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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

19th Century Dutch Landscapes, Ice Scenes and Town Views for Amsterdam Auction

AMSTERDAM – Wonderful examples of 19th century Dutch painting will be offered at Sotheby’s Amsterdam on Wednesday 15 October 2008. The landscapes, ice scenes, marines and town views, painted by Dutch masters of Romanticism and of the Impressionist Hague School, are offered from international collections, including important private collections from Canada and Belgium. The sale is highlighted by impressive paintings by B.C. Koekkoek, Andreas Schelfhout and Cornelis Springer.

A magnificent Winterlandscape with a Traveler on a path by Barend Cornelis Koekkoek has been part of a private collection for many decades. In 1834 Barend Cornelis Koekkoek had settled in Cleves, just over the German border, where he would remain for the rest of his life. Of Holland he said: “Our fatherland boasts no rocks, waterfalls, high mountains or romantic valleys. Proud, sublime nature is not to be found in this land”. In Cleves he found all the poetic elements of his ideal Romantic landscapes. The current painting from 1834 – which must be one of the first winterlandscapes he painted in his new, inspiring surroundings – boasts all the aspects Koekkoek valued so highly. The rocks on the left majestically tower above the lone traveler with his two donkeys, treading carefully over the icy path. The oaks in the centre divide the mountain from the river winding below through the wintry valley. The Romantic nature of this impressive painting is apparent. The traveler and his donkeys are reduced to a very humble size, dominated by powerful nature. This accent on emotional effect was the main feature of Romantic art, as a reaction to the importance of Reason in the eighteenth century Age of
Enlightenment. This beautiful winterlandscape, with the sparkling effects of sunlight on the snow and the morning chill almost palpable in the air, can truly be regarded as one of his masterpieces. B.C. Koekkoek’s Winterlandscape from 1834 is estimated €300,000- 500.000.

Andreas Schelfhout’s depictions of winter delight are universally admired for their tranquil poetry. Skaters on a frozen river near a Dutch town from 1848 shows an impressive, true-to-life rendering of a frozen river near a Dutch town that has been identified as Zaltbommel or Rhenen. Schelfhout’s treatment of the ice is superb: the scratches, tears and reflections are depicted with great natural quality (estimate €300,000- 500.000).

Cornelis Springer established a great reputation as a painter of town scenes. The View of Enkhuizen, with the Westerstraat and the Westerkerk was executed in 1873 when Springer spent much time in Enkhuizen. Another View of the Westerstraat, Enkhuizen was sold at Sotheby’s Amsterdam April 2007 and fetched a world auction record for the artist. The present oil on panel is estimated €300,000-500,000.

The sale offers a Romantic highlights from a private collection from Canada, including another town view by Cornelis Springer. The Fish market in Delft from 1853 is an early example of Springer’s topographical accurate pictures. To the right the entrance to the University can be seen, while the tower of the Grote Kerk of Delft is dominating the background. The painting was acquired directly from the artist by the Vereeniging voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1853 for Dfl. 150 and is now estimated €250,000-350,000.

Petrus van Schendel in represented with one of his moonlit paintings, a Vegetable market by moonlight (estimate €150.000-200.000). The collection from Canada also includes a winter landscape depicting Skaters on the river IJ by Nicolaas Rosenboom (estimate €100.000-150.000)

A wonderful Flower still-life with Roses, Tulips and Other Flowers was painted by Henriëtta Gertrude Knip, aunt of Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, the famous painter of cats. Knip was a student of the famed flower painter Gerard van Spaendonck. She was awarded the silver medals of the Academies in Paris (1819) and Amsterdam (1822) (estimate €50.000-70.000).

The sale not only offers Romantic highlights. Consigned from an important private collection from Belgium several beautiful Dutch town views including views in Amsterdam by Klinkenberg and Willem Witsen and a view in The Hague by Joseph Bles.

Of special interest is a recently discovered drawing by Piet Mondriaan, of the Oostzijdse Windmill on Het Gein near Abcoude. The drawing in black chalk was previously unknown and unrecorded. It is the only known study for the important painting of the same title that was recently acquired by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

There is a strong section of Dutch Impressionism, including The Hague School and Amsterdam School. Top works by Isaac Israels include a wonderful view in the famous Amsterdam fashion house, Fashion show for clients at Hirsch and a unique painting of Ladies in a park from 1887. The Hague School is strongly represented with Works by Mesdag, Roelofs, Gabriel, Bosboom and Arntzenius.