Mattheus Wijtmans was born in 1638 in Den Bosch, as the son of Dirk Wijtmans and Ida van den Bosch from Gorcum, who were married in 1636 in Gorinchem. He was baptised a Roman Catholic on 23 October 1638 in his place of birth.
In 1640, when Mattheus was 18 months old, his parents moved to Gorinchem where they lived at Arkelstraat 8 and Gasthuisstraat 9. Hendrik Verschuring, a painter from Gorcum, taught Mattheus Wijtmans. In 1664, Mattheus’ father used two of his paintings to pay part of a bill of 118 guilders. In 1665, Wijtmans left for Utrecht, where he continued his artistic development with the painter Jan van Bijlert, who had spent some time in Italy, just like Verschuring.
It is no surprise that Wijtmans style of painting was influenced by these artists who were so inspired by Italy. This is also clearly visible in the work that was acquired in 2013. This piece depicts an affluent company with in the background an Italian-style garden.
It is remarkable that in almost all his paintings the colours orange, white and blue (“oranje-blanje-bleu”) appear.
We now know of some fifteen paintings by Wijtmans, of which five belong to different museums in the world, namely the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, the Abe Bailey Collection in Cape Town, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the Louvre in Paris, the Galerie Alte Meister in Schwerin and since 2013, the Gorcums Museum in Gorinchem.