An allegory on Freedom and strength bringing abundance to trade and shipping.
This is a typical eighteenth-century representation in the style of Jacob de Wit with putti that conveyed a clear message for the viewer at the time. The depiction of the allegory of the freedom and strength that trade and shipping bring to abundance seems very rare but occurs regularly in grisaille form during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. For example as an upper door in the town hall of Dokkum (only the attributes).
Freedom is the hat on a stick, strength is depicted with a club. Trade is mercury with the caduceus staff and his typical hat. maritime shipping is depicted with the trident of Neptune. Abundance is present in the form of a cornucopia. This combination stood for the Republic in the eighteenth century and was sometimes also presented with a personification of the republic itself in the form of a virgin.
Jan Gerard Waldorp (Amsterdam, 12 August 1740 - 21 November 1808) was a Dutch painter. He is also known for his role in the creation of the National Art Gallery in The Hague (1800-1805), precursor of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Waldorp was a student of A. Elliger and J.M. Quinckhard. He worked in Amsterdam from 1758 to 1767. He then went to Haarlem, where he was co-director of the Stadstekenacademie. In 1779 he returned to Amsterdam. Two years earlier, on 30 August 1776, he married the widow Elisabeth van der Horst. No children were born from this marriage, but Jan Gerard Waldorp acknowledged the son of Elisabeth and her previous husband Abel de Saaijer. This son, Abel de Saaijer junior, was raised as the only (step) child by Jan Gerard Waldorp. Abel de Saaijer later added the name of his stepfather to his own name and called himself Abel de Saaijer Waldorp. His son, the painter Antonie Waldorp, only bore the name of his step-grandfather.
Waldorp acquired a reputation as a decorative painter of, among other things, the decors of 'Burgerbuurt' and the 'Gothic Palace' in the new Amsterdam theater. He also made watercolours, drawings and etchings, often after the example of old masters. Waldorp also painted Rembrandt's Night Watch in watercolour. In 1800 Waldorp was appointed as overseer of the National Art Gallery in The Hague. This grisaille with putti is one of his very rare paintings.