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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Theodor Matham, Dutch (c. 1605/6 - 1676)
Man with a Roemer and Pipe
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink on parchment, framing line in brown ink
41.2 x 33.3 cm (16 1/4 x 13 1/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: brown ink, lower left: T Matham / fecit. / 1633.
  • inscription: verso, lower left, brown ink: No. 748. [L. 2986b, Jacob Helmolt]
  • inscription: verso, lower center, graphite: 20 / 3r
  • inscription: verso, lower right, graphite: fe 1033 [underlined]
  • watermark: none


Recorded Ownership History
Gerrit Braamcamp, Amsterdam, sold; [Jan de Bosch, Hendrik de Winter, Jan Yver, Amsterdam, 29 February 1768, kb G, lot 618]. Probably Louis Metayer Phz., Amsterdam, probably sold; [Amsterdam, Van der Schley et al., 16 December 1799 and following days, kb A, lot 16]; to De Wit. Jacob Helmolt, Haarlem (L. 2986b, lower left). Adriaan van der Willigen and A. van der Willigen Pz., Haarlem, sold; [A. de Visser, The Hague, 10-11 June 1874, lot 179.] V. Everit Macy, New York, his estate; sold [American Art Association, New York, 6-8 January 1938, lot 78.] [Sotheby's, New York, 16 January 1985, lot 85], sold; to Jeffrey E. Horvitz, Hallandale, FL, and later Boston; Gift of Jeffrey E. Horvitz, 1999.6.

Published Text

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums
William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson
Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016)

Theodor Matham was trained by his father, the draftsman and engraver Jacob Matham, in the traditions of drawing and printmaking established by Jacob’s stepfather, Hendrick Goltzius. Theodor’s graphic work consists mainly of portraits, but he also engraved a few title pages and reproductive prints after antiquities and Dutch, Flemish, German, and Italian paintings.1 His rare drawings include merry company scenes in interiors, landscapes, and views of Paris and Rome.2

Man with a Roemer and Pipe, formally signed, dated 1633, and meticulously executed with a pen in a technique that mimics engraving, belongs to a kind of virtuoso showpiece known by the German term Federkunststück (“pen-art piece”) or the Dutch penwerk, perfected by Goltzius in works such as Young Man Holding a Skull and a Tulip (1614; Fig. 1).3 Theodor’s drawing imitates the swelling and tapering lines and systematic parallel and crosshatched strokes punctuated by short dashes that Goltzius invented in engravings of the 1580s, and which he adapted in his Federkunststücke from the early Mercury of 1587 to the late Young Man Holding a Skull and a Tulip.4 Christian Tico Seifert eloquently summarized the conceit that so impressed Goltzius’s contemporaries: “The greatest technical virtuosity, paired with the invention of the image, combined in a unique work a drawing of an engraving that never existed.”5 Jacob Matham produced a considerable number of these finished penwerken.6 To his children’s generation, however, this type of laborious technical performance must have seemed old-fashioned, and the Harvard work is the only known example by Theodor. It may be significant that it was not executed in Haarlem but in Paris, where Matham worked from (at the latest) 1629 until 1633, or in Rome, where he traveled in 1633. There he participated in Joachim von Sandrart’s project to engrave the antiquities in the collection of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani.7

The drawing depicts a man whose wrinkles and puffy eyes attest to a long career of consuming the wine and tobacco he displays to us in a large roemer and clay pipe.8 Like the youth in Goltzius’s pen piece (see Fig. 1), he wears an ensemble of sixteenth-century clothes and accessories. While in Goltzius’s drawing the fancy costume underscores the vanity of the young man, whose other attributes recall the transience of human life, in the context of the Harvard work, the absurdly outmoded garb marks the toper as a satirical figure. Texts inscribed beneath images of drinkers in prints by and after Theodor Matham deliver mixed messages about the blessings or evils of wine. An engraving by Matham after his own design, published circa 1629–33 in Paris, shows a half-length figure of a young man who tips his empty wine glass to indicate his need for a refill. The French verse below asks, “What are the rubies that rank among the precious stones compared to these delicious drops [of red wine], which, like gifts from the gods, can bring humans back from the dead?”9 In the Netherlands in the 1620s, Matham executed an engraving after a picture by Hendrik Terbrugghen that shows a man lifting a roemer with one hand and holding a violin in the other. The caption beneath a copy after this print (Fig. 2), perhaps executed by Matham himself during his sojourn in Paris, reads simply, “Ie veux mourir au Cabaret / Entre le blanc et le cleret” (I wish to die in the tavern / between the white wine and the red).10 The same French phrase appears beneath an image by the Amsterdam printmaker Cornelis Danckerts I (1603–1656) of a merry drinker with a full glass in one hand and a bottle in the other.11 The aging bon vivant in the Harvard drawing, with his timeworn features and equivocal smile, may be resigned to the same fate—to expire “in the tavern between the white wine and the red.”


1 Dorothy Limouze, “Matham, Jacob,” in Jane Turner, ed., The Dictionary of Art (New York, 1996), vol. 20, p. 812; Hollstein, vol. 11, nos. 1–163, pp. 252–62; Léna Widerkehr, “La fortune de Hendrick Goltzius dans la dynastie des graveurs Matham, Jacob, le père, et ses deux fils aînés: Assimilation du modèle et adaptation au goût dans la première moitié du xviie siècle,” in Monte Artium, vol. 3 (2010): 53–68, pp. 67–68.

