ZACHARIAS BLIJHOOFT (Middelburg 1625/35 – 1681 Middelburg)

Zacharias Blijhooft

Zacharias Blijhooft (Middelburg 1625/35 – 1681 Middelburg)

An Italianate Landscape with Ruins and Travellers

Pen and brown ink and grey wash on paper, black ink framing lines, 147 x 200 mm (5.8 x 7.9 inch), laid down into 18th- or 19th-century thick paper

Inscribed ‘bartholom’ (lower right); inscribed ‘10’ (lower right); verso, the collector’s stamp of Sir John Clermont Witt (Lugt 646a)

~ Sir John Clermont and Lady Witt, London
~ The Canadian architect and collector Charles Greenberg (1922-2006)


This is an excellent example of the Italianate landscape drawings by the rare and versatile artist Zacharias Blijhooft. He was active in Middelburg, Zeeland, for most of his life, and was an active member of the painters’ guild there. Little is known of Blijhooft’s artistic training, but his drawings show a strong influence of the works of Berchem, Van Ostade and Wouwerman, and other artists of the Haarlem school. Blijfhooft taught Herman Koets and Abraham Goethals.

The free and spontaneous handling of this drawing may be compared to other Italianate landscape drawings by Blijfhooft: one in the Prentenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden,1 a further larger signed drawing dated 1673 in the Narodni Gallery, Prague,2 and a particularly similar drawing with similar circular temple at the right in the collection of Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia, Paris, which is dated 1676.3

The drawing was formerly attributed to Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598-1657).


1. This sheet has a contemporary attribution to Blijhooft on the reverse. Inv. no. 2002. Pen and brown ink and grey wash, 155 x 202 mm. See exhib. cat. Nederlanders te Rome, Leiden 1954, no. 8.
2. Inv. no. DK-4626. Pen and brown ink and grey wash, 265 x 343 mm. See exhib. cat. Nederlandse tekeningen 16de en 17de eeuw, Prague 1993-94, no. 25.
3. Inv. no. 1971-T.18. Pen and brown ink and grey wash, 150 x 195 mm. See sale cat. Drouot, Paris, 19 February 1971, lot 1, repr. pl. I.