About Us

Who we are

Waalwijk & Co is an international art dealing and consultation business located in the Ursuline Convent just outside Maastricht. We showcase 500 years of European art with a particular focus on Dutch portraiture.

The company director is Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn. He studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he specialised in a wide array of subjects, including  Florentine and Northern Renaissance art. He has since acted as a consultant for many collectors who have wanted to diversify their art collection. He is also a board member of the IQSA (International Qajar Studies Association).

In his career as an art historian, he has identified the sitters of more than a hundred historic portraits that were previously nameless. His finds include two portraits of the 18th-century composer Cecilia Maria Barthelemon (of whom no other portraits were previously known), a lost portrait by Michiel van Mierevelt (whose pendant is in the Musée de Picardie) and a portrait of the 19th-century artist, feminist and animal welfare advocate Antonie Lewin that had been missing for over a century. 

Art, at its best, is a thing of enduring value that will be passed from generation to generation because it provides meaning and beauty in a chaotic world.

The art collector Christiaan Bernet (1770-1832), maternal uncle of Stephanus Christiaan van Waalwijk van Doorn. He was among the most important Dutch collectors of his day and owned works by artists like Andreas Schelfhout, Ferdinand de Braekeleer and Ary Scheffer. He commissioned the young Petrus van Schendel (1806-1870) to make portraits of his entire family.

The Last Judgment by my ancestor Lucas van Leyden. This monumental triptych, which shows heaven on the left and hell on the right, only survived because art lovers were prepared to lay down their lives for it in a time which saw the Iconoclastic Fury sweep through the Low Countries. Without collectors, art dies.

What we do

  • Do you want to build your own collection?

High-quality paintings are still available. It is possible to build a collection that fits your personality and taste. Compared to the excessive prices modern and contemporary art are fetching, Old Masters and nineteenth-century artworks may prove especially good value for money. We offer you the expertise you need so that you can be confident in what you buy.

  • Are you looking for an ancestor portrait?

We are often approached by people who are not necessarily art collectors but who are looking for portraits of their family, or maybe even paintings made by a family member who was an artist! We are one of few companies that specialise in this. Finding these artworks will take time, but it is certainly possible and we have a good track record.

  • Are you looking for an artwork with a specific subject?

In popular demand are landscape paintings of specific cities (for example, someone’s town of birth) or artworks from specific time periods (like a Greco-Roman sculpture of Apollo or maybe a Dutch Golden Age miniature). We will look for your ideal artwork depending on your desired subject matter and price category. 

  • Are you curious about an artwork you own, or do you need help with cataloguing your collection? 

We offer a first-class service of conducting art historical research. It starts with one hour of research and costs €60 (including 21% VAT). Compare this to the RKD, which aks €165 per hour. We will tailor our art historical research to your needs: whether you need archival research, or finding out more information about the provenance of an artwork, we are happy to help. The results of the research are sent in the form of a digital report.

  • Are you a movie producer or museum curator and would you like to have an artwork on loan? 

Feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities. In general we are happy to cooperate. For example, our ‘Portrait of a courtesan with a lapdog’ by Margaretha Wulfraet (1678-1760) will be on loan to a major museum in 2025-26. Some artworks may have to remain in our gallery or storage depending on their fragility. 

To own an artwork is to form an unbroken link with past collectors. It allows you to bridge the centuries and become part of the artwork's story.

Shayan’s love for the arts is an inherited passion. As a child he was taken on tours around Persia, from the ruins of Persepolis to the palaces his family owned. There he connected with his ancestors through the objects they passed down: calligraphed books, bejewelled weapons, and paintings. These artefacts from the past kindled the flame that inspired him to become an art historian. Discover some of these ancestors’ stories below.

Theodorus Schrevelius (1572-1649), a Dutch Golden Age writer and poet who was among the most learned of his generation. In his ‘Harlemias’ (1648), he wrote biographies of many artists which were later used by Arnold Houbraken. He was close friends with the art historian Karel van Mander and was Rembrandt’s schoolmaster in Leiden. He had his portrait painted by Frans Hals and Pieter de Grebber.
Morteza Qoli Khan Qajar (1750-1800), the Shah’s rebel brother who fled to St. Petersburg where he became the protégé of Catherine the Great. In one of her letters, she wrote: “He is a good-natured and courteous man. He asked to see the Hermitage and was there today for the fourth time; he spent three or four hours in a row, looking at everything that is there…as a real connoisseur”.
Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (1797-1834), the second king of the Qajar Dynasty. During his reign he brought about a renaissance in the arts, and many of his portraits were sent abroad as gifts to foreign rulers. The above portrait was sent to Napoleon via the French envoy Amédée Jaubert in 1806 and currently hangs in Versailles.
The art collector Christiaan Bernet (1770-1832), maternal uncle of Stephanus Christiaan van Waalwijk van Doorn. He recognised the importance of supporting living artists such as Andreas Schelfhout, Ferdinand de Braekeleer and Ary Scheffer. He commissioned the young Petrus van Schendel (1806-1870) to make portraits of his entire family. On his death his collection was auctioned for almost 20.000 Dutch guilders.