Grave, Joshua de

(1643 Amsterdam - Den Haag 1712)

View on Binch, a village in Belgium

Pen and Ink on paper
10 x 15.6 cm
J. De Grave 3 sept 1675

€ 18.000,--
View on Binch, a village in Belgium

Josua de Grave
Amsterdam 1643 – 1712 The Hague
A View of Binche
Pen and brown ink, grey washings, on
paper 100 x 156 mm, black framing

Signed and dated lower right inbrown ink: 1675:/
9:m / 3:d [date expressed as a fraction, month over day] J De Grave
Inscribed upper centre in brown ink: Bingh
…; Gallery Maas, Berlin; 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. In the decades that followed, the three
artists accompanied the army of the Dutch States-General under Willem III (1650-1702)
on its various campaigns, including those to Bergen op Zoom (1671-early 1672), cities
around the Dutch ‘waterlinie’ (1672) and various regions in the southern Netherlands
(1674, 1675 and 1676). Most of them typically show the encampments with tents,
soldiers, tilt cars and horses, with little regard to the topographical setting. This signed
and dated sheet is of a different and rarer type, showing a view on a town near the
encampment. This impeccably preserved example was made during a campaign to
Walloon Brabant and Hainaut and the artist dated it to the day exactly: 3 September
1675. Many of De Grave’s drawings bore such precise dates but they were quite often
later erased, covered with wash or cut off for aesthetical reasons.

The Walloon city of Binche is located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. Its wall,
prominently visible in the present view, dates from the thirteenth century and is still largely intact today. Another distant view on Binche drawn one day earlier is in the
Print room of the Rijksmuseum.1 A few days earlier, on 31 August, the town had been
captured by the Dutch army. 2

After each military campaign, De Grave returned to The Hague, where he had settled
permanently after his marriage in 1670 to Jenneton de Bisson (1645-?). 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.

1 Inv. no. RP-T-1913-24.
2 J.F. Heijbroek, Met Huygens op reis: Tekeningen en dagboeknotities van Constantijn Huygens jr. (1628-
1697), secretaris van stadhouder-koning Willem III, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 1982, pp. 123-

Please contact Mr. Sander Bijl for more information