Dordrecht 1756 - Dordrecht 1815


Together with his older brother Abraham, Jacob van Strij was trained in the Dordrecht studio of his father, the decorative painter Leendert van Strij. He completed his studies with Andries Lens in Antwerp, and also drew after the posed model at the city’s Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, graduating in 1776. He returned to Dordrecht and there established a successful career. While his brother Abraham specialized in genre scenes, Jacob gained a reputation as a painter of landscapes and pastoral subjects; works which were particularly indebted to the example of the 17th century Dordrecht painter Aelbert Cuyp, whose style he could imitate quite closely. The two brothers often worked in collaboration on mural paintings and decorative wall hangings for private homes in the city. However, Jacob seems to have given up large-scale mural painting around 1800, producing only cabinet pictures from then on. A gifted draughtsman and etcher, Jacob produced a number of fine figure drawings, pastoral subjects and landscapes in watercolour. These were often highly finished works intended for sale to collectors and, like his paintings, were often inspired by the example of the artists of the Dutch Golden Age.