Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Allegory of the Arts

Artist:
Jacob de Wit (Dutch, Amsterdam 1695–1754 Amsterdam)
Date:
1742
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
18 7/8 x 23 1/4 in. (47.9 x 59.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906
Accession Number:
07.225.298
Not on view
Forthcoming
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): J.d.Wit / .1742
?the artist, Jacob de Wit, Amsterdam (1742–d. 1754; his estate sale, Amsterdam, March 10, 1755, no. ?, as an unknown ceiling sketch); Georges Hoentschel, Paris (until 1906; sold to Morgan); J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1906)
Memphis. Brooks Memorial Art Gallery. "Seventeenth-Century Dutch Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 1–June 23, 1982, no catalogue?

Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Museum of Art. "Seventeenth-Century Dutch Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," August 28–November 28, 1982, no catalogue?

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 3–August 11, 2013, no. 34.

André Pératé and Gaston Brière. Collections Georges Hoentschel. Vol. 3, XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 1908, p. 23, describes the subject as "une assemblée de divinités de l'Olympe au milieu des nuées".

Nicole Hoentschel et al. Georges Hoentschel. Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1999, ill. pp. 176, 179 (gallery installations), reproduces photographs of it hanging in Hoentschel's gallery on Boulevard Flandrin.

Walter Liedtke. "Gerard de Lairesse and Jacob de Wit 'in situ'." The Learned Eye: Regarding Art, Theory, and the Artist's Reputation: Essays for Ernst van de Wetering. Ed. Marieke van den Doel et al. Amsterdam, 2005, pp. 193, 195, 198–99, 204 n. 37, fig. 4.

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, p. 419; vol. 2, pp. 954–56, no. 219, colorpl. 219.

William DeGregorio in Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide et al. Exh. cat., Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. New York, 2013, pp. 94–95, no. 34, ill. (color).



This canvas is a study for a ceiling decoration representing Pictura (the Art of Painting) and other arts protected by various deities. No large scale work of this design is known; it is likely that Wit considered painting such a ceiling in his own house at Keizersgracht 385 in Amsterdam, which he purchased in 1741.

This sketch may be listed among unnamed ceiling sketches in Wit's estate sale catalogue of 1755; each of these is described as "Een dito [Blaffonstukje], onbekend," meaning it was not known for which project the artist used it.
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