Recent acquisition: Dirk and Jan Anthonie Langendijk

18.04.2016

The Atlas Van Stolk continues to expand its collection with new acquisitions. A few weeks ago a collection of drawings and prints made by Dirk Langendijk (1748-1805) and his son Jan Anthonie (1780-1818) was acquired. Dirk Langendijk was a Rotterdam artist, painter and engraver known for his depictions of political and military scenes. His son, Jan Anthonie Langendijk, followed in his father's footsteps and was also a draftsman. The acquisition consists of more than 60 drawings, watercolours and etchings.

The Langendijk collection was probably compiled by Jan van der Hoeven (1863- 1941). The collection belonged to the heirs of Mrs De Meester-Manger Cats. It is no coincidence that the Atlas Van Stolk has been approached for the transfer of these prints. One reason is that the Van der Hoeven family is related to the Van Stolk family. Both the mother and grandmother of Jan van der Hoeven were called Anna Joanna van Stolk, the first being a daughter of Abraham van Stolk, the founder of the Atlas. In addition to that, these Langendijk prints may have been a part of a larger collection, and the heirs thought it important to bring the collections together again. The fact that Dirk and Jan Anthonie Langendijk both came from Rotterdam has also played an important part in their decision.

A large part of this acquisition consists of prints showing the Anglo-Russian invasion of 1799. The invasion was part of the Second Coalition War and had two objectives: firstly, the British and the Russians wanted to disable the Batavian navy in order to prevent an invasion of Britain. Secondly, the troops aimed at taking control of Amsterdam, to instigate an anti-revolutionary uprising from there. That would allow the Batavian Republic to be overthrown and to restore the governorship of the House of Orange-Nassau. However, this was never achieved: the troops attacked in North Holland in August 1799, but after a heavy defeat for the allied British and Russian troops on 6 October in the Battle of Castricum, the hostilities ended in an armistice on 10 October. On 19 November the last allied soldier left North Holland.

Dirk and Jan Anthonie were very interested in this encounter and therefore wanted to draw the scenes of the battle. The Langendijks, who lived in Rotterdam, needed a domestic passport to travel to North Holland. The two were allowed to travel in the area of the battle for six weeks, from 15 November 1799, to make their drawings. At that time the battle had already been fought and the only thing Dirk and Jan Anthonie could therefore witness were the preparations for the retreat and the departure itself. Nevertheless, Dirk Langendijk, by drawing the battle sites combined with the afterwards collected information on the battle, could paint a strikingly realistic picture of this attack. Historians Roeland Eynden and Adriaan van der Willigen wrote in their Geschiedenis der Vaderlandsche Schilderkunst that Langendijk frequently succeeded so well, that those who had been present at the incidents he had drawn, were often surprised by the correct presentation of it.

In addition to the prints of English-Russian invasion the Langendijk collection includes sketches of various vehicles, foreign battles and a possible self-portrait of Dirk Langendijk. Below, you may find a preview of this particular acquisition. Soon all the pictures will be on the website.

 

Dirk Langendijk, Prancing horse and two figures, possibly Batavians, AVS 129028

Dirk Langendijk, Battle on the beach in the reach, possibly the Battle of Bergen,  AVS 129027

 

Dirk Langendijk, The draughtsman on a chair, possibly self-portrait, AVS 129040