Mauritshuis receives Portrait of Van Kretschmar by Perronneau
Last year the Mauritshuis received a generous gift from Jonkheer F.G.L.O. van Kretschmar: a magnificent pastel portrait by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (c. 1715-1783), 1754. The portrait shows Jacob van Kretschmar of The Hague, the donor’s ancestor. The pastel, which had remained in the family, is a superb example of Perronneau’s work. Pastels are extremely sensitive to light, and so cannot be on permanent display, but from today the new acquisition will be exhibited for several months in Room 13.
Travelling Pastel ArtistsThe eighteenth century in the Netherlands is often described in art historical literature as the century of Cornelis Troost (1696-1750). The Mauritshuis has a unique collection of pastels by Troost, including the well-known NELRI series (a set of five humorous pastels). Troost was only one of many artists working at that time. The art world was extremely international in the eighteenth century and artists travelled throughout Europe. There were many foreign portrait painters working in the Netherlands for varying lengths of time. With the arrival of talented artists such as the Parisian Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, the Swiss Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789) and the German Johann Friedrich August Tischbein (1750-1812), pastel portraits became popular in the Netherlands. Perronneau was the first foreign pastel artist to come and work in the Netherlands, and it was during his first stay that he produced the portrait of Van Kretschmar.
Today we know of some 45 portraits that Perronneau made in the Netherlands, thirty of which are pastels and the rest oil paintings. After his first visit in 1754, the artist regularly returned to the Netherlands, where he was extremely successful. Almost half of the extant Dutch portraits were created during Perronneau’s second stay in 1761 in Amsterdam and The Hague. He also made portraits of the young Orange prince William V and his sister Princess Wilhelmina Carolina at that time, but further commissions from the court never materialised. Perronneau died in 1783 in Amsterdam.
Jean-Baptiste Perronneau | Portrait of Jacob van Kretschmar (1721-1792), 1754 | Pastel and crayon on paper, 60 x 45 cm | Mauritshuis, The Hague | Gift of Jonkheer F.G.L.O. van Kretschmar, 2018