Pictura in the picture

(13 March – 31 October 2024)


In 1774, the Drawing Society Pictura was founded in Dordrecht by Abraham van Strij and three friends. A former resident of our building around that time was Mayor Anthonij van den Santheuvel. A relative of his, Pieter van den Santheuvel van Driel, has been instrumental as a patron for Pictura, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year.

Exhibition of drawings and paintings

Pictura in the picture 1

Abraham van Strij: A seated man with a stone jug on a table

Drawing is often referred to as the mother of all arts. That is why The Dordts Patrician House celebrates this anniversary by exhibiting drawings not only by Abraham and Jacob van Strij but also by lesser-known “Picturians” who were active in Dordrecht around 1800.

Pictura in the picture 2

Leendert de Koningh: Study of a woman facing right with a basket on her arm

Some of them, such as J.C. Schotel, Michiel Versteegh, Leendert de Koningh, and Martinus Schouman, gained (inter)national fame similar to the van Strij brothers. Paintings in various genres are also on display in the style rooms of the museum.

Pictura in the picture 3

Martinus Schouman: Ships on the Old Meuse before Dordrecht


A catalog has also been published for the exhibition, written by art historian Charles Dumas. In this catalog, which contains approximately 300 images, the artworks in the exhibition are extensively described. Additionally, a brief biography of each of the seventeen artists in this exhibition is included, accompanied by – if possible – a portrait.

Pictura in the picture 4

Jacob van Strij: Hilly river landscape with shepherds and cattle

Turbulent Times

Around the founding year of Pictura, the struggle for democracy begins in the Dutch Republic. A series of revolutions, coups, and (civil) wars, at a pace and scale unprecedented in Europe, characterize the period from this year until 1815. This is best described as a series of turbulent times. In the film “The Origins of the Kingdom,” which can be seen in the museum’s basement, all of this is presented in an organized manner.

The Origins of the Kingdom


Soon the finishing touches will be made to a walk between the Dordts Patrician House and the Dordrechts Museum, where the exhibition ‘From Sketch to Painting’ will be on display from February 25th to September 1st. This walk leads past various residential houses where members of Pictura have lived.