QUIRIJN MAURITS RUDOLPH VERHUELL (1787-1860)
Two gentlemen in a Mauritian landscape, Port Louis in the background
Watercolour and gouache on paper, 26.5 x 35.1 cm
In 1819 Verhuell visited Mauritius on the way back to Holland from the East Indies where he had been sent in 1815 to help restore the Dutch government after the British rule of the Dutch East Indies during the French occupation of Holland. The present watercolour and a very similar one in the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam (inv.no. P2161- 96), were probably painted in Holland after sketches Verhuell drew on Mauritius.
Paul et Virginie by J.H.Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, set on the island of Mauritius, was one of Verhuell’s favourite novels and he wanted to visit and make drawings of places where this novel took place. In his memoir Herinnering aan een reis naar Oost-Indië (1835) he describes the view that can be seen in the painting and how it reminded him of the unhappy love story of Paul and Virginie.