The museum bought the diminutive 4 x 8in (10 x 20cm) pen, brown ink and red chalk drawing from works on paper specialist Nonesuch Gallery in London, paying in the region of £8000.
Michiel is thought to have travelled extensively in France and Italy and made what appears to be a brief stay in England from 1663-66. His topographical views are almost entirely on small sections of paper, prepared in brown wash and inscribed at the upper middle in ink. The gallery’s Tom Mendel said works by the artist “are few and far between both at auction and in museums” and described the drawing as “one of the finest extant depictions of Rome that the artist drew”.
The gallery discovered the work in a UK auction where it was consigned by a private collector who purchased it from Colnaghi in 1975.
The Cleveland museum has a burgeoning group of early Dutch works on paper depicting Rome, with this drawing joining those by Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Jan Asselyn, Jacob van der Ulft and Cornelia van Poelenburch among others.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library are the only other US institutions to own drawings by Overbeek.