Press Images

Mireille Mosler Ltd.

Mountainous river landscape with travelers

Abraham Rademaker (Lisse 1676/'77-1735 Haarlem)

Watercolor and gouache on paper (a pair)
15.3 x 20.8 cm (6 x 8.2 in.) (each)
Signed 'A. Rademaker'

Although born and active in Amsterdam for most of his career, Rademaker moved to Haarlem in 1730 where he remained until his death five years later. In addition to being an artist, Rademaker was also an art dealer. His gouaches were in demand throughout the eighteenth century. Since very few of his works are dated it is difficult to determine when the present drawings were executed. Around 1680, Dutch landscapists like Frederick de Moucheron (1633-1686) began to develop idealized nature scenes with archetypal motifs inspired by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Claude Lorrain (1600-1682). Like his French predecessors, Rademaker introduces classical ruins and monuments from antiquity.

Although he never seemed to have left the Netherlands, his gouaches certainly show a profound awareness of the existence of mountainous landscapes elsewhere. When Rademaker died in 1735, his collection was auctioned over several days. An estimated 4,500 works were offered combined in albums with many examples of Italianate landscapes. Most likely, this large collection of paintings, drawings and prints was both used as material for his art production as well as inventory for sale.

The surviving gouaches with ruins, town and river views are only a small part of Rademaker’s artistic output. Rademaker is responsible for numerous drawings of topographical antiquities that were used for prints, now often the only pictorial reference of Dutch architectural structures that no longer exist. It is difficult to trace all the drawings in his estate sale since they were not individually described.

Rademaker rarely dated his drawings, but a few exceptions show that he was already producing accomplished landscape gouaches around the year 1700. Collectors of ‘papierconst’ (art on paper) were increasingly enamored by detailed ‘paper paintings’ in gouache or watercolor from around 1680, which had already been pioneered much earlier by Hans Bol (1534–1593) and Friedrich Brentel (1580–1651). Rademaker excelled at creating Arcadian views that were much in demand during the Silver Age of the eighteenth century. The artists’ biographer Johan van Gool praised Rademaker’s gouaches: ‘These drawings, which he knew how to make with watercolor so naturally and powerfully, as though they were painted with oil paint, and which are so appreciated and in demand by the collectors of paper art, that they fetched high prices not only after his death, but during his own lifetime’.
Abraham Rademaker
Riverlandscape with antique ruins
Gouache 136 x 212 mm, signed ‘A. Rademaker.’
Städel Museum, Frankfurt, 3095

With Hill-Stone, 1994; Private collection, USA