JOHANNES HUBERTUS REYGERS (Gorinchem 1767 – 1849 Middelburg)

Johannes Hubertus Reygers

Johannes Hubertus Reygers (Gorinchem 1767 – 1849 Middelburg)

Memorial Dedicated to Hendrik van den Broecke (1777–1821)

Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, bodycolour and gold leaf, on pieces of paper cut in various forms and shapes, applied on and around a painted, gilded and marbleized architectural feature, mounted in a wooden paper-lined box with contemporary Empire gilded frame, outer dimensions 640 x 560 x 50 mm (25.2 x 22 x 2 inch)

Extensively inscribed and annotated by the artist

By family descent from the dedicatee until sold in 2015


Johannes Hubertus Reygers was born in Gorinchem in 1767. He is thought to have been entirely self-educated. Reygers settled in Middelburg in 1787 and was active as a private drawing master, providing home lessons in drawing and watercolour painting. From 1797 he worked and taught at the Middelburg drawing academy until his death in 1849 as a draughtsman, printmaker and modeller. He was an early practitioner of the lithograph technique and was also active as portrait painter to the town elite.

Reygers is especially known for his ‘kunstig snijwerk in papier, als Basrelief opgewerkt, waarvan te Middelburg en in andere Zeeuwsche plaatsen, fraaije Proeven te zien zijn’ (artful cuttings in paper, executed as bas-reliefs, of which good examples can be seen in Middelburg, and other places in Zeeland’), according to the artist’s biographers Van den Eijnden and Van der Willigen in 1840.1 The best known example of this delicate art is the cutting dedicated to Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, King of the Netherlands, in 1807, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (fig.).2

Apart from the Rijksmuseum ‘knipsel’, works by Reygers are rare. A watercolour of ships in choppy waters with the ‘De Zeeuw’ frigate in the foreground is preserved in the Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum, Amsterdam,3 while another watercolour with ships at sea was sold at Sotheby’s in 1999.4 A silhouette portrait of Karel Rembges, dated 1792, is in the Historisch Museum De Bevelanden, Goes.5


1. Roeland van Eijnden and Adriaan van der Willigen, Geschiedenis der Vaderlandsche Schilderkunst, Haarlem 1816-40, vol. III, p. 131.
2. Inv. No. NG-NM-8347; Han van Bree and Pieter Lekkerkerk, De Oranjes: van Willem van Oranje tot erfprinses Amalia, Amsterdam 2006, pp. 35-38.
3. Colour photograph in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD), The Hague, image number 20280.
4. Watercolour, 155 x 266 mm; formerly with P.A. Scheen; Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 16 March 1999, lot 118, repr.
5. 118 x 99 mm; inv. no. 315.