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The models for the illustrations for the "Economische Liedjes" by Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken

MEURS, Jacob van.
Set of 84 beautiful washed ink pen drawings, finely executed in Indian ink in a rich palette of greys and sepia, all with a oblong space left blank underneath, all signed, and all intended to serve as models for the engraved plates to illustrate "Economische Liedjes" by E. Wolff-Bekker and A. Deken, separately published in parts by J. Allart in Amsterdam from 1792 to 1798.

(Amsterdam, 1792-1798). Each drawing ca. 73 x 127 mm.

Large set of the beautiful model drawings for the engraved plates to illustrate the "Economische Liedjes" by Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken, first published in three volumes by Isaac van Cleef in The Hague in 1781. The plates however, engraved after the drawings by P.H. Ionxis, were made much later and published separately by J. Allart in Amsterdam, in ten parts of twelve plates each, including the titles printed in the oblong space underneath, from 1792 to1798.
Jacob van Meurs (1760-1824), was a portrait painter and painter of fruit and genre pieces. His series for Wolff and Deken's "Economische Liedjes" represents a major contribution to eighteenth century book illustration. The two lady authors wrote the songs for "de gewone burgerluidjes", the lower middle-class, so the costumes and house interiors depicted by Jacob van Meurs are more simple and more sober than those depicted in the drawings by Jacobus Buijs, who mainly illustrated books for the higher middle-class. Also the people depicted in the "Economische Liedjes" include servants, craftsmen, gardeners and small business men.
So, the drawings by Jacob van Meurs beautifully complement those of Jacobus Buijs for our knowledge of the fashion and the life-style of the Dutch bourgeoisie in the second half of the 18th century. 84 of the 120 drawings made, one for each song, are present here, 9 for the 35 songs of the first volume; 40 for the 45 songs of the second volume; and 35 for the 40 songs in the third volume. The engraved plates have the same size as the model drawings.
Added: a computer-printed index of the titles of all songs illustrated by the drawings.

Fine set, all drawings tipped on board paper lvs., several set within grey ink washed borders.
Cf. E. de la Fontaine Verwey, Illustr. Letterk. Werken XVIIIe Eeuw, p. 120 ff.; Buijnsters, Bibliogr. Wolff & Deken, 121.

Related Subjects: 18th Century  Drawings & Watercolours  Dutch  Economy 

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