2 Drawings of merry company scenes by Matham are in Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett, KdZ 5328, and Bremen, Kunsthalle, 899; Lugt 1931, p. 42, under “P. Codde?” For landscapes and topographical views by Matham, see Yuri Kuznetsov and T. A. Tseshkovskaya, Dessins flamands et hollandaise du XVIIe siècle du musée de l’Ermitage, Leningrad, et du musée Pouchkine, Moscou (Brussels: Bibliothèque Albert Ier; Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Paris: Institut Néerlandais, 1972), cat. 63, p. 42; An Zwollo, “De Romeinse Panorama’s van Jan de Bisschop en Theodoor Matham,” Oud Holland, vol. 113, no. 1–2 (1999): 45–52, and Stijn Alsteens and Hans Buijs, Paysages de France: Dessinés par Lambert Doomer et les artistes hollandais et flamands des XVIe et XVIIe siècles (Paris, 2008), cats. 67 and 68, pp. 240–46.

3 Hendrick Goltzius, Young Man Holding a Skull and a Tulip (Fig. 1), 1614. Brown ink, 460 × 354 mm. Monogrammed and dated, upper left, HG / 1614. Inscribed, right center, QUIS EVADET / NEMO (“who escapes / no one”). New York, Morgan Library and Museum, III, 145; Felice Stampfle with Jane S. Turner and Ruth S. Kraemer, Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York, 1991), cat. 69, pp. 42–43; Huigen Leeflang in Huigen Leeflang and Ger Luijten, eds., Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617): Drawings, Prints and Paintings (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum; New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 2003), cat. 96, pp. 262–63. On Goltzius’s Federkunststücke, see Emil Karel Josef Reznicek, Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltzius (Utrecht, 1961), vol. 1, pp. 76–79, 101–5, and 128–30; Lawrence W. Nichols, “The ‘Pen Works’ of Hendrick Goltzius,” Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 88, nos. 373–74 (1992): 4–56, pp. 4–56; Huigen Leeflang in Leeflang and Luijten, pp. 235–42 and cats. 84 and 85, pp. 242–46, cat. 87, pp. 248–49, cats. 95 and 96, pp. 261–63; Christian Tico Seifert, “Von Amateuren und Virtuosen: Bemerkungen zu Zeichnungen nach druckgraphischen Vorlagen,” in Markus Castor, Jasper Kettner, Christien Melzer, and Claudia Schnitzer, eds., Druckgraphik: Zwischen Reproduktion und Invention (Berlin and Munich, 2010), pp. 10–24, pp. 19–21 and Lawrence W. Nichols, The Paintings of Hendrick Goltzius 1558–1617: A Monograph and Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 23 in series Aetas Aurea, Monographs on Dutch and Flemish Painting (Doornspijk, Netherlands, 2013), cats. A-31 and A-32, pp. 131–36, and B-67, p. 217.

4 For Mercury, see Huigen Leeflang in Leeflang and Luijten, cat. 84, pp. 242–44.

5 Seifert, p. 20.

6 On Jacob Matham’s finished pen drawings, see Léna Widerkehr, “Jacob Matham Goltzij Privignus, Jacob Matham graveur et ses rapports avec Hendrick Goltzius,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, vols. 42–43 (1991–92): 219–60, pp. 242–44.

7 Stijn Alsteens and Hans Buijs, Paysages de France: Dessinés par Lambert Doomer et les artistes hollandais et flamands des XVIe et XVIIe siècles (Paris, 2008), under cats. 67 and 68, p. 240.

8 See Ivan Gaskell, “Tobacco, Social Deviance, and Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century,” in Henning Bock and Thomas Gaehtgens, eds., Holländische Genremalerei im 17. Jahrhundert: Symposium Berlin 1984 (Berlin, 1987): 117–37, pp. 121–33, on the negative associations of smoking in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century.

9 “Tous ces Rubis que nous mettons / Au rang des pierres pretieuses / Quest-ce: si nous les comparons / A ces gouttes delicieuses: / Qui peuvent, comme dons devins / Rappeller des mors les humains”; Ger Luijten in Leeflang and Luijten, under cat. 53, p. 266, repr. fig. 5.

10 Unidentified engraver, after Theodor Matham and Hendrick Terbrugghen, Man with a Violin and a Glass of Wine (Fig. 2). Engraving. 202 × 149 mm. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, RP‑P-2000-181. Ger Luijten in Leeflang and Luijten, under cat. 53, pp. 266–67, repr. fig. 3. Luijten (Leeflang and Luijten, p. 267, n. 9) suggested that Matham may have executed the copy himself during his stay in France.

11 Cornelis Danckerts, after Dirck Waerden, Man with a Glass. Etching and engraving. 230 × 182 mm. Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, KKSgb9542. Hollstein, vol. 5, no. 78a, p. 124. The verse below reads, “Je veus Mourir au Cabaret; Entre le blanc et le cleret.” Ger Luijten in Leeflang and Luijten, under cat. 53, p. 266, repr. fig. 4.


Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Jeffrey E. Horvitz
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Stijn Alsteens, [Review] William W. Robinson, with Susan Anderson, "Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums" (Winter 2015), repr. as 58 on p.201; repr. as ill. on p. 202
  • William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), cat. no. 58, pp. 201-203, repr. p. 202

Exhibition History

Subjects and Contexts

  • Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Verification Level

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