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Johan Pieter Scherft collection

Identifier: ubl080

Scope and Contents

Johan D. Scherft ran one of the most important printing workshops in the Netherlands during the period 1930-1965. Johan D. Scherft was the maker of some 150 prints, mostly landscapes, topographical views and still lives. Next to his own artistic career, Scherft printed for many well-known graphic artists in his workshop in The Hague. Most of his work consists of intaglio printing but he also made several relief prints. The donation Scherft documents these activities for other artists very well. The descriptions of the printmaking techniques are especially elucidating. Some prints are present in many different states, allowing for an analysis the genesis of the image. Particularly interesting from a technical point of view are two calque drawings that were used to transfer the drawn images onto the copper plates. Besides prints by Scherft himself, the collection also contains works by Piet Rackwitsz.


  • Creation: 1920-1970

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

Johan Pieter Scherft was born in 1929 in The Hague as the son of the graphic artist and printer Johan D. Scherft. He studied medicine at Leiden University and published his dissertation on lymph nodes and their role in Hodgkin’s disease in 1961. In 1971 he was appointed lecturer in cell biology at the university, and in 1979 he became professor of cell biology. At the time of his father’s death in 1969, J.P. Scherft was one of the heirs of the inventory of his printing workshop. He retired in 1992 with a lecture entitled De Alma Matrix en andere onderwerpen. Since then he devoted himself to the study of his father’s graphic work, resulting in a publication in 2006.


66 prints and 2 drawings

Language of Materials


Abstract in Dutch

Verzameling prenten van vooral de graficus Johan P. Scherft (1891-1969) en van enkele andere kunstenaars, door Johan D. Scherft gedrukt.

Abstract in English

Collection of prints by graphic artist Johan D. Scherft (1891-1969) and of some other artists, printed by Johan D. Scherft.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

All works have been recorded in the Digital Collections database.

Custodial History

The collection of prints and drawings that J.P. Scherft donated to the Print Room was inherited by him from his father, the graphic artist and printer Johan D. Scherft (1891-1969).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection of 65 prints and 2 drawings was donated to the Print Room in 1975, where they joined other prints by Johan D. Scherft and some of the artists represented in the donation. Three years later J.P. Scherft added another print by Piet Rackwitsz to the original donation.


No future additions are to be expected.

Separated Materials

In 2006 the heirs of Johan D. Scherft, including J.P. Scherft, deposited parts of the inventory of the printing workshop, including, among other things, copies of most of the prints that were printed by Scherft, at the Castle Rhoon near Rotterdam, where they are managed by the Foundation Collection Scherft (Stichting Collectie Scherft).


  • Scherft, J.P., Een Haagse graficus. Leven en werk van Johan D. Scherft. Leiden 2006.


The material of this collection can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The prints and drawings have been integrated into the general collections of drawings and prints.

Collection guide of the Johan Pieter Scherft collection (1920-1970)
Collectie Johan Pieter Scherft
Jef Schaeps, 2007
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
This finding aid has been written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857