Jan and Casper Luyken, book illustrators > Collector Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen (1816-1889)

In the nineteenth century, various people collected Jan and Casper Luyken’s vast work. Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen was one of them. From the very beginning, he laid the emphasis on collecting the drawings. But at the same time, just as all the other collectors, he attempted to compile an exhaustive collection of the prints. In 1884, Van Eeghen succeeded in greatly expanding the number of prints he had in his possession by acquiring the entire collection of Geisweit van der Netten (a former commander of the Province of Overijssel) at an auction. His collection was characterized by the many different editions of books illustrated by the Luykens.

Van Eeghen was not able to acquire the full collections of other, at the time, major collectors of Luyken works, like J. Ph. van der Kellen, E.W.J. Bagelaar and J. van der Vlugt. Nevertheless, some prints, books or drawings from these collections did eventually find their way into Van Eeghen’s hands. All these collectors had regular contact with each other, but especially the great devotee Van der Kellen, the first director of the National Museum Print Gallery, often gave Van Eeghen advice.

After Christiaan van Eeghen’s death in 1889 his children donated their father’s Luyken Collection to the city of Amsterdam, as was his wish. But before the final transfer took place in 1907, his son Pieter first compiled, together with Van der Kellen, a modern catalogue of Jan and Casper Luyken’s complete works. Moreover, during that period, Pieter van Eeghen added even more works to the collection. The two volume catalogue Het werk van Jan en Casper Luyken was published in 1905 and is still seen as the standard reference work on the subject.

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