portraits, of Gysbert Reitz and his wife Judith Elisabeth Loogen, were
painted by the deaf-mute pastelist de la Croix,
but were sold by a member of the Six family at an auction in Sotheby's
in 1976, to qn unknown buyer for a "paltry sum."
This is very sad, as for years I have wondered where the originals
were, and now they are apparently lost to our family,
and to the Bosch Reitz family, to whom they rightfully belong.
Hopefully, this notice will attract the attention of someone who knows
of their present whereabouts.
I had for many years had in my
possession a copy of the portrait above that was supposedly of
Gysbert, as well as a copy of the potrait (top right) of his
wife. I inherited them from my grandfather, to whom they
were given by S.C. Bosch Reitz during a visit to South Africa in
1937. However, Jonkheer F.G.L.O. van Kretschmer
established that the portrait I had was more likely that of Judith's
second husband, Anthony Kerkhof. The
portrait top left was also mistakenly considered to be of Judith's
first husband, Jacob Cramer van Vuuren, but is now believed toi be the
correct portrait of Gysbert.
was born in Utrecht on May 22 1731, nd was baptized in the
Eglise Wallone. He died in Utrecht on November 21 1809. In
1753 he was enrolled at Utrecht University, where on June 143 1755 he
received the degree of Iuris
Utriusque Doctor (Civil and Ecclesiastical Law) commonly known
as Magister Iuris. He
was the first of the line to break the Reitz tradition of preachers and
scholars, as he practiced as a barrister in Utrecht.
Surprisingly, not much else is known
about him. Most of the attention seems to have been devoted to
his first wife, JUDITH ELISABETH LOOGEN, who
came from a long and noble line, which, it is believed, stretched all
the way back to the Emperor Charlemagne. Judith and Gysbert were
married on February 17 1760.
Gysbert is today chiefly rememberd as
the father of JAN FREDERIK REITZ, the
founder of the South African branch of the Reitz family, and Dirk
Antoni, who founded the branch that eventually came to be known as
Upon the death of his wife in 1766, he inherited her
family home, Groot Groenewoude,
which was occupied by the Reitz family for three generations, and
married Johanna Christoffelina de Lalane de Duthay, by whom he
had four children, all of whom died in infancy. His second wife
died in 1771, after only five years of marriage, and he remained a
widower for the next thirty-six years, until the end of his life.
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