Dutch winter landscape, village with skaters. Drawing made with wash ink between 1768-1788 by Isaac van Ketweg, signed lower right “I. van Ketweg inv et fec.” Size: 18 x 26.6 cm.
Van Ketweg (1732-1789) was a pharmacist in The Hague and not a member of the artist society Confrerie Pictura there. Only forty drawings by him are known, and he is considered an amateur artist who was not financially dependent on his artistry.
In contrast to other artists of his time, he did not depict wealthy, elegantly dressed citizens but mainly farmers and labourers. He focused on rural scenes at the edge of or just outside The Hague. He had little interest in the large important buildings.
Isaac van Ketweg is one the so-called minor masters, the much less known artists who worked in the shadow of their great examples. His drawing style is similar to that of Dirk Verrijk, with whom he probably took drawing lessons. Van Ketweg, mentioned in only one lexicon, is almost not represented in museum collections, and relatively little is known about him.
Many of his drawings are in poor condition, lost colour, and have foxing, indicating that they have been framed on the walls of smaller collectors for a long time.
Literature: Charles Dumas, “Achttiende-eeuwse topografische tekenaar Isaac van Ketweg”, in Liber Amicorum Marijke de Kinkelder.