Watercolour and brush painting in grey and brown, over a weak pencil sketch, on handmade paper with watermark: VRYHEYT Pro Patria (Heawood 3149). 20,2 x 28 cm.
Literature: A. Staring, Jacob de Wit. Amsterdam, 1958, Figs. 43, 45, 49, 64, 66, 68, 69, 74-76 and 91. E. Starcky, Inventaire Géneral des Dessins des Écoles du Nord. Paris, Louvre 1988, No 320-323 with Fig.
Jacob de Wit was not only the best, but also the most productive ceiling painter in the Netherlands at that time. So a great number of the hundreds of drawings which remained are sketches for painted ceilings. De Wit mostly wrote the name of the commissioner and the year on the back side of the sketch after he had made the painted ceiling. (see catalogue: "Alte Zeichnungen aus dem Kupferstichkabinett der Universität zu Leiden". Amsterdam, 1986, p 260).
Because this endorsement is missing on our drawing, probably the sketch never had been worked out. A date for this painting can be given approximately only, because de Wit's painting style didn't change very much in time.