ATTRIBUTED TO LUDOLF DE JONGH (1616-1679)
Study of a dog
Oil on paper laid down on panel, 17.5 x 25.5 cm
Private collection, the Netherlands
We are grateful to Mr Fred Meijer for his attribution to Ludolf de Jongh
Ludolf de Jongh was the son of a shoemaker. When his father moved to Rotterdam, the young Ludolf decided to learn art rather than shoemaking and became a pupil of Cornelis Saftleven. Later he studied under Anthony Palamedes in Delft and still later with Jan van Bijlert in Utrecht.
In 1635 he travelled to France with Francis Bacon. Seven years later, in 1642, he returned to the Netherlands when he heard that his mother had fallen ill. He set up a shop in Rotterdam, and his earliest signed paintings date from that year.
According to Houbraken, his travels had caused him to speak French so fluently, that his parents had to learn French in order to speak with him.
De Jongh’s work shows a strong influence from the Utrecht school of Caravaggio admirers, especially Jacob Duck, but also from Pieter de Hooch. In the 1650’s he was one of the most fashionable painters of Rotterdam. He experimented with various innovations in portraiture in this period, both from a psychological perspective with expressions, but also with the use of space and lighting. He married the daughter of a member of the highest circles of Rotterdam, Pieter Montagne and was granted a rank of major in the schutterij, that he fulfilled until 1697, the year he died.
From 1660 onwards he painted less, and this may have been due to his responsibilities as a major, as a merchant, and later as a magistrate in Hillegersberg.