|Aquilegia with Butterflies and a Salamander", oil on canvas, by Alida Withoos|
A Dutch painter and botanical illustrator, Alida Withoos is the featured artist for March, in my Woman Artist Series.
|Rosa Mundi, watercolor on paper, by Alida Withoos|
|Untitled, oil on canvas, 27 x 22 in, by Alida Withoos|
3. Unlike her brothers and sister, Alida acquired a certain reputation painting under her own name, principally due to her botanical images.
In Hoorn, a number of the Withoos children, working in their father's studio, were active as artists of flowers, birds, butterflies, and insects. But, in inventories, these images were regularly called "Withoosjes", and were not attributed to any one of them, individually.
|A study of Aconitum, or monkshood, watercolor on paper, by Alida Withoos|
|Persian Buttercups, watercolor on paper, by Alida Withoos|
5. In the years around 1690, Alida worked in the service of the collector and botanist Agnes Block, at her country estate, Vijverhof.
While there, Alida -- along with her brother, Pieter, and other botanical artists -- depicted the exotic plants in Block's garden, brought to Holland by the Dutch East India Company.
She had the opportunity there, to draw and paint rare animals and plants. Alida Withoos depicted the first pineapple to be bred in Europe, in 1687 -- but that image is considered lost.
|Mesembryanthemum, watercolor on paper, by Alida Withoos|
Alida drew and painted several watercolors of exotic plants for this Moninckx Atlas, a monumental work of botany, with over 400 plant descriptions and illustrations.
|Nasturtium, opaque and transparent watercolor, over black chalk, on paper|
Thirteen watercolors by Alida Withoos, for this book, have survived. These images were of plants brought back in the ships of the Dutch East India Company.
|Untitled, oil on canvas, 27x22 inches|
8. In 1701, Alida Withoos married the painter, Andries Cornelisz van Dalen -- a typical example of relations between artistic and painterly families in 17th and 18th century Holland. Unfortunately, after her marriage, she apparently ended her painting career.
|Tak aalbessen, watercolor on paper, by Alida Withoos|
9. The Hague has several of Alida Withoos' signed works. And, the Library of Wageningen University owns a book of drawings, bought by the collector Simon Schijnvoet, that includes seven by Alida -- perhaps made for Agnes Block. These all give a good idea of the high quality of her work.