Sotheby’s – 19th Century European Paintings

May 4th, 2011 by

This sale offers a broad range of Dutch Romantic paintings as well as works by artists from The Hague and Amsterdam School.

One of the highlights is Willem Koekkoek’s Winter in the Streets of a Dutch Town (lot 22). After growing up in Amsterdam, Willem Koekkoek became one of the most distinguished painters of townscapes, travelling throughout the Netherlands. His paintings were greatly admired all over Europe for their nostalgic mood and uniquely refined and detailed style of painting. The present lot is an impressive example, not only because of its size, but also because of its ability to capture Holland’s Age of Romanticism.

A further significant highlight is Sunday Mass by Gari Melchers (lot 61). Attracted by the pictorial side of Holland, this American artist took special interest in depicting devotional peasant women with their colourful patterned dresses. During his life Melchers received multiple awards, establishing him as the leading American proponent of Naturalism. The present lot has been in the collection of Walther Rathenau, the Berlin industrialist and founder of the German Democratic Party, who was murdered in 1922 by officers of the extreme right wing party because of his Jewish background and political ideas.

Also included in this sale are five paintings from an important Canadian collection, each painting being a highlight in the artist’s oeuvre, including works by Cornelis Springer, Petrus van Schendel, Andreas Schelfhout, Salomon Verveer and Nicolaas Johannes Roosenboom (lots 39-43).

From another private collection and in the family of the present owner since 1964, is an impressive ice view by the master of winter scenes, Andreas Schelfhout (lot 38). This painting has all the elements an attractive winter landscape should have: windmills, skaters and a refreshment stall with figures having a drink.

Dutch impressionism is represented by several paintings and watercolours, all fresh to the market, and including artists like Jacob Maris, Johan Hendrik Weissenbruch, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Isaac Israels and Floris Arntzenius. From a private collection in Canada a large canvas by Jozef Israels is offered (lot 70), depicting an interiorscene with a fishermen’s family, a subject which made Israels internationally respected as the master of Dutch realism.

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