Rienk Jelgershuis was born in the Frisian town Leeuwarden, but lived and worked from different cities in the west of the Netherlands. He was primarily a portrait artist who did not operate from his studio, but traveled around. The accompanying chalk drawing was made on 10 August 1805 and is one of the many studies of a wealthy person. As so often, his work is frontal and in an appropriate setting. If the portrait were less successful, the environment was proof of the depicted sitter: a well-to-do man in front of his manor house. Interesting for us, of course, is that it is a pipe smoker, quietly placed on a double outdoor bench where he has lit a long Gouda pipe. He is holding a brazier in his left hand. Every single drawing in the remarkable oeuvre of Jelgershuis is consecutively numbered by himself. This chalk drawing bears number 7624 and dates from the last period of his life. Proof how active this itinerant artist has been. It would be a miracle if the inventory list of his artworks turned up one day. That would give us the opportunity to name all those stately depicted people. Until then, this smoker is anonymous, although the silhouette of the tea dome in the background may someday yield the name of the sitter.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.680Permalink