered here demonstrates the Dordrecht master’s exceptional range.
Natural history was Schouman’s preferred subject: the artist is best known for his careful studies of animals and plants and was one of the best 18th Century Dutch watercolourists. His watercolours of birds survive in significant numbers, but the present group contains examples of rarer natural subjects. These include watercolours of exotic mammals which Schouman possibly saw in captivity in the Royal Menagerie at The Hague (lots 15,16); it is, however, more likely given the short lives of exotic animal imports, that the artist had to work from stuffed specimens. The two botanical drawings included are rarer still (lots 17, 26). Laurens J. Bol, in his 1991 monograph on the artist, observed that, although the 1792 sale of the artist’s studio estate contained 268 plant studies (L.J. Bol, Aert Schouman: Ingenious painter and draughtsman, Doornspijk, 1991, p. 77), fewer than a tenth of that number survive today.
Showing Schouman’s versatility, the group also contains a number of works from less characteristic genres outside natural history such as landscapes, portraits or genre drawings.
Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Herdenkingstentoonstelling: Aart Schouman 1710-1792, 1960, no. 112, pl. 57.
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, and Paris, Fondation Custodia, Le zoo du prince: la ménagerie du stadthouder Guillaume V, 1994-1995, hors catalogue.