Jacob Ernst Marcus was born on the island of St. Eustatius in 1774, but by 1783 he left for Holland with his father. Already as a youth he showed great talents as an artist and therefore received an artistic education, first with S. Goblé and then later with Reinier Vinkeles. In 1798 he received the highest honorary medal as draftsman. In 1817 he was appointed director of the drawing and engraving academy in Amsterdam. Jacob Ernst Marcus was also a renown engraver, producing etchings after his own drawings, as well as after renown Dutch artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Jacob Ernst Marcus died in Amsterdam in 1826.
The present drawing can be compared to the “Kneeling Man” kept in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam (inv.no.RP-T-1935:24), the “Seated Female Nude” formerly with Christie’s in Amsterdam in November of 1998, and the various etchings by the artist which depict scenes from the daily life.
We are thankful to Mr. Charles Dumas of the RKD in the Hague for identifying the signature of Jacob Ernst Marcus, in a communication dated October 11th, 2011.