Josua de Grave
Amsterdam 1643 – 1712 The Hague
A View of Gronsveld, near Maastricht
Pen and brown ink, green and grey
washings, on paper 93 x 162 mm, black
Signed lower right: J de Grave.
Inscribed and dated upper right:
‘t dorp Gronsfeld by maestricht 1670.
…; Private collection, The Netherlands
Josua de Grave, the son of the French merchant Claude Pietersz de Grave (c. 1597/98-
after 1667) and Sara Bols (?-c. 1655), grew up in Haarlem and here joined the guild in
1659 at age sixteen. It is unknown with whom he was trained. From 1663 to 1668 he
stayed in Paris and then settled in the garrison city of Maastricht, where he met the
brothers and draughtsmen Barend (?-?) and Valentijn Klotz (c. 1646-1721), who
affiliated with the Dutch army. Until 1670, they resided in Maastricht, producing around
sixty drawings of the city and its surroundings. The present view of Gronsveld is a fine
and excellently preserved example. The village, pronounced Groêselt, is situated
southeast of Maastricht and was an autonomous county until the Napoleonic era.
The artist no doubt drew the village from the Pietersberg on the other side of the river Maas
as seen from the west with the hillside forest, Savelsbos, rising up against the sky. The
houses of the village are barely visible between the dense screens of trees. The only
buildings that can be identified are the Church of St Martin and Castle Gronsveld.
Another drawing by De Grave showing a panoramic view of Gronsveld and dated 21
June 1670 is in the Historisch Centrum Limburg, Maastricht.1 De Grave also made
paintings and drawings of Italianate gardens and imaginary landscapes, mainly later in
his career, but his fame rests primarily on his topographical drawings. De Grave’s
drawings documenting Maastricht and its surroundings are especially unique.
1 See: P. Scheele, Josua de Grave en Valentijn Klotz in Maastricht, Maastricht 2012, p. 25.